While there were no totally new offerings from Aston Martin at Auto China 2012, the British luxury automaker took the opportunity to showcase its personalization capabilities by unveiling three "Year of the Dragon" special editions. The decked-out DBS Volante, Virage Coupe and V8 Vantage S Coupe on show in Beijing are part of the company's "Dragon 88" edition which will be limited to, you guessed it, 88 customized sports cars.

Aston Martin says that 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." This detailing includes golden dragons embroidered on the headrests and 24-carat gold coated Aston Martin wing badges. The cars also get a special paint job to "chime with traditional Chinese art and imagery."

The customization doesn't extend to performance upgrades, but perhaps to soften this blow, Aston Martin showed the 7.3-litre, carbon fiber-packing One-77 supercar alongside the "Year of the Dragon" offerings.

Aston Martin wasn't alone in its efforts to impress the locals in Beijing (Smart and Jeep also showed dragon-themed cars) and is pushing to rapidly expand its distribution in the region.

“We are investing significantly in the Chinese market throughout 2012 and beyond," says Aston Martin's Global Sales Director Andy Gawthorpe. "Today Aston Martin operates nine dealerships in the region, with 11 additional showrooms planned to open in China this year alone. China is on course to become Aston Martin’s third biggest market.”

Source: Aston Martin

View gallery - 15 images