James Bond is one of the most iconic and recognized images in the last half-century. Film buffs love how he can thwart the plans of a super villain just as easily as he can seduce members of the fairer sex. Despite the fact that his actual face has changed several times, Bond exhibits the perfect blend of suavity, power, and mystery that has mesmerized millions of moviegoers the world over.
And that unique spirit is embodied in the quintessential James Bond car: the Aston Martin DB5, which was first seen in Bond’s third film, Goldfinger, in 1964. Bond’s tricked-out spy vehicle also made appearances in Thunderball, GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, and Casino Royale; and will also be showcased in the 2012 James Bond movie Skyfall.
As Aston Martin enters its second century of existence, the British luxury carmaker is poised to wow the automotive world yet again. Aston Martin officials have unveiled the company’s new flagship driving machine which will replace the DB5. Its prototype was first displayed earlier in 2012 in Italy at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este.
Presenting: the new Aston Martin 310 Vanquish.
Wipe the drool off your chin, dude.
This monstrously stylish automobile is equipped with the same base 5.9-litre V12 engine that was found under the hood of the DB5. But Aston Martin engineers claim that the Vanquish engine was substantially revised to produce 457 pound-feet of torque and 565 horsepower, which marks increases of 8.8% and 10.8% respectively over its predecessor. Furthermore, the 310 Vanquish can accelerate from 0 to 60 in a head-snapping 4.1 seconds — and can reportedly clock an astonishing top speed of 183 miles per hour.
The sensuous body of the new Vanquish is completely constructed of carbon fiber to make it more lightweight without sacrificing durability, and this material is also found on the vehicle’s Generation 4 VH platform. Its transmission consists of a six-speed Touchtronic automatic system with carbon fiber paddle shifters, and its mechanics are positioned at the back of the car in order to provide a more favorable weight distribution.
Interestingly, the Vanquish does have a small rear seat which can ostensibly fit two people, although legroom and comfort for back seat passengers is one of the few things that Aston Martin is not known for.
Alas, the hood-mounted traffic-thinning automatic weapon is not included on the production model.
Officials with the automaker say that the base list price for the 310 Vanquish will be just under $280,000 U.S. (not counting auto insurance). Though the figure may be colossal for some, it’s important to note that it is substantially smaller than the half-million dollar price tag for the Aston Martin limited edition V12 Zagato. And it’s practically a bargain when compared against the One-77, which is more than seven times more expensive (although this $2 million dollar vehicle is already sold out).
The Aston Martin 310 Vanquish won’t begin delivery to customers until sometime in early 2013, which is also the 100th anniversary of the company’s founding. But this new sports car has already established a presence in the oeuvre of James Bond — and it’s likely only a matter of time before we’ll see our favorite top billing, ladykilling, martini-swilling international spy behind the wheel of a Vanquish on the silver screen.