Opened in August, the new Aston Martin showroom on Great North Road in Auckland is located inside the new nine-level, 5,900 square-metre Giltrap Group headquarters. The multi-million dollar showroom on Great North Road displays the entire Aston Martin range over two floors, along with a collection of pre-owned Aston Martin vehicles.
The new facility is the first building of its type to target a 5-star Greenstar Design rating, and is – surprise, surprise – incredibly fancy. But the real kicker is this: inside is a world-first ramp which prevents vehicles from “bottoming out” and hitting the floor when they drive on it. That’s probably a good thing, since even the slightest scratch on an Aston Martin can cost thousands of dollars to repair (after all, the cars are usually worth in the hundreds of thousands). Warren and Mahoney achieved this by making the ramp both convex and concave, with its shape more reminiscent of a wave than a ramp. It’s a pretty sweet effect – from certain angles, you can’t even tell it’s a ramp.
Even Patrik Nilsson – president of Aston Martin, Asia Pacific, and a person used to eye-popping sights – is pretty impressed. “The space is truly state-of-the-art, setting a new benchmark for our Aston Martin dealerships around the world,” he says. “The new facility reflects the accelerating interest we’re seeing locally in this market, with Aston Martin Auckland boasting one of the strongest market shares in the world.”
Still, when most of us think of Aston Martin, we think of James Bond. And, yes: the showroom has a multimillion-dollar collection of vehicles that even Q would have a hard time cobbling together.
Debuted to VIP clients at an exclusive soiree, the unveiling event also celebrated the arrival of the first Aston Martin V8 Vantage S Red Bull Racing Special Edition delivered to Aotearoa, marking its official availability locally. Guests were treated to a showcase of classic automotive greats, with a collection exceeding $12 million, including an Aston Martin Vulcan, One-77, Vanquish Zagato and DB5.
The V8 Vantage Red Bull Racing Special Edition was created by the marque’s in-house personalisation service (Q by Aston Martin). Celebrating the two brands’ unique “innovation partnership,” the special edition model is strongly influenced by Red Bull Racing drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen, with their signatures adorning both sill and inspection plaques.
Available with Aston Martin’s V8 naturally aspirated power units, and also available in a V12 variant, both Vantage Red Bull Racing Special Editions are equipped with a range of distinguishing features, like a race-inspired carbon fibre splitter, diffuser, grille and side strakes. Red infills on the carbon fibre grille and yellow calipers complete the iconic colour scheme.
Greg Brinck, general manager of Aston Martin Auckland, says they are “already experiencing solid interest” in the vehicles. That’s saying something, considering the V8 Vantage S Red Bull Racing Special Edition starts at $199,000 drive-away, with the V12 Vantage S Red Bull Racing Special Edition Sportshift priced from $320,000 plus on-road costs.
Those aren’t the only marvellous motor vehicles on hand, either. The track-only Aston Martin Vulcan is the only supercar of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, and is also in the new showroom. Built in a strictly limited run of just 24 cars and delivered to customers throughout 2016, the 820BHP Aston Martin Vulcan was conceived and engineered to deliver the excitement and exceed the performance of Aston Martin’s Le Mans-winning race cars.
There’s also the One-77, a sports car developed in 2008 and 2009 with the goal of eclipsing any previous Aston Martin road car. The Aston Martin One-77 was the most exclusive Aston Martin of the 'Gaydon era’, limited to 77 unique examples.
And then there’s James Bond’s car itself. Often billed as the “most famous car in the world”, James Bond’s gadget laden Silver Birch DB5, featured in the film Goldfinger, was first released in 1963. Yip – it’s on display too.
Michael Giltrap, joint managing director of Aston Martin Auckland, sums things up nicely. “New Zealand and the Giltrap Group have a special relationship with Aston Martin, so it is fantastic to see these stunning cars in a location to match.”