More Details on the Lexus/Aston Martin Racing Weekend


President Akio Toyoda & Aston Martin CEO Dr. Ulrich BezAn Aston Martin press release has shed more light into the story of how Toyota President Akio Toyoda & Aston Martin CEO Dr. Ulrich Bez raced together at Nürburgring this past weekend — here are the full details:

“As I learnt that our teams would share a garage once again I renewed my invitation to Akio Toyoda to drive an Aston Martin race car and I was delighted to accept his offer in return”, said Dr. Bez. “We have raced side by side regularly since the 2008 24 hour race here at the Nurburgring. Since then a personal friendship has developed into this decision to experience each other’s race cars. Other company bosses meet on the golf course, we race together”, commented Dr. Bez, who since 2006 has regularly competed in races on the Nordschleife.

Aston Martin V12 Zagato Zig (#114) and the Lexus LF-A (#111) both competed in the SP8 class. For the Aston Martin, however, this race was to become highly dramatic. Unfortunately Zig was hit by another car out on the track and damaged so badly that it had to return to the pit garage for a longer period of time and a dropout of the race was imminent. Working feverishly the engineers were able to make a repair so that the car could return to the track. Both the Aston Martin V12 Zagato and the Lexus LF-A crossed the finish line in tandem, with Ulrich Bez driving the Lexus and Akio Toyoda driving the Aston Martin.

Just in case you don’t believe that the LFA & Zagato crossed the finish line at the same time, Akio Toyoda himself wrote about the experience on his blog, and included these photos:

Akio & Bez

Aston Martin & Lexus Racing Teams

Considering the symbolism of the cars finishing the race side-by-side, this joint racing effort looks like a momentous occasion for both companies — to the point where you have to wonder if there’s more to the team-up than just racing.

Take the fact that Aston Martin & Mercedes were once talking about a significant partnership that would see AM get access to Mercedes engines, platforms & technology in exchange for building the next-generation Maybach — a deal that has reportedly collapsed — and you can start to see all sorts of possibilities between Lexus & Aston Martin. Not only that, the Toyota IQ-derived Aston Martin Cygnet has shown the two companies can work together.

That’s certainly enough to get my gears turning (especially when the Aston Martin Rapide is probably my favorite non-Lexus out there). Lexus obviously has the engines & technology that Aston Martin is looking for, but what could Aston Martin provide in return? Perhaps an ultra-luxury sedan to compete with Maybach & Rolls Royce, or a foor-door coupe like the Rapide?

What do you think?

Read the full Aston Martin Press Release

Comments


  • Brenduro

    Glad to see the two CEO’s can race gentlemanly. 
    I’m not so sure about that Aston Martin Cygnet, but it’ll be interesting to see if anything does develop between the two companies besides the Cygnet.

  • http://twitter.com/yishai_ettebe Yishai

    Does this mean Toyota will by Aston Martin ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/RDS.Alphard Yong Thian Ding

    Maybe Cygnet is the starting point …

  • Shane From Australia

    To be honest, i thought a natural progression in motorsport would have been between Toyota and Lotus.
    For many years, Lotus cars have been powered by Toyota engines. Toyota withdrew from F1 however Lotus entered the race – thought perhaps Lotus and Toyota would have entered into a joint-venture … Lotus build the cars (F1 chassis’s) and Toyota supplied the engines.

  • Hitemup

    This is very interesting as U.K is the island of the West & Japan is the island of the East

    They both have very much in common.. 

  • Max_bramante

    I’d like so much the Aston Martin in the Toyota universe and making with both of them the luxury part of Toyota selling both in same dealerships “Lexus-Aston Martin”. Even Lotus could be a great purchase by Toyota.

  • http://resumecvservice.com/ resume

    very interesting post! liked it! thanks for sharing. appreciate your efforts!

  • Jruhi4

    Kevin, I definitely agree with your hopes and analysis. Lexus has, in the past, shot down rumors that the LFA’s V10 would be the basis for the GS F powertrain, but it would certainly make sense for a costlier Aston Martin or Lagonda (Aston’s large sedan brand that is rumored to be set for its third revival).

    Shane’s observations on the Toyota/Lotus connections are also valid. The way I understand it, current Lotus CEO Dany Bahar was OK with Lotus using Lexus V8s and the LFA’s V10 to power the new upmarket Lotuses, but others (potential customer opinions, Lotus chief engineer Wolf Zimmerman, who came from Mercedes/AMG and General Motors’ Bob Lutz, who’s on the Lotus board) shot down that notion in favor of developing their own V8 from scratch.

    Some pundits, however, think that Lotus’ plans are too ambitious, and that the company may either collapse or be sold off by its Malaysian Proton owners. Might Toyota be tempted to swoop in and rescue Lotus? Further, there are already loose Lotus/Aston Martin connections in that Lotus engineered Aston Martin’s current highly flexible VH architecture that underpins all of Aston’s current lineup.

    Picture, if you will, a British Lotus (returning to its roots and sticking to smaller lightweight 4-cylinder and, at most, V6 sportscars, and forgetting the move upmarket to V8s and V12s), Aston Martin (V8 and V12 sports/GT cars) and Lagonda (sporty upmarket sedans and – I hate to say it – SUVs) combine part-owned by Toyota. A fantasy, to be sure, and one that would surely set off an internal battle between Akio Toyoda and the soulless bean counters in Toyota leadership such as Fujio Cho and Katsuaki Watanabe, but wouldn’t that be cool?

  • Jruhi4

    Kevin, I definitely agree with your hopes and analysis. Lexus has, in the past, shot down rumors that the LFA’s V10 would be the basis for the GS F powertrain, but it would certainly make sense for a costlier Aston Martin or Lagonda (Aston’s large sedan brand that is rumored to be set for its third revival).

    Shane’s observations on the Toyota/Lotus connections are also valid. The way I understand it, current Lotus CEO Dany Bahar was OK with Lotus using Lexus V8s and the LFA’s V10 to power the new upmarket Lotuses, but others (potential customer opinions, Lotus chief engineer Wolf Zimmerman, who came from Mercedes/AMG and General Motors’ Bob Lutz, who’s on the Lotus board) shot down that notion in favor of developing their own V8 from scratch.

    Some pundits, however, think that Lotus’ plans are too ambitious, and that the company may either collapse or be sold off by its Malaysian Proton owners. Might Toyota be tempted to swoop in and rescue Lotus? Further, there are already loose Lotus/Aston Martin connections in that Lotus engineered Aston Martin’s current highly flexible VH architecture that underpins all of Aston’s current lineup.

    Picture, if you will, a British Lotus (returning to its roots and sticking to smaller lightweight 4-cylinder and, at most, V6 sportscars, and forgetting the move upmarket to V8s and V12s), Aston Martin (V8 and V12 sports/GT cars) and Lagonda (sporty upmarket sedans and – I hate to say it – SUVs) combine part-owned by Toyota. A fantasy, to be sure, and one that would surely set off an internal battle between Akio Toyoda and the soulless bean counters in Toyota leadership such as Fujio Cho and Katsuaki Watanabe, but wouldn’t that be cool?

  • Mike DeLorca

    Personally, I think that both companies can help and learn from each other—-I would like nothing more than  to see LEXUS reach for the stars with an Ultra-Luxury Sedan and/or a four door sport/luxury coupe like the Rapide. This is something missing from the mark needed to launch LEXUS into the future and make it the Global Brand it deserves…..we all know and trust that they can accomplish whatever they put their minds and deep pockets up to.   I say YES !

  • Erich Kerner

    Toyota should aquire both companies (Aston Martinand Lotus)…there is nothing more too say about it.

  • Guest

    I just want to see James Bond drive a Lexus!  :)