And yes, it's more that just a flashy showroom.
Brand experience centers are nothing new to the motoring industry. You could argue the trend's been in action since 1928, when Citroen opened its atelier down the Champs Elysees in Paris, and now pretty much every major carmaker you can think of has its own franchises or establishments to celebrate its automotive wares. One company you'd probably expect to have one, considering its global recognition, is Aston Martin - so it was a surprise to hear the firm's first one has only just opened its doors to the public.
Situated along the rather swish Dover Street in London's Mayfair district, this inaugural opening for Aston Martin has far closer resemblance to a high-end boutique than a place the celebrate one of the world's best-known automotive brands. Dig a little bit deeper, though, and you can see the connections to the car company. Not only is the large window frontage the perfect place to showcase some handsome grand tourers (as you can see from the above image, there's a DB11 sitting pride of place in the front), but there's also a Q by Aston Martin specification area, where prospective clients can specify their dream Aston Martin model to the minutest of details.
The AM connection goes further than that, though. Aston Martin's Chief Creative Officer, Marek Reichman, designed a huge chunk of the fittings (namely the tailor-made cabinets and Nautilus-pattern floor arrangement) using the 'golden ratio' principle that's dictated Aston Martin's design language for over a decade. It's little touches like that which make this new brand experience center a pleasant place to spend time in, and ensure the concept of such an outlet (in spite of all the high-end branded items dotted about the place) is a far better fit for Aston Martin's brand values than, say, an assortment of theme park complexes are for another certain performance car manufacturer.