Aston Martin DB7 AR1

Aston Martin DB7 AR1

Year of production 2003 - 2004

Model: DB7 (1993 - 2004)



(2003 - 2004)

I guess that the word 'unique' is overused not only within this website, but within the whole history of AML. What makes the DB AR1 most unique is that the car was designed specifically for an overseas market, and in this case, not just the US as a whole but effectively the States of California and Florida. Another unique feature - the total lack of a roof - is what stops the car being called a 'Volante' - all Volante's at least have a folding canvas roof.

The prototype car, converted from an early DB7 Vantage Volante was initially shown to potential clients in Los Angeles just prior to the public unveiling at the LA Auto Show in early January 2003. A very limited production run was then planned and within only three months, all 99 planned production examples were apparently taken up by eager enthusiasts. Right from the start, AML didn’t want this car to be seen as an open DB7 Zagato, and I must admit I didn’t understand exactly why but now I know. The DB7 Zagato chassis is shortened, whereas the DB AR1 chassis is kept as the standard length due to the demands of US safely regulations. If the chassis had been shortened to the length of the DB7 Zagato, the AR1 would have to have undergone further expensive crash testing.

The DB AR1 was based on the DB7 Vantage Volante and features coachwork designed and executed by Zagato in Italy. The rare six speed manual car is powered by an uprated ‘GT’ version of the V12, with power upto 435bhp, torque to 410 lb ft plus an active sports exhaust system similar to that on the Vanquish. Far more DB AR1′s were made with Touchtronic 5 speed transmission mated to the regular 420bhp rated engine. This enables the manual car to achieve 184mph and 0-60 in 5.0 seconds whereas the auto was limited to 165mph and does the dash to 60 in 5.1 seconds.

The DB AR1 was intended to be the last Aston Martin to be built at the DB7 production facility, Bloxham, before it early in 2004. Oddly, during a tour of the new Gaydon facility in September 2003, a small number of DB AR1 bodyshells were spotted around the paint shop.

Not all the DB AR1′s were delivered to the US. Eight left hand drive cars were delivered to customers in mainland Europe, mostly Germany and a single right hand drive production example has remained in the UK for a very fortunate customer.

Generally speaking, the DB AR1 is the least practical road car AM have ever made. Non of the examples reaching the second hand market appear to have covered many miles. Collectors in the UK took advantage of the strong pound to re-import during 2007 this fascinating car for use on dry Summer days only. You will see below one UK example with a rudimentary canvas hood retro fitted. I’m also aware that one owner is having a hardtop made here in the UK which might work quite well.


Aston Martin DB AR1

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 ...

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Photo gallery Aston Martin DB7 AR1

2003 Aston Martin DB7 AR1
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Manuals Aston Martin DB7 AR1  |  DB7 Upload new manual

User's manuals (1) Add

Year Document Language Size Pages
2003 - 2004 1602 1 dbar1 owner guide usa 40 150065 aa.pdf English 3.99 MB 299

Our vehicles Aston Martin DB7 AR1 Add a vehicle

2002 Aston Martin DB7 AR1 5.9 (362 cui) V12

1 photos

Fuel gasoline. 5-speed Automatic transmission. Engine 5 935 ccm (362 cui), 12-cylinder, Furcate.