ALL THE ROAD CARS 1990s-2000s
V8 Coupé/v8 Volante 1996-1999
With the Virage running out of steam in the mid-1990s, Aston Martin relaunched the model as the V8 Coupé – basically a Virage with revised bodywork inspired by the new twin-supercharged Vantage model, including its faired-in headlamps and four round tail-lights. Power was slightly up, the acceleration slightly sharper and the top speed was quoted, not terrribly helpfully, as ‘over 155mph’. An improvement in almost every way over the Virage, sales were, however, glacially slow. Just 101 Coupés and 63 Volantes were sold.
DB7 V12 Vantage/vantage Volante 1999-2003
The DB7 was given a major fillip in 1999 with the launch of the Vantage model, its styling beefed up by Ian Callum and with the first appearance of a brand-new 5.9-litre V12 engine that would go on to power the next generation of flagship Aston Martins. With reworked suspension too, the Vantage was a significant step on from the six-cylinder DB7 but cost just a few thousand pounds more – it was no surprise that sales of the standard car dried up and it was quickly phased out. The desirable run-out Vantage GT had 435bhp.
DB7 Zagato/db-ar1 2003-2004
Like previous Aston/zagato collaborations, the DB7 Zagato used a shortened chassis, lighter bodywork and familiar Zagato design cues (like the ‘double-bubble’ roof). It also had an uprated engine, in this case the Vantage’s V12 tuned to 435bhp. The production run was limited to 99 cars, all of which were snapped up. The DB-AR1 was a Zagato-designed, somewhat impractical ‘speedster’ version of the DB7 (it didn’t even have a hood) aimed specifically at the west coast of America, where most of the 99 examples still reside.
DB7/DB7 Volante 1994-1999
Aston couldn’t survive building handfuls of handbuilt supercars; a more affordable model was needed. Ford, who had bought a majority share in AML in 1987, knew this and in 1994 launched the Ian Callum-styled DB7 – evoking memories of the 1960s DB cars – with a supercharged 3.2-litre straight-six and a steel monocoque that had its origins at Jaguar (Ford-owned at the time). A Volante followed in 1996. DB7 sales eventually topped 7000, making it then by far the most numerous Aston. Buying guide, Vantage issue 3.
Vanquish/vanquish S 2001-2007
While DB7S were rolling out of a new factory at Bloxham, back at Newport Pagnell an all-new flagship model was in development. Launched in summer 2001, the Callum-penned Vanquish had a 460bhp version of the V12 and a bonded aluminium platform that would be developed for all subsequent Astons. Its automated paddleshift manual gearbox was criticised initially for its slow responses. This was improved, as was the handling, for the 520bhp Vanquish S launched in 2004. A total of 2578 Vanquishes were sold.
DB9/DB9 Volante 2004-2016
The DB9 was effectively the successor to the highly successful DB7 Vantage, with the latest version of the 5.9-litre V12, a Touchtronic auto option, and the first appearance of the largely aluminium ‘VH’ platform, all clothed in another gorgeous Ian Callum body, refined by his successor, Henrik Fisker. It was also the first Aston to be built at Gaydon. Volante arrived in 2005, and in 2008 power grew to 470bhp. For 2013 the car was given a major visual and mechanical refresh, now with 510bhp. End-of-line GT version had 540bhp.
SPECIFICATION Engine 5935cc, V12 Power 460bhp @ 6500rpm Torque 400lb ft @ 5000rpm 0-60mph 4.5sec Top speed 190mph
SPECIFICATION Engine 5935cc, V12 Power 420bhp @ 6000rpm Torque 400lb ft @ 5000rpm 0-60mph 4.9sec Top speed 185mph
SPECIFICATION Engine 5935cc, V12 Power 470bhp @ 6000rpm Torque 443lb ft @ 5000rpm 0-60mph 4.6sec Top speed 190mph
SPECIFICATION Engine 5935cc, V12 Power 435bhp @ 6000rpm Torque 410lb ft @ 5000rpm 0-60mph 4.8sec Top speed 185mph
SPECIFICATION Engine 5340cc, V8 Power 349bhp @ 6000rpm Torque 369lb ft @ 3700rpm 0-60mph 5.9sec Top speed 155mph+
SPECIFICATION Engine 3228cc, in-line 6, s/c Power 335bhp @ 5750rpm Torque 361lb ft @ 3000rpm 0-60mph 5.8sec Top speed 157mph