Aston Martin

A Life-Size Aston Martin DB5 Made of Nearly 350,000 Legos Is on Display in London

A Life-Size Aston Martin DB5 Made of Nearly 350,000 Legos Is on Display in London

What better way to celebrate the revamp of London’s main Lego store than with a life-size model of the famous Aston Martin DB5?

The recently reopened Leicester Square shop—which is now the Danish toy company’s largest following the upgrade—has a slew of special exhibits currently on display, including a stunning recreation of James Bond’s vehicle of choice. The brick-made DB5 may not be capable of everything its big screen counterpart can do, but that doesn’t make the vehicle any less impressive.

A lot of time and effort were put into the Lego store’s Aston Martin. The entire model consists of 347,954 bricks and took an expert team of builders 1,366 hours (or the equivalent of nearly 57 days) to complete, according to a tweet from the British automaker. As you may have guessed, that many plastic bricks is pretty heavy. The London-based newspaper Metro reports that the giant toy car weighs one imperial ton, which works out to 2,240 pounds. Standing next to the vehicle is a nearly life-size version of the company’s iconic minifig outfitted just like the superspy.

The Lego DB5 also has some working parts. It’s not as detailed as one of the company’s Technic models—which sometimes come with functional gearboxes—but it does feature working headlights and and an illuminated instrument panel. Our favorite detail is one that will be familiar to anyone who’s seen any of the car’s eight appearances in the beloved spy franchise—a rotating license plate.
This isn’t Lego’s first experience with the legendary vehicle. Four years ago, the company released an extremely detailed model of the grand tourer as part of its Creator Expert line. The 1,295-piece set includes several Bond gadgets—like non-firing machine guns, wheel scythes and even a working ejector seat—and is currently available online through Amazon for $247.99. A smaller, less intricate DB5 model with its own Daniel Craig minifig launched earlier this month and is well-suited to anyone looking for a fun desk decoration. It can be yours for $19.97.

Aston Martin Is Unveiling Two New Cars at Monterey Car Week. Here’s What We Know So Far.

Aston Martin Is Unveiling Two New Cars at Monterey Car Week. Here’s What We Know So Far.

Aston Martin isn’t taking any time off this summer.

The British marque just announced that it will bring two new models to Monterey Car Week later this month. The vehicles will be on display at the Aston Martin Club 1913 brand center at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and are part of the brand’s strongest-ever presence at the annual event.

The automaker clearly doesn’t want to give too much away before Monterey—which runs throughout the third week of August—but did offer a few hints at what to expect in a press release. The first vehicle is meant to celebrate the 10th anniversary of its Q by Aston Martin bespoke devision. The vehicle is described as a “very special, ultra-exclusive” model inspired by the brand’s history of success at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The second won’t be as limited, but will deliver “truly thrilling performance.” It will likely be in line with the range-topping DBX707 SUV and V12 Vantage, so expect something fun.

Aston Martin Valhalla 

Photo by Dominic Fraser, courtesy of Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings PLC.

Aston Martin also plans to deliver some updates on its upcoming the Valhalla hybrid supercar. The brand will show off the 937 hp vehicle’s revised cockpit design for the first time at the concours, and even let enthusiast test out its new Formula 1-inspired seating position for themselves.
“As one of the premier luxury events in the world, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is an important opportunity for Aston Martin to connect with our loyal customers and showcase our latest product offering,” Renato Bisignani, Head of Global Marketing and Communications at Aston Martin, said in a statement. “We look forward to celebrating Aston Martin’s new era of performance at Pebble Beach and displaying our iconic ultra-luxury models, including a world-first reveal of an exciting new model, and the public debut of another thrilling addition to our breathtaking portfolio.”

That’s far from all the brand has gotten up to this summer. Last month, the automaker also unveiled its new, Peter Saville-revised logo and simplified “Intensity. Driven” slogan. The company also announced a new reinvestment plan it hopes will raise $782 million. The money will reportedly be used to pay off the brand’s debts as well as develop new models.

Aston Martin Just Redesigned Its Iconic Winged Logo for the First Time in Two Decades

Aston Martin Just Redesigned Its Iconic Winged Logo for the First Time in Two Decades

Aston Martin hope’s a little freshening up will help change its fortunes.

The storied British marque unveiled a new version of its winged logo on Wednesday. The automaker is also rolling out a new streamlined slogan it hopes will appeal to a new audience.
Aston Martin enlisted legendary art director and graphic designer Peter Saville—who’s responsible for some of the most iconic album covers of all time—to reimagine its logo for the first time since 2003. He looked to simplify the emblem, thickening the line work, getting rid of a u-shaped line that ran below the brand’s name and swapping out the font for one that’s more robust. Like BMW’s logo makeover from a couple of years back, the changes aren’t radical, but they make an already memorable design even sleeker. You won’t have to wait long to see it, either. The brand says it will make its debut on its Formula 1 cars at this weekend’s French Grand Prix. It will also adorn the company’s next generation of sports cars.

Aston Martin’s 2003 and 2022 winged logos 

Aston Martin

“The Aston Martin wings update is a classic example of the necessary evolution of logotypes of provenance,” Saville said in a statement. “Subtle but necessary enhancements not only keep forms fresh, but allow for new technologies, situations and applications to be accommodated in the future. The process was one of clarifying and emphasizing the key feature of the Aston Martin marque.”
Aston Martin’s logo isn’t the only aspect of the brand’s identity that it’s trying to simplify. It has also launched a new motto: “Intensity. Driven.” The marque hopes that the direct, two-word tagline will help it attract a new and younger audience while remaining true to its core values.

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A new logo and slogan aren’t the only changes in store for Aston Martin. The company also announced a new reinvestment plan late last week, according to Autocar. The automaker’s executive chairman, Lawrence Stroll, says the marque hopes to raise $782 million to help pay off its debt—which was reportedly listed at $1.14 billion as recently as March—and develop new models. The Saudi Public Investment Fund, which is purchasing a 16.7 percent stake in the company, Stroll’s Yew Tree investment group and Mercedes-Benz are expected to inject over $400 million into the automaker, while the rest will be raised from a stock offering.

First Drive: McLaren’s Agile New Hybrid, the 671 HP Artura, Feels Like the Marque’s First Daily Driver

First Drive: McLaren’s Agile New Hybrid, the 671 HP Artura, Feels Like the Marque’s First Daily Driver

What’s happening in the high-performance automotive sector looks like a Top Chef challenge. Leading marques, operating under the same set of emissions restrictions, are picking from a common crate of power-train ingredients—a six-cylinder engine and electric motor—while trying to present the most tantalizing supercar du jour. Latest on the menu: McLaren’s 671 hp Artura.

During the past few years, McLaren Automotive has seemed to favor frequent model releases over substantial advancements in engineering and drive experience, impacting the perceived collectability of some of its most recent cars. Enter the Artura, which signals a return to late racer Bruce McLaren’s penchant for reinvention and innovation. Touted as McLaren’s first series-production hybrid, the Artura, starting at $233,000, represents a laundry list of firsts for the automaker (some more auspicious than others), including use of a V-6 engine in a road car and the introduction of the McLaren Carbon Lightweight Architecture (MCLA) platform.

Navigating Spanish traffic through the seaside destination of Marbella, the Artura feels like it may also be the brand’s first true daily driver, whether in Comfort, Sport or EV settings—the last of which offers an 11-mile range on battery alone. (There’s also a Track mode, which should be saved for, well, you know… ) Improving on the rattling side mirrors and echo-chamber cabin of the barely street-legal 620R and with more functional space than the 720S, this car is what we wanted the McLaren GT to be but with an agility on par with some of the marque’s more track-focused models.

Yet as far as sibling resemblance, the Artura seems closer kin to the 819 hp Ferrari 296 GTB. Both rear-wheel-drive machines feature a 3.0-liter V-6, with twin turbochargers set between 120-degree cylinder banks to lower the center of gravity, complemented by an axial flux electric motor (providing 94 hp in the Artura). And both have the shortest wheelbase in their respective manufacturers’ current stables, the McLaren measuring 104 inches versus the Prancing Horse’s 102.3-inch span—though at 3,075 pounds, the Artura’s dry weight saves 166 pounds over Maranello’s machine, thanks in part to the MCLA’s carbon-fiber monocoque tub and a new ethernet-based electrical system that’s 10 percent lighter than the outgoing iteration.

McLaren’s 671 hp Artura is a hybrid daily driver at home on any race circuit. 

Courtesy of McLaren

The resultant athleticism is evident on the roads weaving to Ascari, a private racetrack in Málaga. The coupe’s stability at speed is due to a revised rear suspension and, especially, McLaren’s debut of an electronic differential. The combo’s effectiveness is driven home on the 3.35-mile circuit’s 26 turns and truncated straights, where the e-diff constantly optimizes the traction of each back wheel. Able to cover zero to 60 mph in 3 seconds flat, the Artura only hints at its 205 mph top speed before the carbon-ceramic brakes are required, able to scrub 124 mph down to zero in 413 feet. (Note: That’s 62 feet longer than required by the more potent 296 GTB.)
Heading back to the coast, there’s time to appreciate improved cabin ergonomics, including the engine-mapping selector that now sits on the steering column. Most noticeable are the seat adjustments; finally easy to reach and operate, they’re no longer the cruel exercise in frustration they’ve been on previous models. As with any relationship, small gestures go a long way, and it feels like McLaren has been listening.
It also feels like there’s a lot riding on the Artura. Admittedly, it doesn’t wow quite like the roughly $318,000 Ferrari 296 GTB, but it fits solidly between that model and the solely V-6-powered Maserati MC20, which it outperforms but is still the more comparable car in terms of power and price. How it fares in the near future must keep McLaren execs up at night. After all, the likes of Aston Martin and Lamborghini also have this production-hybrid recipe, and you know they’re busy cooking.

A Rare Aston Martin DB5 Convertible Built for the Marque’s Former Chairman Is up for Sale

A Rare Aston Martin DB5 Convertible Built for the Marque’s Former Chairman Is up for Sale

You know a car is good when it was made specifically for the marque’s leader.

Case in point: this Aston Martin DB5, which was ordered and owned by the very man who gave his initials to the DB series. That’s right, the classic convertible in question, which has just been listed for sale by Nicholas Mee & Co, belonged to none other than former Aston Martin chairman Sir David Brown, who purchased the automaker in ’47.

The rarity was one of just 123 DB5 convertibles ever built and was delivered to Brown in January of 1964. As you might expect, it was built to the highest specifications, with a 4.0-liter engine, a then-new 5-speed ZF gearbox, a power lock rear axle, chromed wire wheels and a Motorola radio. It was a looker, too, with a vibrant Caribbean Pearl exterior over a dark blue interior.

The car was restored to its original spec in 2014. 

Nicholas Mee & Co

The drop-top stayed with the chairman for three years before Aston Martin collector John Wilkinson snapped it up in the late ‘60s and installed a replacement engine block. During this time, a newly stamped manufacturer’s identity plate was also applied.
In 2014, the DB5 was treated to a major restoration and was returned to its original spec. This included a rebuild of the mill, suspension, gearbox, brakes and rear axle. The exterior was also repainted and the interior retrimmed in Connolly leather. It reportedly drives as beautifully today as it did when in the hands of Sir David.
The British icon, which has appeared at numerous Concours events across Europe, last changed hands in ‘94. That means it has not been on the market for some 28 years.

The interior was retrimmed in Connolly leather. 

Nicholas Mee & Co

“The very fact that Sir David Brown owned this DB5 Convertible makes it one of the most special and unique DB cars of all time,” founder of Nicholas Mee & Co, Nicholas Mee, said in a statement. “It is restored to precisely the same specifications Sir David ordered it in back in 1964, it’s a car he cherished and loved.”
Of course, it’ll cost you. The 1964 Aston Martin DB5 convertible is priced at $1.4 million (£1.15 million).
Check out more photos below:

Nicholas Mee & Co

Nicholas Mee & Co

Nicholas Mee & Co

Nicholas Mee & Co

From the Ferrari SF90 Spider to the 1,914 HP Rimac Nivera: The Best in Automotive

From the Ferrari SF90 Spider to the 1,914 HP Rimac Nivera: The Best in Automotive

The Big Idea: Shifting to Neutral
After decades of fits and starts, electric vehicles are now squarely in the automotive firmament, with even the combustion-loving likes of Rolls-Royce, Bentley and Lamborghini embracing a battery-powered future. So what’s next? Enter the climate-neutral car.
Most EVs are not as clean as the brochures would have you believe, considering the immense carbon footprint of battery manufacturing, plus the fact that much of the energy grid is still plugged into coal-fueled power plants. In theory, a climate-neutral car would not just forego tailpipe emissions, as with a standard EV, but would also be net-zero when it comes to all harmful greenhouse emissions, from production as well as operation.
Yet according to Brett Smith, director of technology at the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Mich., “There’s so much heavy manufacturing that goes into a vehicle, very few suppliers will be capable of meeting the goal in the next 5 to 10 years.” Smith adds, “To know that a car will never use coal-powered electricity is still decades away in the United States.”
Undeterred, one player leading the charge is Polestar, aiming to be the first to release a climate-neutral production car, in 2030. Hans Pehrson, head of the endeavor Polestar has dubbed the 0 Project, acknowledges the difficulty. “I really compare this to when JFK said it was time to put a man on the moon,” says Pehrson, adding that “those involved knew they couldn’t do it on their own; they needed collaboration.”
Suppliers that have already signed on with the Swedish marque include SSAB, a steel manufacturer that’s developed a fossil-free version of the alloy, and Norway-based Hydro, which is working on carbon-neutral aluminum. Most importantly, Polestar plans to bring this to fruition without resorting to offsetting, a way of cooking the environmental books. “The most common form of offsetting is to pay someone to plant trees somewhere else,” says Pehrson, “but if we continue to let out CO2 emissions, the PPM [parts per million] level will not stop increasing.” He’s aware that electricity will not be 100 percent clean by the 0 Project’s target date but emphasizes that, for the first time, there would be the “possibility” of net-zero for the consumer.
Also in the neutrality race is automotive designer Henrik Fisker, who cites 2027 as his team’s deadline “to build a vehicle that is climate neutral through the life cycle of the car.” He breaks that sequence into five parts: upstream sourcing, manufacturing, logistics, the use phase and end-of-life recycling. Recognizing the battery as an Achilles’ heel, Fisker is “looking at innovative ways to source as much non-primary, recycled content as possible, including that of the minerals still crucial to effective batteries.”
Lecedra Welch, environmental-sustainability manager at the Michigan-based Automotive Industry Action Group, is quick to distinguish these long-term efforts from sleight-of-hand greenwashing. “Our industry understands how important climate change is, and companies are actively working with competitors and their suppliers to address these challenges and mitigate risks,” she says. It’s a sentiment shared by Smith. “Small automakers with very low volumes are in an intriguing position to do this as a test-case exploration,” he says. “It’s pushing the boundaries to figure out what the solutions can be.”

The Aston Martin Bulldog’s Win at Villa d’Este Could Signal a Shift in Stuffy Car Shows

The Aston Martin Bulldog’s Win at Villa d’Este Could Signal a Shift in Stuffy Car Shows

A survey of the winners at the world’s most discerning classic-car competitions typically reveals elegant dowagers from long-lost eras. At the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, the world’s oldest car concours at 93 years and counting, top prizes are divided among two winners, and this year, one did not fit the usual mold. The renowned event, which had its 2022 edition take place last weekend, is put on by the Villa d’Este hotel, flanking Italy’s Lake Como, and the BMW Group. Its Trofeo BMW Group Best of Show victor is plucked by a predictably persnickety gaggle of white-hatted judges who dissect the provenance, appearance and operation of automotive entrants with a fine-toothed comb.

This year’s recipient of the honor was a 1937 Bugatti 57S, an aesthetically flawless black and grey example that fits the ideal image of a concours winner to a tee. Along with a short list of surefire beauties, which includes the Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B and virtually any Figoni & Falaschi or Saoutchik-bodied prewar roadster, the Bugatti wouldn’t be out of place at other top-tier affairs like Pebble Beach, Chantilly Arts & Elegance or Amelia Island.

The 2022 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este on the shoreline of Italy’s Lake Como. 

Gudrun Muschalla, courtesy of BMW AG.

The other big prize at Villa d’Este is the Coppa d’Oro, which is chosen by the public— in this case, “public” being a tad deceptive since attendees of Villa d’Este consist of a modest assemblage of enthusiasts who pay nearly $600 a head, and a thin slice of media. The day of judgment is, quite frankly, among the least grueling tasks in the classic-car world, involving intimate visual contact with the 50 or so historical competitors which are arrayed on the grounds of the baronial resort now entering its 150th year in operation.

The 1979 Aston Martin Bulldog, winner of this year’s Coppa d’Oro award. 

Gudrun Muschalla, courtesy of BMW AG.

For 2022, the Coppa d’Oro winner was the Aston Martin Bulldog, a pugnacious one-off wedge with straight-edge lines that put it in stark contrast to much of the field’s curvaceous French mainstays. The Bulldog debuted in 1979 as Aston’s moonshot concept car intended to pave the way for a small series of production vehicles. The first—and until very recently, the only—mid-engine Aston Martin, the Bulldog promised an apogee of sorts for the British brand: a true 200 mph gentleman’s express that combines a twin-turbocharged 650+ hp V-8 with showy features like electrically operated gullwing doors, a hideaway panel revealing a bank of programmable headlamps and a cushy veneer-lined cabin—filled with Connolly leather—that defies the severity of its sharp-edged bodywork.

The Bulldog’s story is an endearing one which includes every hallmark of underdog survival: A carmaker burdened by enough chronic financial distress to botch the potential of serial production, 35 years of dormancy and tumultuous stewardships which included one owner whose unfortunate mis-shift at nearly 170 mph nearly destroyed the car. The Bulldog’s new lease on life came with current owner Phillip Sarofim, who acquired the William Towns–designed two-seater and promptly commissioned a thorough ground-up restoration. Performed by Classic Motor Cars, in Shropshire, England, the 6,000-hour, 18-month project was led by Richard Gauntlett, son of Victor Gauntlett who served as Aston Martin’s executive chairman between 1981 and 1991.

Showy features include electrically operated gullwing doors, a hideaway panel revealing a bank of programmable headlamps and a cushy cabin of Connolly leather. 

BMW AG

Though Villa d’Este has long featured a separate class of contemporary concept cars, the Bulldog’s Coppa d’Oro win marks new ground for the nearly century-old event: Not only is it the youngest car to ever take the award, the 1970s icon flies in the face of the familiar Bugattis, Delahayes, Hispano-Suizas and the like which typically dominate the world’s top contests. Considering it took Pebble Beach 64 years to award a Ferrari Best in Show, the Bulldog is, for lack of a more imaginative reference, less your grandfather’s top pick and more what your 13-year-old self might have doodled as the world’s greatest car in the margins of your math homework.

A 6,000-hour, 18-month restoration on the Bulldog was led by Richard Gauntlett, son of Victor Gauntlett who served as Aston Martin’s executive chairman between 1981 and 1991. 

Gudrun Muschalla, courtesy of BMW AG.

The win is a breath of fresh air within the concours microcosm, where an aging population often sides with blue-chip choices rather than challengers with fantastical stories and avant-garde design. Even better, the Bulldog’s future is still being written. Because it never achieved its full performance potential (it reached a recorded 192 mph in 1980, and with two people aboard), Sarofim is planning a speed run to exceed 200 mph—the ultimate top dog achievement for a deserving Bulldog.

Sean Connery’s Personal 1964 Aston Martin DB5 Is Expected to Fetch up to $1.8 Million at Auction

Sean Connery’s Personal 1964 Aston Martin DB5 Is Expected to Fetch up to $1.8 Million at Auction

The Aston Martin DB5 is one of the most famous cars in movie history, in no small part because of its starring role in the James Bond flicks. Now you can buy one owned by the legendary actor who originated the role.

Broad Arrow Auctions will sell the late Sean Connery’s highly coveted 1964 DB5 this August. It may not have been the car Bond drove in Ian Flemming’s books (that would be the Aston Martin Mark III DB) or in his big screen debut (1962’s Dr. No), but the DB5 is undoubtedly the car that comes to mind when people think of Agent 007. Since he first got behind the wheel of the car in the third film in the franchise, 1964’s Goldfinger, the super spy has gone on to drive the silver grand tourer in six more Bond films, including last year’s No Time to Die.

Sean Connery’s 1964 Aston Martin DB5 

Broad Arrow Auctions

With less 1,100 built during the three years it was in production, any DB5 is special. But this particular example has the added distinction of being the only one personally owned by the late Oscar winner, and it remained in his possession until his death in 2020, according to Broad Arrow. Its aluminum “saloon” bodywork is finished in Snow Shadow Grey—as any good DB5 should be—and features a red leather Connelly leather interior. The car and its 4.0-liter straight-six have been well maintained over the years and were recently inspected by Aston Martin specialist RS Williams.
The winner of the auction won’t just be getting a special DB5, though. Three-time Formula 1 champion and longtime-Connery friend Sir Jackie Stewart will take the winner for a drive in their new car. Connery and Stewart’s relationship goes back over four decades, so we’re sure he’ll have plenty of stories to share about the Hollywood legend.

Inside Connery’s 1964 DB5 

Broad Arrow Auctions

Broad Arrow will offer Connery’s DB5 in August at the Monterey Jet Center Auction on August 17 and 18. The auction house expects the classic grand tourer to hammer down for between $1.4 million and $1.8 million.
Hey, no one said owning a legend’s classic would come cheap.
Check out more photos of Connery’s DB5 below:

Broad Arrow Auctions

Broad Arrow Auctions

Broad Arrow Auctions

Broad Arrow Auctions

Broad Arrow Auctions

Broad Arrow Auctions

Car of the Week: This 1966 Aston Martin DB6 Was One of the Era’s Smoothest Operators

Car of the Week: This 1966 Aston Martin DB6 Was One of the Era’s Smoothest Operators

The upcoming Bonhams Greenwich Auction, to be held live on June 5 in Greenwich, Conn., will features an assortment of interesting British classics. A star of that sale will be an Aston Martin DB6, a well-preserved “Sports Saloon” from the luxury marque’s early days, and whose predecessor had all the luck.

That previous model was the DB5, which saved the carmaker’s financial bacon when it co-starred in the 1964 James Bond thriller Goldfinger, cementing its place in cinematic history and bringing Aston Martin to the attention of would-be customers around the world. The DB5 continues to be a cult favorite—and an Aston Martin continuation-car moneymaker—as long as grown men fantasize about being secret agents. Meanwhile, the DB6 has gone on to play second fiddle, never mind that it is every bit as attractive as the Carrozziera Touring–designed DB5. Contemporary owners certainly found it so, including British celebrities like Prince Charles, Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Peter Sellers and Twiggy.

The 1966 Aston Martin DB6 Vantage Sports Saloon to be offered through Bonhams. 

Bonhams

Although its exquisite styling seems timeless today, the DB6 was regarded as somewhat archaic when it hit the stand at the 1965 Paris Motor Show, and the London Motor Show immediately thereafter. One has to remember that cars like the Maserati Ghibli, De Tomaso Mangusta and earth-shattering Lamborghini Miura were only a year away. But one does not acquire a DB6 for its cutting-edge shape. In fact, there are no edges at all, but rather, smooth flowing curves as seductive as those of any car from the early 1960s.

The interior’s charms include red Connolly leather seats and a tidy dash sprawling with Smiths gauges. 

Bonhams

The styling for the DB6 was brought in house by Aston Martin, in part to address some aerodynamic shortfalls of coachbuilder Carrozziera Touring’s fastback DB4 and DB5. Instead, the DB6 featured an upturned Kamm tail that is the vehicle’s styling signature today. Its lengthened chassis allowed two small seats to be added in the rear, but required the roof height to be raised by two inches. Significantly, the Superleggera construction, licensed from Touring, was replaced with a conventional steel-body-on-platform method for its structural advantages.
The straight-six engine was a proven design by Aston Martin engineer Tadek Marek. Utilizing an alloy block and head, the mill had the same 4.0-liter displacement of the DB5. With 282 hp in standard tune, the 3,250-pound DB6 can hit 150 mph and achieve a respectable-if-not-scorching zero-to-60 mph time of about 8.4 seconds. This car’s optional Vantage tuning specification increases compression and boosts power to 325 hp. A ZF five-speed manual gearbox and Salisbury rear end complete the drivetrain. The DB6 Mark II, introduced in 1969, can be identified by slight flares on the wheel arches to accommodate half-inch wider wheels. Brave souls ordered the electronic fuel-injection option.

The optional Vantage tuning specification increased output of the straight-six engine to 325 hp. 

Bonhams

Inside, the DB6 had its traditional English charms, like a tidy dash sprawling with Smiths gauges, fat leather seats and a thin wooden steering wheel with three black spokes. Optional was a Borg Warner three-speed automatic transmission, power steering and air conditioning, offering creature comforts unknown to most of the DB6’s European sports-car competitors. Novel was the Armstrong coil-spring rear suspension, which allowed the driver to adjust the ride quality from inside the car.

Unlike the fastback DB4 and DB5 models, the DB6 was given an upturned Kamm tail that is the car’s styling signature today. 

Bonhams

A total of about 1,788 examples of the Mk I and Mk II were produced from 1965 to 1970, of which about 215 were Volante (convertible) models. Sporting types with a pheasant fetish commissioned a shooting brake (station wagon) configuration by Radford, providing plenty of space for hounds, shotguns and bagged game. Four were made oddly resplendent with the Kamm tail. Finished in the original color scheme of Silver Birch complemented by red Connolly hides, this desirable Vantage-spec DB6 Sports Saloon retains its matching-numbers drivetrain. Although being offered without reserve, it’s estimated to sell for as much as $400,000.

First Drive: Aston Martin’s New DBX707 Has Usurped the SUV Crown

First Drive: Aston Martin’s New DBX707 Has Usurped the SUV Crown

There’s a riveting battle for supremacy in the luxury high-performance SUV segment, and it appears that a formidable newcomer is determined to rise above the exceptional offerings from Lamborghini, Porsche and Bentley to take the throne. That striking competitor is the 2023 Aston Martin DBX707, arriving in dealerships later this year.

Aston Martin is a late entrant to the SUV realm, yet it’s committed to domination. Fewer than two years ago, the company introduced the DBX. All-new at the time, the model was built on a dedicated platform of lightweight alloy extrusions with bonded aluminum panels, and earned near-immediate acclaim for its impressive performance and strong driving dynamics. Now, the marque has introduced an even higher-performing variant engineered to be “the fastest, most powerful, best handling and most engaging car of its kind,” according to Tobias Moers, Aston Martin’s CEO.

Aston Martin’s DBX707 arrives in dealerships later this year. 

Dominic Fraser, courtesy of Aston Martin Lagonda

The standard DBX boasts a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 tuned to an impressive 542 hp and 516 ft lbs of torque. Strong, but not awe-inspiring. Determined to realize the engine’s full potential, Aston Martin engineers fitted upgraded ball-bearing turbochargers and bespoke engine calibration to deliver 697 hp and 663 ft lbs of torque. The power increase necessitated a new nine-speed “wet clutch” automatic transmission that could handle the torque without compromising smoothness. In addition, the engineers improved acceleration responsiveness with a shorter final drive ratio, and the electronic limited-slip rear differential was strengthened (torque distribution remains fully automatic, with the electronic system able to send up to 100 percent of the engine’s torque to the rear wheels).
Balancing the power increase is a significant upgrade in braking performance in the form of standard carbon-ceramic brakes (420 mm front and 390 mm rear). The colossal rotors, clamped by six-piston calipers in the nose, absorb significantly more heat and are 89 pounds lighter than their steel equivalents. In addition, high-performance brake pads and improved brake ducting further enhance the vehicle’s stopping power, as do the 22-inch alloy wheels (23-inch wheels are optional) wrapped in summer compound Pirelli P-Zero tires (285/40-22 front, 325/35-22 rear).

Output from the SUV’s twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 is 697 hp and 663 ft lbs of torque. 

Dominic Fraser, courtesy of Aston Martin Lagonda

While the DBX707 retains the standard model’s triple-chamber air suspension, the engineering team recalibrated the system and installed new damper valving to reduce heave, pitch and body roll. In addition, the electronic power steering (EPS) was reworked to improve feel and deliver better feedback, and the 48-volt Electronic Active Roll Control (eARC) was revised to bolster overall dynamic balance. On that note, Aston Martin has slightly altered the SUV’s five available drive modes (now set as Terrain, GT, Individual, Sport and Sport+) to accommodate its wet-plate clutch and performance mission.

The sleek body of the standard DBX is already a head-turner. Yet, Aston Martin was required to make physical modifications to the exterior of the DBX707 to increase airflow for cooling and improve aerodynamic stability at greater velocities. As a result, the front of the SUV features a more prominent grille (distinguished by its double-vane slats), as well as new air intakes and brake cooling ducts, while a new lower front splitter improves stability. However, the most dramatic exterior alterations are found at the rear. In addition to new quad exhaust pipes, Aston has fit a new lip spoiler on the upper wing and bolted on a substantial lower rear diffuser, both sculpted and channeled, that extends beyond the exhaust pipes.

With steering that feels accurate and natural in weight, the DBX707 drives with a balance and effortlessness that belies its physical stature. 

Dominic Fraser, courtesy of Aston Martin Lagonda

Aston hasn’t left the luxurious passenger cabin untouched. Supportive 16-way sport seats are standard fitment in the DBX707 (comfort seats are a no-cost option), and buyers are offered a trio of choices for interior themes (Accelerate, Comfort and Inspire Sport) that define various upholsteries and premium leather hides. The bright trim inside the vehicle is replaced with a dark chrome finish, and customers may choose between several veneers. As is customary, the most discerning buyers will choose to configure their Aston Martin through Q—the brand’s customization division.

Buyers have a choice of three interior themes (Accelerate, Comfort and Inspire Sport) that define various upholsteries and premium leather hides. 

Dominic Fraser, courtesy of Aston Martin Lagonda

We sampled the new Aston Martin on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia, where we were able to wring out the five-passenger SUV on the island’s pristine mountain roads. To our surprise, the picturesque Italian venue was overshadowed by the impressive DBX707. The standard DBX is an exemplary vehicle, yet its new sibling elevates every performance parameter to the next level. While the DBX rockets from zero to 60 mph in 4.0 seconds, the DBX707 shaves a full second off that time while top speed is increased from 181 mph to 193 mph. The engine’s thrust pins occupants against their seats, but it does so with a gentleman’s touch—the sound emanating from the exhaust is fierce and angry, however notably less obnoxious than most others, even at its loudest setting.

The most remarkable part about this SUV, though, is that it doesn’t drive like one. All of the range-topping crossovers in this segment feel as if they’ve been disproportionately tuned to mask their enormous size and mass. In notable contrast, the DBX707 excels because it drives with a balance and effortlessness that belies its physical stature. It accelerates with seemingly unlimited power reserves on tap, the brakes effortlessly bleed off speed, the body roll is minimal and its steering feels accurate and natural in weight. When pushed hard, the DBX707 drives like an exotic sports car.

Aston Martin’s DBX707 adding to the beauty of Sardinia. 

Dominic Fraser, courtesy of Aston Martin Lagonda

And it doesn’t compromise on its luxury mission thanks to the operator-selected drive modes, which marvelously adjust its personality and demeanor. Attack a twisty canyon road in Sport+ mode, pull off the asphalt to jump a few dunes in Terrain mode and dial it back to GT mode for the long motorway cruise home. When you consider that Aston Martin may have just created the world’s most proficient multi-tool for a consummate driving enthusiast, the DBX707’s $236,000 base price is downright warranted.
Aston Martin has certainly accomplished its objectives. Passers-by will be stopped by the vehicle’s distinctive appearance, and occupants will find the premium interior a pleasing balance of sport, luxury and technology. Nonetheless, the person behind the steering wheel will be most enthralled with the DBX707, as the new category leader is an absolute thrill to drive.

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