What's New for 2001
Aston Martin's DB7 Vantage remains relatively unchanged for 2001. There's new carpet for the interior, and the spare tire has been exchanged for a tire inflation kit to improve trunk space.
If you are considering purchasing a car from the lofty world of 2+2 supercars, there's one main question you need to ask yourself: How do you want to spend your $200,000?
Aston Martin would be quite happy to liberate a large chunk of that from your pocket. In exchange, you would get a beautifully styled machine that's capable of matching the performance of the world's greatest sports cars. That machine would be the DB7 Vantage.
The DB7 Vantage comes in coupe and convertible form (the convertible being called the Volante). Similar to BMW's M cars, Aston's "Vantage" moniker stands for the most powerful and uncompromising models in the Aston Martin range. Non-Vantage models are not sold in the United States.
Both DB7 Vantage models are equipped with a 6.0-liter V12 engine that produces 420 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 400 foot-pounds of torque at 5,000 rpm. As you would expect from numbers like this, the Vantage's power and acceleration are both prodigious. Acceleration from zero to 60 takes a mere 5.0 seconds. Even with this much power, the engine is still quite tractable while driving through city gridlock. DB7 Vantages have a six-speed manual transmission as standard equipment, with a five-speed automatic being a no-cost option.
The DB7's ride quality is a blend of firm control with supple response. High-speed cruising is the DB7's forte. American speed limits won't allow the DB7 to truly show its abilities; this car is perfectly happy to whoosh along at speeds over 100 mph. Vantage models have a stiffer suspension along with massive, Brembo four-wheel vented discs and four-piston calipers. Thankfully, such impressive hardware isn't hidden from view by the 18-inch aluminum wheels.
Inside the cabin, Aston Martin equips its DB7s with wide expanses of sumptuous Connolly leather and walnut wood trim, though Ford-sourced switchgear cheapens the effect. The traditional black-and-white gauges are attractive and easy to read. The cabin is rather tight, and front passengers over 6-feet-tall will definitely notice a lack of headroom. This is especially true on Volantes with the top raised. The rear seats are clearly for small children only.
Aston Martin's top-line performance car is certainly unique, but it would be tough to give it a decisive recommendation. The Mercedes-Benz CL-Class is much more refined and feature-laden. A Ferrari 456 GTA costs considerably more but is considerably more prestigious. We would even suggest looking at the DB7's cousin: the Jaguar XKR. The XKR is about $80,000 cheaper and offers a very similar driving and ownership experience.