A member of Fords luxury-motorcar family these days, the Aston Martin DB7 has seen several recent improvements, including a redesigned luggage compartment for greater cargo volume and the addition of Wilton carpeting. All DB7s are built individually, according to their British manufacturer, tailored to suit customer requirements. More than half of recent examples have been fitted with a navigation system, different bumpers and taillights, or other deviations from the standard line.
Astons DB series used to be driven in the movies by James Bond, until that fictional character turned instead to BMWs. In the companys 88-year history, only about 15,000 automobiles have been produced. More than 3,500 DB7s have rolled off the line in Newport Pagnell, England, making it the most popular model ever. Aston Martin has indicated an intention to boost production to 1,000 cars per year. Naturally, DB7s are not cheap at $143,000 for the coupe and $153,000 for the Volante convertible.
Although the DB7 remains on sale during the 2001 model year, Aston Martin is concentrating on a brand-new model, the Vanquish. Introduced at the Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland in March 2001, the Vanquish gets a 6.0-liter V-12 engine that generates more than 450 horsepower and is said to be capable of accelerating from zero to 60 mph in less than 4.5 seconds. The Vanquish will come in two-passenger and 2+2 form.
Clean, curvy lines and a low grille with integral headlights and fog lights give the DB7 a distinctive and elegant appearance, whether in coupe or open Volante form. Any color the customer desires can be ordered.
Officially a 2+2 coupe, the DB7 has a backseat but its tiny and intended only for occasional use. Customers can request that the backseat be omitted to allow more cargo space. Connolly leather, similar to the upholstery seen in Britains House of Lords, blends with wood veneer trim in the posh interior. Here, too, customers can choose other materials to suit their personal tastes. Aston Martins have another special feature: Instead of turning the key, you push a red dashboard button to start the engine.
Under the Hood
Previously, DB7 coupes and convertibles have been available with either a six-cylinder engine adopted from a Jaguar design or a 6.0-liter V-12 in Vantage form. During 2000, Aston Martin announced that only V-12 engines rated at 420 hp will be installed in the DB7 Vantage series and the six-cylinder models will be discontinued. Either a six-speed-manual gearbox or an optional five-speed-automatic transmission is available. Antilock brakes are standard.