From the moment the Aston Martin DB5 first appeared in Goldfinger in 1964, the car manufacturer has been indissociable from James Bond, the fictional British spy. Never mind that Bond drove a Bentley in the books. For nearly 60 years, the Aston Martin brand has been synonymous with adventure, speed and a certain type of Britishness. One that combines daring-do with calm sophistication.
A Nod to Heritage
The Aston Martin DBX, the company’s first 4×4 launched last year, fits perfectly into that mould. Its chunky wheels suggest it can take you off-road if you need to and its tapered roofline implies it would do so at speed. Acres of leather and fine stitching inside provide a timeless, refined elegance that Bond would surely appreciate.
Will it Sell Enough?
But with Aston Martin’s shares worth a fraction of what they were when the company floated in 2018, the DBX needs to do more than just invoke the spirit of Bond. It needs to sell. In a luxury SUV category dominated by the likes of Porsche, Bentley and Lamborghini, how does Aston Martin draw attention to its most recent offering?
Customise, Customise, Customise
The answer may lie in the newly announced Aston Martin DBX Bowmore Edition. This exclusive DBX will see just 18 highly customised vehicles produced for customers worldwide. The DBX Bowmore will be a partnership between the Bowmore Distillery in Scotland and Q by Aston Martin, the firm’s in-house personalisation department. (Yes, Aston Martin really did name its personalisation department after the character in the James Bond films).
Aston Martin’s Chief Creative Officer, Marek Reichman, said “Aston Martin DBX has provided the perfect canvas for the highest level of Q by Aston Martin customisation. The Aston Martin and Bowmore brands share the same vision of creating timeless beauty and a lasting legacy, loyal to their heritage but also embracing new methods.”
Bowmore Inside and Out
To demonstrate its commitment to customisation, Aston Martin will paint the Bowmore DBX in Bowmore Blue (although other colours are available) and Bowmore-branded copper from the Bowmore Distillery’s original whiskey still will finish the strakes by the wheel arches, the sill plaques, the centre console and the cupholders.
Flashes of Bowmore Tweed, created by the Islay Woollen Mill near the Distillery, will provide further customisation in a Scottish vein for the car’s the interior. Each owner will also be offered Q by Aston Martin accessories including a Bowmore tweed picnic blanket and leather holdall. Engine power comes in the form of a 4-litre twin-turbo V8 with 550 BHP and 700Nm of torque.
A Unique Delivery
But the most unique element will be when the owner takes delivery of the car. Customers will be presented with their Bowmore DBX at Edinburgh before embarking on a 170-mile journey through the Scottish countryside. They will be taken on a ferry to the island of Islay for a private tour of the Bowmore Distillery and a trip to the Islay Woollen Mill. At the Distillery, customers will be given the opportunity to fill their own bottle of a 39 year-old Bowmore whiskey from the cask.
A cynic might say this is just marketing. They may be right. But it is undeniable that future owners of the Bowmore DBX will be offered a uniquely customised experience. Because in a market where luxury SUVs are more or less than same, experiences and customised options like this could make a brand stand out from the rest. And sell cars.