George Carlin once said, “If you can’t beat ’em, arrange to have them beaten,” and that’s exactly what Aston Martin is doing to Ferrari, in this case by arranging all of the Italian sports car company’s top employees into the British firm’s employ instead.
Aston Martin is keen on bringing to market a mid-engine sports car to rival Ferrari’s 488 GTB by about 2020, reports Autoblog, and the way it’s ensured its entry will be able to take on its chief competitor is by getting Ferrari’s head of body structures and head of powertrains to come work for Aston.
Max Szwaj, former head of innovation and body structures at Ferrari and Maserati, is now Aston Martin’s chief technical officer, Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer told the magazine; and Joerg Ross, formerly head of advanced engines at Ferrari and Maserati, is Aston’s new chief engineer, powertrain. They join at Aston Martin a third, more-recent ex-Ferrari hire that Palmer did not name.
“If we’re going in that market, we need to be ahead of the 488,” Palmer said. “And there’s no naïveté about what that means.”
The styling of the new car is all but locked in, too, Palmer explained, saying he’s picked a fave of the eight quarter-scale clay models they’ve built to be pushed on to the next stages of development.
The new 488-fighter will mark the start of a whole new model line for Aston Martin, designed to slot in above the Vanquish GT and below its Valkyrie hypercar.