ALL THE ROAD CARS 1990s-2000s

VANTAGE - - The Specialist 22gt Racing -

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

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