Aston Martin DB AR1

2014-04-13 Read: 402x

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.


Configuration 60º V12
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)
Compression 10.3:1
Valvetrain 4 valves / cylinder, DOHC
Fuel feed Fuel Injection
Aspiration Naturally Aspirated
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)
Performance figures
Top Speed 298 km/h (185 mph)
0-60 mph 4.8 s

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