With the introduction of the DB7 in 1993, Aston Martin moved out of the speciality niche in the direction of mass-production. In 1999 the six cylinder base model was phased out and replaced by the V12 engined DB7 Vantage. Finally a more powerful GT version was introduced in 2002. At the end of production in 2003, one third of all Aston Martins constructed was a DB7. It wasn't until the final DB7s were rolling through the Bloxham plant that Aston Martin once again lived up to their reputation with two limited edition versions of the DB7.
At the 2002 Paris Motorshow, a Zagato bodied DB7 coupe was first shown, which featured a shortened 'GT' chassis. It's styling and pedigree reminded of the DB4 GT Zagato, which is one of the most desired Aston Martins constructed. In a matter of weeks the 99 car order book was filled and the car was not displayed on any show after. For the second limited edition model Zagato was again commissioned by Aston Martin.
Dubbed the AR1 or American Roadster, this limited edition was specifically designed for the American state of California. Unlike the regular Volante the AR1 offers no form of weather protection what so ever, making it unsuitable for most countries, especially the usually rain soaked Great Britain. Its styling reminded of the Zagato Coupe, but it is executed on a regular length chassis. After being shown to potential customers, the DB AR1 made its official debut at the 2003 Los Angeles Motorshow.
Like the Zagato Coupe only 99 examples of the AR1 were available and again the order book was filled rapidly. It was the very last DB7 variant to roll off the production line and remains the only Aston Martin ever designed for a specific region in the world. Almost all of them made it to North America, but there was also one right hand drive example constructed for a British customer.
The featured AR1s are seen here at a 2004 owners meeting in Monterey, California.
|Location||Front, longitudinally mounted|
|Construction||alloy block and head|
|Displacement||5.935 liter / 362.2 cu in|
|Bore / Stroke||89.0 mm (3.5 in) / 79.5 mm (3.1 in)|
|Valvetrain||4 valves / cylinder, DOHC|
|Fuel feed||Fuel Injection|
|Power||435 bhp / 325 KW @ 6000 rpm|
|Torque||556 Nm / 410 ft lbs @ 5000 rpm|
|BHP/Liter||73 bhp / liter|
|Chassis||steel body on steel frame chassis|
|Suspension (fr/r)||double wishbone incorporating anti-dive geometry, coil springs, mono-tube dampers, anti-roll bar|
|Steering||rack-and-pinion, power assisted|
|Brakes||ventilated discs, all-round, ABS|
|Gearbox||6 speed Manual|
|Drive||Rear wheel drive|
|Wheelbase / Track (fr/r)||2591 mm (102 in) / 1536 mm (60.5 in) / 1540 mm (60.6 in)|
|Top Speed||298 km/h (185 mph)|
|0-60 mph||4.8 s|
Aston Martin's DB7 is now becoming affordable. Buy carefully and it could be the best way into the rarefied world of AM ownership
If it hadn’t been for the DB7, Aston Martin would almost certainly be nothing more than a footnote in the motoring hall of fame by now. With just a handful of cars trickling out of the Newport Pagnell gates by the early 1990s, Aston Martin was a basket ca...
While coachbuilders such as Touring, Ghia, Bertone, Allemano and Pininfarina have all made Aston Martins, none has the resonance, or is as closely linked as Aston Martin as Zagato. Put the two together, and any aficionado knows you have something special-a machine that is sportier, more exclusive and faster than its production counterparts. Adding to the allure of the Aston Zagatos is each has bee...
The International Birmingham Motor Show witnessed the launch of the most powerful Aston Martin DB7 model ever made - the DB7 GT. Created in less than one year, this addition to the existing Aston Martin line-up has been developed in conjunction with customers who wanted a car that had a little more performance, increased driver involvement and excellent road handling.
Based on the current DB7 Van...
Aston Martin DB7 Coupe & Volante
It was Victor Gauntlett who first suggested that a new, smaller Aston Martin should be built alongside the big V8 Astons, a car that would, in terms, be a volume seller.
The advent of the Ford Motor Company and the appointment of the late Walter Hayes as Chief Executive of Aston Martin not only provided new funding, but a renewed vigour in the person of Rod M...