Vehicle Overview
Despite the emphasis on the newer V12 Vanquish, the long-lived DB7 Vantage remains on sale, giving Aston Martin dealers two models to sell. The British sports car maker’s DB7 comes as a two-door Coupe and as a Volante convertible with 2+2 seating. Both body styles cost less than the V12 Vanquish, though they’re hardly cheap. Each DB7 is fitted with a 420-horsepower, 6.0-liter V-12 engine. Exterior and interior colors can be custom ordered.

AutoWeek magazine has reported that two special-edition DB7s are headed for American shores in 2003. One is a Zagato-bodied short-chassis DB7, which might stir recollections of the DB4 GT created by Zagato back in the 1960s. The other is a DB7 Speedster, devoid of any rain protection and sporting a minimalist windshield for the driver.

At the Los Angeles Auto Show in January 2003, a lightweight concept DB American Roadster was unveiled. Based on the DB7 Vantage Volante, it is considered a possible addition to the automaker’s lineup. An AMV8 Vantage concept appeared at Detroit’s North American International Auto Show a few days later. It is smaller and likely to be lower in price than existing Astons; it might go on sale as a 2005 model.

All Aston Martins are produced at the Newport Pagnell factory in Buckinghamshire, England. Through the company’s 89-year history, only about 15,000 automobiles have been built. More than 4,000 DB7s have been sold since the mid-1990s, which marks a sales record for the company.

Exterior
Whether in coupe or open Volante form, the DB7 Vantage’s clean, curvy lines and low grille with integral headlights and fog lights give this sports car a distinctive, elegant appearance. Aston Martin says front fog and turn-signal lights are reminiscent of Project Endurance Racing cars of the 1950s.

Any body color the customer desires can be ordered. The DB7 Vantage rides a 102-inch wheelbase and measures 184.7 inches long overall. The coupe is just under 49 inches tall. The tires are 18 inches in diameter.

Interior
The DB7 Vantage is officially a 2+2 coupe — it contains a tiny backseat that’s intended only for occasional use. Customers can request that the backseat be omitted to allow for more cargo space. Posh interiors are part of the Aston Martin experience. Connolly leather, which is similar to the upholstery seen in Britain’s House of Lords, blends with wood veneer trim. An Alpine stereo system is installed, and a CD player is available.

Customers can choose other materials to suit their personal tastes. They can also request such personalized accessories as fitted luggage and an umbrella holder. Aston Martins have another special feature: Instead of turning the key, you push a red button on the dashboard to start the engine.

Under the Hood
All DB7 Vantage models use a 6.0-liter V-12 engine that generates 420 hp and 400 pounds-feet of torque. Either a six-speed-manual gearbox or an optional five-speed-automatic transmission may be installed. The ZF automatic permits the driver to select individual gear ratios using a floor lever or a Touchtronic push-button control system. Traction control and parking sensors are optional.

Safety
Antilock brakes are standard, but side-impact airbags are not available.

 
Reported by Jim Flammang  for cars.com
Posted on 3/26/03