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Old 05-11-2003, 21:46   #1 (permalink)
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Aston Martin DB AR1 & Aston Martin AMV8 Vantage

Road & Track
By Matt DeLorenzo, Paul Frère & Ian Norris
Aston Martin photos by Guy Spangenberg

Call it an embarrassment of riches. Over the next year or so, well-heeled buyers will have a slew of high-buck exotics from Europe to paw over — a cavalcade of new supercars and sports cars the likes of which the world has never seen before.
Blame it on Ferrari's Enzo — the car, not the man. When Maranello announced a successor to the F50, little did the company realize that it had tossed down the gauntlet for others to respond. Some have answered in kind, with exotics of their own. Others, like Aston Martin, are looking to establish themselves in less expensive sectors among European performance cars. The stakes and sticker prices are high and the volumes low. In this end of the market, prestige is much more important than the business case supporting such projects.

Aston Martin DB AR1

For those who felt slighted by Aston Martin in offering the 99 DB7-based Zagato coupes to every other market in the world except the U.S., the company hopes to make amends when it gives Americans first crack at a similar run of roadster versions of the Zagato special. Not only that, the car is called the DB AR1 (for American Roadster 1) to honor the country most of these cars will call home. Unfortunately, all 99 are spoken for already at a list price of $245,000 each. Production is slated to begin at the end of summer with the first deliveries expected in late fall.
Like the Murciélago Barchetta, the DB AR1 is an open car aimed primarily at the Sunbelt states. It's based on the DB Vantage Volante but sports all-new bodywork including a larger, more distinct grille and more muscular wheel arches. The rear- deck treatment features Zagato's trademark double bubbles, which act as fairings for the 2-seater's headrests, while the back end has a slight ducktail spoiler and single taillamps on each corner.

Beneath the hood, the 6.0-liter V-12 has been tweaked to bump horsepower from 420 to 435 bhp and torque from 400 to 410 lb.-ft. The additional output is enhanced by a revised final drive that adds more snap to midrange response, while rear muffler bypass valves similar to those used on the Vanquish add some bark to the DB AR1's exhaust note.
Other changes include an AP Racing twin-plate clutch, a quick-shift gear-change lever on the 6-speed manual and special 19-in. wheels. Larger Brembo brakes with uprated pads and the more powerful brake booster from the Vanquish add to the AR1's stopping power.
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Old 05-11-2003, 21:47   #2 (permalink)
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From its leather-clad interior to its Italian crafted body by Zagato with its bulging fenders, large grille and double-bubble rear deck, there's no mistaking that the Aston Martin DB AR1 is a limited-edition model.
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Old 05-11-2003, 21:49   #3 (permalink)
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Aston Martin AMV8 Vantage

This tidy concept car is not only a challenge to Porsche's 911, but is also the basis of all future Aston Martin products. Previously known as project AM305, the AMV8 will be launched in early 2005 as an '06 model and will be built in a new factory on the grounds of the Aston Martin/Jaguar/Land Rover test track at Gaydon, England.
The concept, which is virtually identical to the production car, is the work of Aston's design director Henrik Fisker, who at BMW was responsible for the striking Z8. The AMV8 has a long hood, short front and rear overhangs and a very aggressive stance with the wheels firmly planted at the corners of the car. The tight, muscular body is wrapped around a front-engine/rear-drive chassis powered by a 350-bhp 4.3-liter V-8.

The AMV8 Vantage rides on a 102.3-in. wheelbase and is 171.1 in. in overall length, 73.7 in. wide and 51.1 in. tall and weighs just 3300 lb.

While the car has unmistakable Aston cues in the grille and side vents, the overall shape and surfaces are new — no hint of retro here. The Vantage name, if it carries over into production, would be the first time that it will be used to denote a specific model rather than a high-performance version of a specific nameplate.

In addition to the all-new exterior, Fisker designed a cabin that is unique to Aston Martin, and he promises that in production there won't be any controls, switches or faceplates from the Ford corporate parts bin.
"From the outset, the look, feel and functionality of the interior were key priorities," said Fisker. "Aston Martin is taking a new direction in its approach to design. We wanted to ensure that the AMV8 Vantage reflects the new direction that Aston Martin is now taking — modern, advanced technology but above all Aston Martin design." As a result, much of the switchgear and instrumentation has the look of a fine timepiece. In addition to leather trim, the accents are finished in anodized aluminum.
“This tidy concept car is not only a challenge to Porsche's 911, but is also the basis of all future Aston Martin products.”
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My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.

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Old 05-11-2003, 21:51   #4 (permalink)
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Aston Martin takes aim at Porsche's 911 with a balanced front-engine V-8 2-seater with classic, yet contemporary styling.
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My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.

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Old 06-01-2003, 00:37   #5 (permalink)
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I like that AMV8....looks sweet. Now just have to get money!!
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