One of the greatest car companies of all time, Aston Martin, have churned out plenty of classics over their hundred year history. Here, we look at our five favourites.
The Aston Martin One-77 is about just one thing: speed. Notoriously difficult to drive, the One-77 is for the more experienced petrolheads amongst us, but mastering the art of driving this stunningly beautiful Aston Martin is something that you’ll want to do again and again.
As the name suggests, only 77 One-77’s were ever made, and each car was bespoke to each individual who ordered it. Uniquely, Aston Martin decided that there were to be no press drives, meaning that each review within the press comes courtesy of one of the 77 lucky customers who forked out over £1m for the privilege of owning a genuine piece of motoring history.
The One-77 boasts a full carbon fibre monocoque chassis, a handcrafted aluminium body and a naturally aspirated 7.3 litre (7,312 cc) V12 engine which produces 750 bhp. With a 0-60 time of 3.5 seconds and a top speed of just over 200 mph, Aston Martin claims that the One-77 is the most powerful naturally aspirated production engine car in the world.
Awarded the Concorsod’Eleganza design award and the GOOD DESIGN award, the Aston Martin One-77 is the perfect blend of power and style. Designed primarily for sports and racing, the One-77 comes 5th in our list due to the difficulty of driving it at low speeds around towns. Still, in a car this beautiful, you’d forgive it for this, and getting used to the sports clutch would hardly be a chore.
4. Rapide – £149,950 (2010-Present)
The Rapide is unique in Aston Martin’s history, and its only real ancestor is the Lagonda Rapide (from which it takes its name), which was made over a quarter of a century earlier. Described by Aston Martin as “the most elegant four-door sports car in the world”, it’s incredibly hard to doubt their outlandish statements, with the car appearing breathtakingly stunning.
The Rapide was first shown to the world as a concept car in early 2006 at the North American International Auto Show, with the first production model not appearing until the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. With a heritage stemming from the Lagonda Rapide, the Rapide is based on the DB9, sharing the same VH platform.
Externally beautiful, the interior is also packed with features, with the Rapide including a tilt-telescoping steering wheel, bi-xenon headlamps and LED tail lamps as standard. As well as this, for your £149,950, you also receive leather and walnut trim, with metallic accents; power front seats with memory, cooling and heating; Bluetooth and USB and iPod connectivity.
In terms of engine size and power, the Rapide also packs a punch, with 0-60 taking a mere 5.3 seconds because of the Rapide’s 470 bhp V12 engine. All in all,the Rapide is the perfect 4 door Aston Martin.
3. DB4GT Zagato – Now £1,000,000+ (1960-1963)
Lightened and improved by the Zagatto family in Italy, the DB4 GT Zagato was introduced in 1960 at the London Motor Show.
The DB4 GT Zagato makes it onto our list because of two things, its sheer, effortless beauty, and its amazing history. Initially, Aston Martin planned to make 25 DB4 GT Zagatos, but, staggeringly, demand at the time was not high enough, so only 20 were produced in the original run.
Now, half a century later, the rarity and popularity of the Zagato means that at auction, they sell for well in excess of £1,000,000. Such a rise in popularity has meant that since 1960, Sanction II and Sanction III Zagatos have been produced alongside an unauthorised but lucrative private industry where regular DB4 GTs are transformed into Zagato replicas.
This unique history makes the Zagato a true one-of-a-kind and, when you add such a rich history to a 314 bhp engine and a truly stunning design, you have one of the greatest cars ever produced.
2. DB5 – £200,000+ (1963-1965)
Arguably the most famous car in the world, the Aston Martin DB5 has an undeniable place in British heritage thanks to its appearance in countless James Bond films. As popular amongst celebrities as it is amongst petrolheads, there is nothing that can be said here that hasn’t already been said, as the DB5 is a true icon of motoring.
Released in 1963, the DB5 was an evolution of the DB4 (the ‘DB’ by the way, is in honour of David Brown who was the head of Aston Martin between 1947 and 1972). There are a number of differences between the DB4 and the DB5, including an enlargement of the engine from 3.7l to 4.0l and a new ZF five-speed transmission.
With wool pile carpets and reclining seats, the DB5 was quintessentially British, especially considering the full leather trim. Team all of this with the 3,995 cc engine that produces 282 bhp and you really have a true icon of motoring. In fact, in our opinion, there’s only one car produced by Aston Martin that’s ever been better…
1. DBS V12 – £160,000 (2007-2012)
The ultimate modern car, the Aston Martin DBS V12 is our pick of the bunch. A high performance sports car version of the DB9, the DBS V12 is a 21st century model of the DBS grand tourer coupe produced between 1967 and 1972.
Equipped with a 5,935 cc V12 engine with 4 valves per cylinder, the engine of the DBS produces 510 bhp, producing 420 lb ft. of torque, meaning that the car will rocket from 0-60 in only 4.3 seconds with a maximum speed of 191 mph.
As far as technology is concerned, the DBS V12 is at the cutting edge, with Aston Martin’s engineers designing a car in which 85% of the car’s weight is kept between the wheelbase, ensuring the highest possible standard of handling, responsiveness and feel for the driver. Add to this that the car is 30kg lighter than a DB9 and you have a quicker and more responsive car which is widely considered to be one of the greatest of all time. Due to this, the DBS V12 simply had to be our number one.
Do you agree with us that the DBS V12 is the greatest Aston Martin of all time, or did your favourite not even make the list? Let us know in the comments below.