Aston Martin DB7 Vantage – PistonHeads

14 Feb 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Aston Martin DB7 Vantage – PistonHeads


Bell drives the beauty Bloxham

It’s long, low and curvaceous. It attracts not just but even respect from the in a way that – dare I say a 911 never would. No doubt it – the Aston Martin DB7 is one of the stunning cars ever and in V12 Vantage form (now the one available) it’s also one of the

Similarly, the rest of the Vantage is far Aston Martin than it is Sure, it takes its floorpan and from the XJS, but once these have been specially for the Vantage, the major the floorpan needed to take the V12 Aston’s engineers the chance to a much stiffer structure. stiffer is the suspension, with springs and dampers, along new wishbones and uprights at the front to steering and an additional framework at the to improve axle location.

So not two Ford V6s and an old Jaguar floorpan in a … body then…


Going back to the DB7’s body – something eyes do a lot of when you have one – this breaks traditional Aston practice of hand crafted aluminium in favour of pressed steel for the body parts and moulded for the nose, rear bumper, front wings and boot This of course is the major the DB7 is the most affordable Aston made.

No major economies on the inside with that traditional of Connolly leather, Wilton and polished wood – all with the sort of classy that we Brits do so much than anyone else making the DB7’s stylish a very nice place to be.

there have been from some people the switches coming from the parts bin, but they’re good illuminated switches don’t look or feel and nasty so what’s the problem?

of switches, you’ll find on the electrically heated and nicely seats to enable you adjust position, back rake and support, but not, surprisingly, Owners of executive barges be shocked to discover that the steering column has to be adjusted whereas the important thing for the of us is that both rake and are adjustable so most people have no problem getting a driving position – so long as they can fit their below the DB7’s low-line

Show or Go?

OK, so it’s … on the it’s … on the inside, but can the DB7 it as a driver’s car?

We’ll come to that in a though the first point to here is that if enthusiastic rather than egotistical is your intention then you want the coupe rather the convertible Volante because stiffer, lighter and has a rear bar. Fortunately the car I’d assigned was a coupe. Hooray!

An coupe. Arghhh…

Surprisingly despite the fact that it more power through the weighs an extra 52kg and has a diff (3.06 as opposed to the automatic doesn’t lose out as to the manual as you’d expect. The coupe’s 0-60 time of 5.1 is just a tenth slower the manual’s.

But even so – an – I mean, how can you get any driver with that? But wait turns out this was no ordinary DB7 but had the optional Touchtronic which you to select gears manually Touring Car style using the or F1 style with buttons on the wheel. Mmm…

Box o’

For those who spend a lot of time in traffic but like more involvement than a conventional box can provide, Touchtronic makes a lot of Leave the selector in D and it’s an for the urban crawl. Clear the push the selector to the left and it’s a manual with shift. Press the ‘plus’ or push the selector forward to up, press the ‘minus’ button or the selector back to change It sounds simple and it is.

There is however a minor with the buttons for those who the wheel in the ‘ten to two’ in that you have to let go of the wheel in to press them with thumbs.

That aside, the does a good job of making an box far more entertaining. It changes at least as quickly and smoothly as drivers could with a while offering the same of enabling you to change down for that overtaking opportunity you can ahead rather than to wait for kickdown to do it when it What’s more, whereas in kickdown mode it changes up at (which equates to maximum in manual mode you can take it to 6,400.

However, given the I’d still go for the six-speed which I tested some back because, ultimately, that lever through the as you synchronise your arm and leg movements is satisfying than just a button. Plus the manual will do 185mph as opposed to the the other DB7 models are limited to and let you rev V12 round to 7,000rpm…


Not that you have to rev the engine to the limiter to accelerate quickly in a DB7 Six litres, 420bhp and 400lb ft of gives you a lot of flexibility, especially 85% of maximum torque is available only 1500rpm. How much Well in the manual coupe you can along at 15mph in top and then another 170mph without to change gear.

An amusing thought – but not as amusing as sticking it in the most gear and flooring the throttle.

Aston Martin DB7

Do and the V12 delivers brutal performance, the DB7 to 100mph in under 11.5 and giving it the ability to pass of slow moving traffic in a bound, though it does so in a way with none of the aural of a Lambo V12 (sadly) but a discreet whine.

Take a look at big V12 filling the engine bay and you might the DB7 to be nose heavy, but thanks to materials and casting techniques for Formula 1 (there’s Cosworth in both design and manufacture) the V12 about the same as the DB7’s supercharged six, keeping distribution to a well-balanced 55% front/45%

Twisty Bits

Which us to the ride and handling. Not surprisingly in of its Jaguar origins the Vantage a very comfortable ride and a good job of ironing out most imperfections despite the stiffened and ultra low-profile tyres ZR18 front/265/35 ZR18 In doing so it does tend to feedback from the road, but you don’t expect what is a big (1800kg+) GT to provide the intimacy of a sports car.

That doesn’t mean it be hustled along twisty A and B though. Thanks to its solid and the prodigious grip provided by fat Bridgestone S02s the Vantage inspires enough confidence for you to tackling bends at near figure speeds without any of handling dramas. Or without wallowing, and though it can feel a floaty over high-speed it does feel more over rough surfaces more stiffly sprung tend to, so Aston’s engineers to have got the comfort/handling compromise sorted.

Thanks to the lightweight castings and revised suspension the turns in well enough, applying power midway a sweeping bend can push the end wide. Conversely, push it a tight bend in second and the throttle on the exit and (with the control switched off) you can the back end slipping, but it barely out of line. I dare say that if you really hard you could get it to do dramatic – but would you want to risk it in a Ј100,000

The steering, in common with power assisted set-ups, you too much from the front and generally lacks feel, in a straight line, but it’s quick at 2.5 turns lock to and doesn’t feel over-assisted or It’s not actually bad, rather average.


average about the Vantage’s though. It’s not just the huge 355mm front/330mm cross-drilled vented discs haul it down from to rest in under five – it’s the way it happens. some ABS systems you get momentary and directional instability under braking, but the Vantage pulls up straight without even a of lock-up.

They are, simply, the best brakes ever used.

So is the DB7 a satisfying car? Well all things I’d have to say yes. is of course a difference between and involving, and while the Vantage provide that intimate of involvement you get with a Ginetta or there is nonetheless something satisfying about driving a car enables you to outpace virtually else on the road so easily.

when it looks so damn

© Copyright Graham Bell

Aston Martin DB7
Aston Martin DB7
Aston Martin DB7
Aston Martin DB7
Aston Martin DB7
Aston Martin DB7
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