The penultimate set of bends along the road course at Atlanta Motorsports Park, located in God’s own country about an hour outside of the big city, is a serpentine testament to all of the things that make motoring exciting. Triple-digit speeds approach quickly. The checkered start line quickly becomes a blurred memory. Warm tires grip the tarmac as beads of perspiration mount for the upcoming lap.
Category: Aston Martin
A quiet and unnoticed getaway is hardly a fait accompli in the auto-centric city of Los Angeles, where street-parked Italian exotics are a given, and even the peons seem to manage to procure a Mercedes-Benz C-class.
The task is made especially difficult when your getaway car is an Aston Martin DB9. But not for any of the obvious reasons.
If you are an automotive journalist who socializes with people who don’t have a bizarre fascination with the automobile and its associated trivia (there’s not many of us, believe me), you will inevitably be asked a few stock questions at parties. Among them;
1) Wow, you have to best job in the world, don’t you? (The answer is, no, not really, but working at TTAC is great)
2) What’s the fastest you’ve ever driven? (The answer is, 30 thousand, 100 million)
This article answers another common question – “What do you think of (insert car here)?”, and more specifically, what happens when expectations and reality are not the same.
I know someone who’s been in the fashion biz most of her life. Her affinity with handsome male models is not surprising, yet her insistence–a “shush” sound accompanied by a finger on their lips–that the Eye Candy refrain from voicing their opinions definitely got me thinking. Perhaps beauty and critical thinking are two circles that rarely intersect in the Venn Diagram of life?
True dat, since I can’t remember a day when Aston Martin’s historically gorgeous automobiles weren’t trampled by the performance of neighboring Jaguars or the German and Italian marques. And with the Rapide sedan, we have another stunning Aston Martin to admire. Shush!!!
Sean Connery's Bond, James Bond, would punch you in the face while kissing your girlfriend. His Aston Martin DB5 was beyond cool. By the 1990s, Bond drove a range of product placement-mobiles, and Astons looked like Jaguars (and vice versa). While devastatingly quick, Astons handled like trains. And then the Vanquish, DB9 and V8 Vantage restored a sense of dignity. But– the Vantage's 4.3-liter V8 stumped-up "only" 380 hp. When critics questioned, Aston did the English version of flipping them off: nodded their collective head and shrugged their shoulders. But now, finally, Aston unleashes the 2009 Vantage with a 4.7-liter V8. Power jumps from 380 to 420. Torque is up, and the dashboard is new. I recently exercised the convertible version, the Vantage Roadster, for a few hours on a sun-drenched day to see if Bond's whip is suitably… nasty.
2009 Aston Martin Vantage Roadster Review Car Review Rating
Overall Rating: 5/5 Stars
We’ve all been there: deeply smitten by a witty, intelligent, urbane, drop dead gorgeous potential partner. Whether it’s an actual acquaintance or a distant celebrity, their innate hotness sets our souls ablaze. And then, eventually, familiarity breeds contempt. The wit becomes tiresome, the intelligence debatable, the urbanity mundane and the beauty– well that stays. Despite the obvious physical attractions, the time eventually comes when you realize that true love tends to forget. And yes, I’m talking about the Aston Martin V8 Vantage.
Walking up to the Aston Martin DB9, I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to drive it or sleep with it. If running your hand over the DB’s sculptured haunches and taut lines doesn’t give you a warm feeling in your nether regions, you should surrender your pistonhead privileges at the door. Very few inanimate objects attain this level of beauty; those that do either rock your world or break your heart, or, as in this case, both.
I know an American editor with access to the world's best automobiles. When Aston Martin loaned him a DB7 for a California rally, he said the British car made him long for his Porsche. Aston should have given him a Vanquish.
The Vanquish's appearance is the most obvious advantage. The car has enough visual drama to make a DB7 look mundane, or a Carrera look like a suppository. The enormous rear wheel haunches are the aesthetic departure point. Ian Callum has done a remarkable job blending this bulky cliché into the DB7's svelte shape. Combined with a perfectly proportioned reiteration of the classic Aston nose, the result is the first Aston since Bond's DB5 to combine aggression with elegance. The design's only weakness– the elliptical boot line– will be remedied by the forthcoming Zagato version.
There's an absurd scene in Goldeneye, where agent 007 races a hottie through the winding roads above Monte Carlo. Bond is behind the wheel of a DB5. The girl is driving a Ferrari 355. Guess who wins? Preposterous. That said, if you're not the type of person to take an informed view on the relative merits of Aston's straight six vs. Ferrari's 32-valve 8-cylinder power plant, or the handling implications of conventional vs. electronically damped suspension, the scene made perfect sense. Handsome Bond in beautiful car duels beautiful girl in gorgeous car. That's more than enough information for the average moviegoer.
Encountering a fully restored DB5 39-years after its screen debut (in Goldfinger) it's easy to understand the filmmakers' choice. The Aston still looks fast enough to take on a Ferrari – any Ferrari. Although Touring of Milan sculpted the shape, the DB5 is nothing like the delicately proportioned Ferraris and Maseratis of its day. Examined in detail, the Aston appears to be an automotive farrago, combining a 'smiling bulldog' front grille, muscle car front air scoop, mini-Cadillac tapered wings and Volvo-esque rear window. Taken as a whole, it's the automotive equivalent of a Saville Row suit: butch, yet infinitely elegant. Like Bond himself, the DB5's design somehow manages to combine infinite sophistication with unbridled aggression.