Aston Martin’s factory designers create such beauty that an encounter with a Vanquish or DB9 could be considered an unplanned trip to a museum of modern art. However, the talent of its own artists has never prevented the brand from cooperating with body studios. Often independent studios have produced masterpieces like the DB4 GT Zagato, but there have been exceptions – the same studio Zagato in 2013 presented a line of DB9 Centennial, and the cars were received rather coldly. Among the ambiguous projects from the famous studios on the basis of Aston Martin can be written down and the concept 2020, which the company Italdesign showed at the Geneva Motor Show in 2001.
For the first time, the roads of Giorgetto Giugiaro and Aston Martin crossed in 1960. At that time, the twenty-two-year-old Italian, who later founded Italdesign studio, worked in the Bertone atelier.
And here is the story that happened to him on the eve of the Catholic Christmas of 1960. An Aston Martin DB4 GT coupe was brought to the Carrozzeria Bertone – a wealthy gentleman wanted the British grand tourer to be reworked from an elegant car into a fast car. To make it look like a Ferrari, simply put. “I’ll pay any money – just make it in time for the Geneva Motor Show,” the car’s owner told studio head Giuseppe Bertone. Nuccio wondered what to do – after all, the Geneva Motor Show was already opening its doors on March 17…
To create a new body for two and a half months is the same as to collect a puzzle with 1000 elements by himself for a day, but Giugiaro, hungry for glory, believed in own forces and forces of Bertone’s bodybuilders. So with a smile on his face, he signed up for the venture, which seemed insane even to his boss. Giugiaro was not mistaken – the car he drew managed to be ready in time, and not to the detriment of quality. The only drawback of the newborn DB4 GT Bertone Jet was the material of the body panels – atypically for Aston Martin of that time they were made of steel, not aluminum, so the car turned out heavier than the original.
Nevertheless, the customer liked the car. The public, too, accepted the DB4 GT Bertone Jet warmly – and so did the bosses of Aston Martin. That is why, when the gray-haired Giugiaro asked the British firm after 40 years to provide one of the cars for the new project, the management of Aston Martin agreed without hesitation. This agreement was the beginning of the project “2020” – a personal apology for the overweight Bertone Jet.
Geneva Motor Show 2001. The V12 Vanquish makes its debut on the Aston Martin stand, the first truly new car in a long time, whose VH platform has been the basis for the company’s lineup for a decade and a half. At the stand of Italdesign, in its turn, a concept car will debut… either a roadster, or a convertible, or a targa.
The indescribable “something” at the Italdesign stand was Aston Martin 2020 (or Twenty Twenty Twenty, as the Brits said). The concept was an attempt by Giorgetto Giugiaro and his son Fabrizio to imagine what sports cars could look like in 2020. And, presumably, now they have a different opinion about it.
The 2020 was based on the DB7 Vantage model. On top of the Aston chassis, Italdesign engineers installed a new body with a power structure based on aluminum alloy. The “winged metal” stiffening ribs are perfectly visible on the concept: the polished “exoskeleton” is just that. The elements that do not carry structural load are made of carbon fiber or plastic – they are painted gray. As Giorgetto later admitted, the complex design of the 2020 seems to “grow” out of the “bath” formed by the sills, which makes the car look more brutal than it really is.
The Twenty Twenty’s carbon fiber hood has wide slots through which you can see the six-liter V12 engine. Like the body, it has also changed – the power of the motor has increased to 500 horsepower. Due to what the increase in power was achieved – only the Giugiaro family knows. The public only knows that the 2020 was a fully road-going car – not every concept car can boast such quality.
Not every concept car has a transformer body either. The area behind the Twenty Twenty’s removable safety bar hides an extra compartment where the driver could install an extra row of seats or throw in a couple or three suitcases. Both for the two-seat and four-seat body formats, separate windshields were provided, which can be regarded as both attention to detail, and as a joke – because the 2020 has never been in a wind tunnel.
The Giugiaro family also paid attention to the interior, which, unlike the exterior, turned out in the spirit of classical Aston: where there is no leather, there is aluminum, where there is no aluminum, there is leather. There are mats from natural sheep’s wool on the floor – also very British. The elements of classic Aston Martin can be also found on the body – take at least the external door hinges, wide radiator grille and triangular windows on the doors.