Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Jaguar and Land Rover all unveiled new special editions at the Beijing Motor Show, and Aston Martin wouldn't miss the opportunity to join in their company. Hence the Dragon 88 Limited Edition.

A special trim level available on the DBS Volante, Virage Coupe and V8 Vantage S, the Dragon 88 range is outfitted at the hands of the Q by Aston Martin division that tricked out the matte-violet Virage we saw in Geneva. The Dragon 88 celebrates the Year of the Dragon with such special touches as 24-carat gold badges, embroidered headrests, special interior trim, commemorative sill plates and a choice of three unique exterior colors.

As the name implies, only 88 examples will be offered, exclusively in China, at an as-yet undisclosed price. Since your chances of ever seeing one up close, then, remains rather slim, the high-res image gallery above (joined by the press release after the jump) is probably your best shot.
Show full PR text
ASTON MARTIN BRINGS POWER, BEAUTY AND SOUL TO BEIJING

- Luxury British sports car brand stars at Beijing
- World debut of Dragon 88 Limited Edition models
- Market introduction of 'Q by Aston Martin', plus glimpse of One-77 supercar

23 April 2012, Beijing: Luxury British sports car maker Aston Martin is today unveiling three hand crafted 'Year of the Dragon' special editions as it grabs the spotlight at the 2012 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition.

The historic British brand, desired worldwide for its engineering and design excellence, is using this important Chinese exhibition to build on its long-term commitment to the Asian market, with a particular focus on China. Aston Martin will open 11 new dealerships in China this year.

The Dragon 88 Limited Edition models debuting at Beijing demonstrate the exceptional personalisation possibilities available from Aston Martin, with the world-famous sports car brand making 88 cars available for the ultimate in personalisation.

Show goers will be able to see a DBS Volante, Virage Coupe and V8 Vantage S Coupe from the Year of the Dragon series. The Dragon 88s on the impressive show stand will be complemented by Aston Martin's exceptional One-77 supercar, together with a four-door Rapide customised by Aston Martin's new 'Q by Aston Martin' bespoke service, and a DBS cutaway model.

"The stunning Dragon 88 sports cars – hand-built by our world-class craftspeople in England – reflect the design flair and technical excellence of the luxurious Aston Martin brand," said Dr Ulrich Bez, CEO of Aston Martin.

Dr Bez added: "I am very happy to be able to present these iconic cars on the world stage here in Beijing, and I and my staff in China look forward discussing them with visitors to the exhibition.

"This is the first time we have participated in a major automotive show in China since our wholly-owned subsidiary, Aston Martin Lagonda (China) Automobile Distribution Co., Ltd., became our general distributor in China in summer 2011.

"We became general distributor after resolving a lawsuit about distribution rights on friendly terms and we are both proud and pleased that we were able to achieve this. It is another important step on our journey to developing a successful sales operation here in China. Like many newcomers to China we have learned a lot since we first came here in 2007.

"We expect China to become one of our most important markets and look forward to sharing the Aston Martin experience with Chinese customers. Our dealership network is growing very quickly. It now includes Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Shenzhen, Shenyang and Ordos City, and will soon include Kunming and Tianjin."

Global Sales Director Andy Gawthorpe said: "We are investing significantly in the Chinese market throughout 2012 and beyond. Today Aston Martin operates nine dealerships in the region, with 11 additional showrooms planned to open in China this year alone."

He added: "With the new limited edition Dragon 88s, our 'Q by Aston Martin' bespoke service and the massive expansion of our sales network, China is on course to become Aston Martin's third biggest market."

New models for China

The Dragon 88 concept is reserved for Aston Martin's most powerful, elegant and prestigious models: the DBS, Virage and V8 Vantage S.

Each of the 88 cars will feature bespoke details that celebrate the mystical qualities of the dragon symbol, synonymous with power, strength and good luck in Chinese folklore. Among the detail changes, 24-carat gold is applied to the signature Aston Martin wing badges on each car. The cars are also finished in one of three special colours selected to chime with traditional Chinese art and imagery.

Also starring at the Beijing show the One-77 is the ultimate expression of Aston Martin's engineering excellence, representing the world's most desirable automotive art form. The hugely potent 7.3-litre, naturally aspirated V12 engine and the low mass, high-rigidity properties of a carbon fibre chassis give a unique group of 77 owners around the world a driving experience of unrivalled intensity and excitement.

'Q by Aston Martin' bespoke service

'Q by Aston Martin' is a bespoke specification service that goes well beyond the already extensive standard palette of paint, leather and trim finishes. This exciting new service brings Aston Martin's talented designers together with the company's expert engineers and highly experienced craftspeople, allowing customers to specify their Aston Martin sports car with meticulous attention to detail.

The service covers interior and exterior styling, offering almost endless opportunity for expression. Thanks to Aston Martin's unique VH (Vertical Horizontal) architecture, the philosophy that forms the backbone of its sports cars, the company has evolved a fast, flexible and modular approach to engineering. With 'Q by Aston Martin', the ability to commission the design and manufacture of a truly unique car is now within reach.

The Ming dynasty is the inspiration for the 'Q by Aston Martin' Rapide on show in Beijing. Ming Blue Paint, 'glacial' wings and side strakes, Walnut wooden boot and door inserts, Falcon Grey and Metallic Bronze leather, and Ming-inspired seat embroidery are all unique for this car. Meanwhile the DBS cutaway model at the show stand has been created to give visitors a unique insight into Aston Martin's unique VH (Vertical Horizontal) architecture.

Aston Martin CEO Dr Ulrich Bez said of the British sport car maker's dramatic show presence in Beijing: "I'm very happy to be presenting such a compelling collection of luxury sports cars to a Chinese audience. My team has striven to create cars that are as beautiful as they are rare and exotic, and we all look forward to welcoming show visitors in Beijing."

About Aston Martin

Aston Martin is a world-famous British manufacturer of luxury sports cars, founded in 1913 by Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford, based in Gaydon, Warwickshire, England. Transforming itself from a small-scale manufacturer of specialist sports cars to one of the world's best-known luxury brands, Aston Martin's range includes the One-77 supercar, the V12 Zagato and V12 Vantage, the V8 Vantage S and recently updated V8 Vantage, the Virage, DB9, DBS and Rapide. Every Aston Martin expresses the brand's core values of Power, Beauty and Soul.

Aston Martins are hand crafted by highly-skilled engineers, guaranteeing the utmost attention to detail and precision across the range, from initial concept to final production.

See 'Aston Martin: the story so far' for more details about the company, its products, heritage, branding and motorsport success.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 32 Comments
      mawhalen53
      • 2 Years Ago
      How to sell cars for the Chinese market, 2012 edition: slap dragons on everything
      foci
      • 2 Years Ago
      In the Chinese zodiac calendar 2012 is " the year of the Dragon". This may be the reason for the dragon graphics and naming.
        cinoiem
        • 2 Years Ago
        @foci
        Right on, buddy. Dragon also means status/king in China. Gold is the symbol of wealth in most Asian countries.
        suthrn2nr
        • 2 Years Ago
        @foci
        cant wait for the Rat edition then, lol
        SatinSheetMetal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @foci
        Whereas increasingly in America not being poor is seen as a status of wealth.
      da.kid1
      • 2 Years Ago
      MOAR DRAGONS!The chinese eat these things up anyway.
      suthrn2nr
      • 2 Years Ago
      The whole "Dragon" thing is so played out. I'm not chinese, but even i think its almost becoming offensive. China has 5000 year history, dozens of languages, countless traditions, and the only thing western companies can think of is dragons? Ferrari: dragon painted 458 Honda: dragon inspired Concept S Aston Martin: Dragon edition And that is just from the last week.
        over9000
        • 2 Years Ago
        @suthrn2nr
        I don't see if they come out with rabbit edition versions... so yes, you are partly correct, it is offensive.
        SatinSheetMetal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @suthrn2nr
        Introducing the new Lamborghini Aventador "Heartless Dictator" special edition. Because nothing says absolute luxury like absolute power! A murdered out black exterior with a further murdered out Red interior, reinforced, bullet-proof glass, a more rigid frame, and strengthened roll bars. Expect this to go over real well.
        foci
        • 2 Years Ago
        @suthrn2nr
        see my comment below.
      ernie.
      • 2 Years Ago
      The more dragons the better right? Is anyone from China here? Does the Chinese public desperately love dragon themed things?
        suthrn2nr
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ernie.
        My gf is chinese and I've been to China, their economic boom means there's high demand for luxury, as in "I have it because its rare and expensive." It would be the same as if all the Japanese and German companies decided to come out with Cowboy editions because all americans love cowboys.
          SatinSheetMetal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @suthrn2nr
          Don't be racist, Americans don't think of themselves as cowboys. Well Okay we do have the Laramie Longhorn and the Big Ranch.
          cinoiem
          • 2 Years Ago
          @suthrn2nr
          @ernie: Since the ancient time, dragon is the symbol of high status and king in China. All emperors in Chinese history wore dragon embroidery dresses ( in gold color?).
        wylin923
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ernie.
        i'm taiwanese which is close enough, more dragons the better for suckers who want to make it appear or to have "face" that they are rich to the outside world. There's a big materialistic obsession in china to have what's nice/ expensive/ rare like suthrn2nr said, basically its just like a gold Ak-47 or Breitling watch with a diamond bling bezel...something to show off to the world that you are balling... I'm sure the rich elite of the chinese market probably eats stuff like this up, i doubt that automakers do anything without through research especially for special editions in one of their top markets.... And yes chinese people love dragons it's probably the most common tattoo i see on Chinese/ Taiwanese people....it says either good luck or i'm trying to be hard.
          suthrn2nr
          • 2 Years Ago
          @wylin923
          yea, like the explosion of coach and LV bag sales. What I find different than anywhere else in the world is that there isnt really (to my knowledge) a big car culture in China. Like wylin923 said, it's all about looking good and wealthy right now, rather than knowing the true substance of the car you are buying. And this seems to be especially true for the younger generations.
      jvshenderson
      • 2 Years Ago
      That picture is not flattering. Especially for an Aston. Its probably mostly the color and lighting, but it looks like it has a really flabby neck...
      Pope Digg VIII
      • 2 Years Ago
      What, no Delta 88 model?
      joe shmoe
      • 2 Years Ago
      still not as gaudy as cars found in the middle east.
      Gorgenapper
      • 2 Years Ago
      Year of the Pig. That should go over real well as a special edition.
      VTECyo
      • 2 Years Ago
      I never realized how much Chinese people loved dragons until this motor show. At least Aston had the sense to not ruin a perfectly good exterior with decals.
      Avalon
      • 2 Years Ago
      Another hill billy edition... This is what happens when you have large amounts of farm owners, gang bosses, corrupt communist party members turned instant millionaires overnight. As the saying goes, money can't buy class.
      over9000
      • 2 Years Ago
      what's with these Chinese only special edition cars? I think China is living on a bubble...
    • Load More Comments