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Aston Martin : The Aston Martin DB7 Vantage

NEW YORK, April 19, 2000 – A Vantage model of the Aston Martin DB7, with a maximum speed in excess of 180 mph (290km/h) powered by a totally new, high technology 420 horsepower 6.0 litre V12 Aston Martin engine which incorporates a wide-ranging series of advanced design features is appearing for the first time at the North American International Auto Show.


This new and additional model of the DB7 which has been designed and developed specifically to provide exceptional and outstanding levels of power and performance will accelerate to 60 mph (100km/h) in less than 5.0 seconds.

There is a choice of either a six speed close ratio manual transmission, which is unique to the Vantage DB7, or a five speed ZF automatic which permits the driver to select individual ratios through a floor mounted shift-lever or through the Touchtronic push button operated electronic control system. With the six speed transmission the DB7 Vantage has a maximum speed of 185mph (298km/h) while the automatic derivative has a governed maximum speed of 165mph (266km/h).

The Aston Martin DB7 in a Marcus Niemand Edition

all photos: Aston Martin

"The Aston Martin DB7 is the most successful Aston Martin of all-time," says Mr Robert Dover Chairman and Chief Executive of Aston Martin Lagonda. "In its Vantage form this latest DB7 has been designed to provide its owner with unparalleled levels of power, performance and driving satisfaction. It complements the existing range of 335 horsepower six cylinder supercharged DB7 models which continue to be available." In the United States the price of the Coupe is $140,000 and that for the Volante $150,000.

The DB7 Vantage, available in both Coupe and Volante body styles, is the first ever Aston Martin to be powered by a 12 cylinder engine and is being offered for sale to customers in 31 different countries throughout the world.

The new 420 horsepower, 48 valve, all-alloy V12 engine delivers 400lbs ft of torque and is the first of a totally new generation of advanced technology Aston Martin power units which are already capable of exceeding the most stringent of current and projected emission standards.

It incorporates the latest in Formula I technology and has been designed and developed in close cooperation with the Ford Research and Vehicle Technology Group and Cosworth Technology as part of a long-term and continuing programme to research and develop new designs, materials and manufacturing techniques for implementation by Aston Martin. Features include an engine oil/water heat exchanger to improve cooling efficiency and an ionised gas misfire detection system.

Employing the world’s most advanced manufacturing techniques the special lightweight aluminium alloy castings for the cylinder block and heads are produced in Cosworth Technology’s limited production foundry which is also responsible for casting the Ford Cosworth V10 CRI Formula I and turbocharged Indycar V8 engines.

The 60º V12 Aston Martin engine, which is designed to operate at a maximum speed of 7000rpm, features four valves per cylinder, twin overhead camshafts for each bank of cylinders and a sophisticated Visteon electronic management system which has the capacity to process 1.6 million commands per second and monitors and controls fuel injection, ignition strategy, traction control, vehicle security, exhaust emissions and the engine’s diagnostic system.

The introduction of the DB7 Vantage is the direct result of a concentrated 24 months design and development programme whose stringent and challenging objectives have been achieved without compromise through the use of accelerated "Fast Track" programme techniques.

The painstaking and exhaustive programme has included a complete appraisal of all aspects of the design and the dynamics of the DB7. More than 500,000 test miles have been covered in temperatures ranging from -30° C to +45° C in Europe and North America during the past 12 months including an accelerated high speed durability test of 48 hours continuous running at 165 mph in Southern Europe in mid-summer temperatures.

In Britain a series of pre-production models of the DB7 Vantage were subjected to continuous 30 day accelerated durability tests at the Motor Industry Research Association’s Proving Ground - each equivalent to 100,000 miles of regular driving. Halting only for refueling and routine analysis the V12 coupes and Volantes were driven day and night at a range of speeds from one to 140mph. The test cycles included regular passage through mud and salt baths, driving deliberately into traffic island kerbstones at 50mph and a series of fierce stop-start acceleration and brake tests. Body chassis components were tested to the limit over corrugated and ladder frame surfaces and specially engineered tracks littered with pot holes and strategically placed concrete blocks.

The Brembo brake system, with Teves four channel electronic anti-lock control, has ventilated cross drilled 355mm diameter discs at the front and 330mm diameter discs at the rear. It has been designed and tailored specifically to cater for the exceptional power and performance of the Vantage DB7.

The distinctive new multi-spoke 18ins diameter aluminium alloy road wheels have been developed especially for the DB7 Vantage. There are 9ins width rims at the rear and 8ins rims at the front, equipped with ZR rated 265/35 Bridgestone SO2 tyres for the rear wheels and 245/40 SO2 tyres for the front.

The advanced traction control system monitors and analyses the performance of each individual road wheel on a continuing basis. In the event of wheel spin or slippage it will apply a correction within 64 milliseconds by reducing the power output of the engine and if necessary activating the rear brake system.

Both the front and rear suspension systems of the Vantage DB7 have been developed specifically for this new 185mph model to optimise the precise handling which is a feature of all DB7 models.

At the front there are new upper and lower wishbones in conjunction with a new design vertical link, while there is an additional horizontal linkage incorporated in the independent rear suspension. New design Bilstein shock absorbers in conjunction with higher rate springs are included in both the front and rear suspension systems.

In order to accommodate the V12 engine and the new range of six speed manual and five speed automatic transmissions a new design underbody has been created for the DB7 Vantage. It includes a new front-end structure, an enlarged transmission tunnel and increased strength and torsional rigidity for the complete assembly. As with all other models of the Aston Martin DB7 the new Vantage model exceeds by a wide margin all present day crash test requirements.

Universally acknowledged as one of the World’s Most Beautiful Cars and a true British classic the Aston Martin DB7 continues to generate international recognition and acclaim for its designer Ian Callum.

To satisfy the increased cooling demands of the larger and more powerful engine of the DB7 Vantage Ian has designed new and wider openings for the radiator air intakes with a new bright metal design grille. There are new front fog and turn indicator lamps reminiscent of the Project Endurance Racing Cars of the 1960s and a new high mounted rear stop lamp. And to emphasize the "supercar" performance of this new Aston Martin DB7 he has created a new design impact absorbent front bumper, complementary design sill panels and a new rear bumper system which accommodates the increased diameter exhaust tail pipes.

Within the luxurious interior there are new heated, Connolly hide upholstered front bucket seats with adjustable cushions, backrests and headrests together with new design instruments. The Alpine stereo radio cassette complements the large red separate engine start button which is mounted prominently in the centre console unit close to the analogue clock.

Every Aston Martin is produced individually to satisfy the precise needs and requirements of its future owner. Customers are provided with an infinite choice of body colour and upholstery schemes and there is the opportunity to specify alternative materials in place of the traditional wood veneers for the instrument, centre console and door panels.

Traction control, a multi-track CD player, air conditioning, electrically heated front seats, together with electrically heated rear screens and door mirrors, twin airbags and a fully adjustable steering column are available for all Aston Martin DB7s.

In addition customers may specify features as diverse as satellite navigation, fitted luggage, an umbrella holder, parking sensors or an extended luggage area in place of the rear seat which can even be supplied with individual accommodation for the carriage of family pets.

"Even though it is possible to build only 600 DB7s each year this model has already established new records of success for Aston Martin with production topping the 3000 mark this week," said Robert Dover. "The DB7 Vantage enables us to appeal to an even greater number of potential purchasers who are seeking exceptional power and performance and who, through the ownership of an Aston Martin, will become members of one of the most exclusive clubs in the world."


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