The Vantage name has been used by Aston Martin since 1950 to identify the highest performance model in a particular range. It was first introduced for the Aston Martin DB2. Since the DBS model in 1972 a Vantage derivative has included changes to the specification of the brakes, steering and suspension to match the improved performance. Now, a New Aston Martin Vantage has arrived on the scene, the DB7 Vantage , with a maximum speed in excess of 180 mph (290km/h) powered by a totally new, high technology 420 horsepower 6.0 litre V12.
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 Aston DB7 Vantage has a maximum speed of 185mph (298km/h) while the automatic derivative has a governed maximum speed of 165mph (266km/h).
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. Features include an engine oil/water heat exchanger to improve cooling efficiency and an ionised gas misfire detection system.
The 60¦ 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 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.
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.