If James Bond had needed to improve his mount as a result of the DB5 was getting a bit lengthy within the tooth, again within the ‘90s he couldn’t have chosen a greater substitute than the DB7.
The Aston Martin DB7 was a pivotal mannequin within the historical past of the posh British sports activities automobile maker and got here at an important time for the agency, whose very future was hanging within the stability.
Let’s take a better take a look at the DB7 and the way it saved Aston Martin.
Achingly Lovely 2+2 Coupé
The automobile proved to be a runaway success. The two+2 coupé loved the longest manufacturing run of any Aston Martin, and because of its delectably timeless strains, the DB7 would go on to dictate the styling of nearly all the corporate’s subsequent fashions.
The achingly stunning DB7 was a Grand Tourer in the very best Aston Martin custom. The title additionally marked the return of the well-known ‘DB’ mannequin prefix, in tribute to Aston’s most profitable years below the possession of Sir David Brown.
The Future Is Vibrant…The Future Is DB7
Supposed as the corporate’s entry mannequin, the DB7 was a extra inexpensive and fashionable Aston, geared toward engaging potential consumers away from the likes of Porsche and Mercedes. And never earlier than time.
Then based mostly within the sleepy sleepy Cambridgeshire village of Newport Pagnell, the corporate had develop into overly reliant on comparatively lackluster fashions just like the Virage, an unremarkable and underpowered automobile besides within the extra highly effective Vantage guise.
So when Ford took over Aston Martin in the summertime of 1994, growing its controlling stake from 75 to 100%, it set about reworking former chairman Victor Gauntlett’s imaginative and prescient of making a less expensive Aston.
To save cash within the wake of a worldwide financial downturn, the corporate made probably the most of Ford’s assets, and because the American automobile big additionally owned Jaguar on the time, it was in a position to base a lot of the automobile on the stillborn Jaguar XJ41/42 challenge.
The six-cylinder engine within the DB7 was successfully a Jaguar unit, and the automobile shared the identical platform because the Jaguar XK8 that adopted it two years later.
Nonetheless, so as to retain the aura of exclusivity related to each Aston Martin, Ford injected a further £65m to design, develop and manufacture the automobile. And according to all different Astons, it was hand-built.
To mark the modifications at Aston, the DB7’s closing meeting was carried out in a brand new, purpose-built manufacturing facility in Bloxham.
The check program to develop the automobile was additionally probably the most bold within the marque’s historical past. Involving 170 engineers, as much as 30 prototypes had been pushed exhaustively throughout Europe and North America, totting up a complete of 500,000 miles in all forms of climate and extremes of temperature.
Physique building was outsourced to educate specialist Motor Panels in Coventry, and the ultimate paint job was carried out by none aside from Rolls Royce in Crewe. Composite supplies had been used for most of the panels, together with the bonnet, trunk lid, and entrance wings, and each 60th engine was disassembled following an influence check and inspected earlier than being reassembled.
Simply as essential had been the seems to be, and Scottish designer Ian Callum arguably created probably the most beautiful form of his complete profession. The inside was additionally way more refined and rounded than the Virage’s, adopting light swooping curves for the sprint and aspect panels which had been swathed in Connolly leather-based and burr walnut paneling.
DB7 A Sensation At The 1993 Geneva Motor Present
When the DB7 was lastly launched on the Geneva Motor Present in March 1993, it triggered a sensation and was named the ‘Automotive of the Present’, prompting potential consumers to make a touch for his or her wallets and pay deposits on the automobile.
Nearly in a single day – and thanks in no small half to its extremely aggressive £78,500 price ticket – the DB7 eclipsed the corporate’s different fashions – the outdated ‘V’ automobiles – and have become the styling template for nearly each Aston Martin that adopted.
Though it was way more achieved than the Virage, the DB7’s powertrain was not precisely a world-beating unit. The 24-valve supercharged engine pumped out a good 335bhp, which was good for a modest – at the least in supercar phrases – 165mph within the guide model, whereas the Volante soft-top was even slower.
It was hardly an area rocket, though motoring critics on the time enthused about its dealing with traits and total poise if not the patch-work construct high quality of among the earlier automobiles.
Radically Sooner V12 for DB7
However luckily, there was extra to come back. Efficiency improved radically when a bigger, extra highly effective 5.9 liter V12 was launched in 1999, producing an eye-popping 420bhp and 400 Ib ft of torque to propel the automobile all the best way as much as 186mph.
The DB7 turned probably the most profitable mannequin within the firm’s historical past and probably the most iconic since James Bond’s DB5. In its 10-year manufacturing run, some 7,000 models had been made – one thing hitherto unthinkable from such a bespoke producer.
The DB7 cemented Aston Martin’s future. It helped safe the corporate’s funds and set the design template for the long run mannequin vary. However simply as importantly, it left an indelible mark in motoring historical past as one of the vital stunning automobiles of all time.
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