ALL THE ROAD CARS 2005-present
V8 Vantage/v8 Vantage Roadster 2005-present
Aston’s answer to Porsche’s 911 and originally conceived as a mid-engined car. Compact and more overtly sporting than the DB9, the Callum/fisker-styled V8 Vantage has overtaken the DB9 to become the biggest seller yet, with more than 16,000 so far finding homes. Its Jaguar-derived quad-cam V8, originally 4.3 (4.7 litres and 420bhp from 2008) gives brisk performance and an extrovert soundtrack – best enjoyed in the Roadster, which arrived in 2007. The ‘S’, with 430bhp, arrived in 2011. Buying guide, Vantage issue 1.
V12 Vantage/v12 Vantage Roadster 2009-present
The notion of shoehorning Aston’s 5.9-litre V12 into the compact V8 Vantage was always amusing, and when Aston turned the concept into reality in 2009 it produced one of the finest drivers’ cars in its history. Distinguished by its rows of (functional) bonnet vents, the V12V builds on the V8 Vantage’s agility and adds another dimension of performance and desirability. The Roadster arrived in late 2012. Best of all, though, is the 565bhp ‘S’ launched in 2013. With a top speed of 205mph, it’s the fastest series-production Aston ever.
Aston’s answer to the Bugatti Veyron and Pagani Zonda hypercars was the One-77, a no-expense-spared, handbuilt, all-carbonfibre rocketship with the world’s most powerful naturally aspirated engine (some have recorded an astonishing 772bhp) and an equally gobsmacking £1.15m price-tag. Strictly limited to 77 examples, the last was delivered in August 2012, though Aston retains one for PR work. The few who have been lucky enough to experience the One-77 describe it as challenging, rewarding and utterly thrilling.
DBS/DBS Volante 2007-2012
Resurrecting a name last seen in the late ’60s, the Db9-derived DBS replaced the early-noughties Vanquish as the flagship production car in 2007 and gained huge cachet when it was adopted as 007’s company car when Daniel Craig assumed the tuxedo for Casino Royale. With power ramped up to 510bhp, aggressive styling, harder-edged dynamics and a manual gearbox, the DBS was Mr Hyde to the DB9’S Dr Jekyll. A Volante appeared in 2009. At the end of 2012, the DBS was replaced by the new Vanquish.
With Porsche enjoying considerable success with its Panamera saloon and new markets opening up for luxury cars, it was only a matter of time before Aston spun-off a four-seater saloon from its VH platform. The Rapide went into production in late 2009, initially at Magna Steyr in Austria. Despite (or perhaps because of) its sports car-like dynamics, sales haven’t been as strong as Aston would have hoped, and production moved to Gaydon in late 2012. Relaunched as the Rapide S for 2013 with a deeper new front grille and 550bhp.
Based on the Toyota iq city car, the Cygnet was designed to deliver Aston Martin levels of style and opulence in a city car. Extensively rebodied to incorporate familiar Aston design cues and retrimmed in sumptuous leather, but mechanically unchanged, it wasn’t without appeal as a city runabout but on the open road it was no performance car. At £30,995, it was also breathtakingly expensive. Dr Bez, whose baby it was, hoped it would sell by the thousand, but with just hundreds sold it was quietly dropped in 2013.
SPECIFICATION (4.3) Engine 4281cc, V8 Power 380bhp @ 7000rpm Torque 302lb ft @ 5000rpm 0-60mph 4.8sec Top speed 175mph
SPECIFICATION Engine 7312cc, V12 Power 750bhp @ 7600rpm Torque 553lb ft @ 6000rpm 0-60mph 3.6sec Top speed 220mph+
SPECIFICATION Engine 5935cc, V12 Power 470bhp @ 6000rpm Torque 443lb ft @ 5000rpm 0-60mph 5.0sec Top speed 184mph
SPECIFICATION Engine 5935cc, V12 Power 510bhp @ 6500rpm Torque 420lb ft @ 5750rpm 0-60mph 4.1sec Top speed 190mph
SPECIFICATION Engine 5935cc, V12 Power 510bhp @ 6500rpm Torque 420lb ft @ 5750rpm 0-60mph 4.2sec Top speed 191mph
SPECIFICATION Engine 1330cc, in-line 4-cyl Power 97bhp @ 6000rpm Torque 92lb ft @ 4400rpm 0-60mph 11.6sec Top speed 106mph