Archive for the Exotic Sports Cars Category

The Notorious 2017 Aston Martin DB11

Posted in Aston Martin, Editorials, Exotic & FAST, Exotic Sports Cars with tags , , , , , , on September 7, 2016 by 99MilesPerHour

The new kid on the block…

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Aston Martin has set forth benchmarks of what a car in its class should be. It has never deviated from this premise. Aston Martin adheres to strict personal conviction and has achieved a high standard of individualism and a persona that in itself has become a standard for other motorcars. It has successfully combined and synthesized luxury with magnificent performance. The formidable DB series established the high performance racing image for the brand. One of the most famous models is the Aston Martin DB5 driven by the fictional sleuth James Bond.

The Aston Martin DB legacy continues with the 2017 DB11 clothed in sleek, athletic, aerodynamic architecture. The spirited new design follows Aston Martin styling continuity. It has already earned obsequious flattery world-wide. The Aston Martin team of dedicated enthusiasts collaborated once again to bring forth one of the most ambitious projects ever in automotive design. Aston Martin is a posh supercar for those who demand fervent individuality. Welcome to the power, beauty, and soul of the latest edition in the continuing saga of the elite DB marque of excellence.

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A bit of history…

The fast and ferociously powerful Aston Martin DB Series began its iconic existence as a prolific ingénue under the tutelage of the managing director Sir David Brown. He saved the company from financial ruin right after WWII.

From extremely humble beginnings to world-wide respected esteem, the NOTORIOUS Aston Martin DB Series has maintained a highly prestigious heritage earning its place in automotive history. Aston Martin is Great Britain’s only independent automaker –

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Sir David purchased the company in 1947 sharing knowledge and resources with his esteemed colleague W.O. Bentley.  An impressive 2.6 litre Lagonda engine designed by W.O. Bentley was chosen to power the DB2. Three short years later…the DB legend was born. It quickly became an automobile series bristling with bravado.

The Aston Martin DB series established the brand’s racing pedigree. The DB4 and DB5 introduced Aston Martin’s grand touring eloquence, thus…its formidable identity developed and became etched into the minds of connoisseurs. It continually emerged as a world-class thoroughbred through evolution. Each subsequent DB is a masterpiece built upon the previous model’s finesse which raises the bar of success in the automotive industry to an even higher degree –

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Aston Martin One-77

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Beauty is more than skin deep…

Aston Martin has acquired the status of building the world’s most beautiful automobiles…repeatedly. If seduction could manifest itself as an automobile…the Aston Martin DB11 is it. If you look deeply into its styling, the design features hint at the epochal Aston Martin One-77 which is the epitome of automotive design and was built at a highly restricted pace of only 77 vehicles.

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The most significant aspects of the DB11’s design maximizes its aerodynamic efficiency. The bonded aluminium structure has a weight reduction to offset the new V12 engine’s heavier mass. Its dramatic new design is augmented by Aston Martin’s “Curlicue” and “Aeroblade” systems.

Familiarize yourself with these two words because you will be hearing a lot more about them in the near future. These principles are so innovative that Aston Martin has patents for them. These features made the rest of the automotive industry “nervous” leaving them scrambling back to the drawing board just to catch up.

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Every beautiful square inch of the architecture has purpose. The DB11 is designed to cleave the air efficiently. An automobile must manage the air flow from nose to tail to effectively maintain stability while maximizing downforce. The DB11 uses its architecture to master its dynamics to “ride like the wind.” Instead of fighting the turbulence and wind resistance around the vehicle…the Curlicue and Aeroblade systems ingeniously works with these elements.

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From the dramatic new roof strakes to its concealed aerodynamic defense system, the Aston Martin DB11 is a grand tourer for today’s world. Fancy grille-like vents are incorporated into each front fender’s wheel arch lining. These apertures are known as “Curlicue” and are integrated into the car’s aerodynamic network to reduce front-end lift.

High pressure air from the top of the front wheel arches are vented through recessed apertures behind the iconic Aston Martin styling side strakes. More high pressure air is extracted from the rear of each wheel arch through stirrup vents positioned aft of the front wheels. This intricate airflow system was developed for Aston Martin’s racing division.

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DB11’s aerodynamic form follows function. Low, sleek, chiseled flowing lines from the aggressive front end ensemble sweep back to be intercepted by the familiar wide muscular haunches at the rear. The “Aeroblade” system harnesses airflow along the vehicle’s flanks enhancing stability at the rear.

Air intake duct-work located in the base of the “C-pillars” draw airflow within the architecture before extracting it from slots in the rear bootlid. This system works like a conventional spoiler directing the jet of disrupted air reducing lift and maximizing downforce. This eliminates the need for a rear wing. When extra stability is required a small active spoiler automatically deploys from the bootlid. When it is no longer needed, it retracts back into the bootlid.

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The legacy endures…

The DB11 exemplifies the Aston Martin tradition of aesthetic design. Its striking new beauty is refined and elegant. The front end design is highlighted by the signature grille which has been moderately refreshed. All-new LED headlamps adds a distinctive contemporary flair.

The clamshell bonnet is designed with an exclusive wrap-around form to minimize unsightly shut lines. It’s hinged forward to showcase the formidable V12 engine.The DB11’s styling is ‘pedestrian friendly’ as with all Aston Martin motorcars. DB11’s specs are 1.2” longer, 0.3” higher, with a 2.5” longer wheelbase than the DB9. The silhouette may be new, but it’s unmistakably Aston Martin.

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The rear end design is as dramatic as the front end ensemble. Newly designed LED taillamps are the focal point. Flowing sculpted lines end perfectly with an impressive diffuser assembly. Prominently displayed matte finish stainless-steel exhaust ports echo the famous tuned baritone symphony from its mighty V12 engine. The car is drop-dead gorgeous which is the major reason why Aston Martin’s involvement in the automotive industry remains central…never peripheral. There’s no soft-pedaling an Aston Martin.  The DB11 is a peerless collage of aluminium, glass, and British technology.

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A prominent performer…

As if the bold new exterior design isn’t enough to convince you…the magnificent all-new aluminium V12 engine should sign, seal, and deliver the deal. The 5.2 litre 48-valve twin-turbocharged V12 cranks an audacious 600 bhp @ 6,500 rpm packing a prolific punch with 700 Nm of peak torque @ 1,500 rpm. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-62 mph in just 3.9 seconds with a top speed in the 200 mph range. The DB11 is the most powerful and efficient production model in Aston Martin history.

It’s equipped with Dual Variable Camshaft Timing, fully CNC machined combustion chambers, and a fully catalyzed stainless-steel electronically controlled exhaust system. Charge air temperature for the twin turbos is maintained by twin water to air charge air coolers mounted on either side of the engine. This type of configuration uses the shortest charge air path minimizing charge inertia to optimize throttle response.

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The alloy quad overhead cam bi-turbo V12 boasts a start/stop cylinder de-activation system. This ingenious design will switch to an in-line 6-cylinder configuration under normal driving situations to increase fuel economy.  It also means that the twin-turbocharged V12 shuts down one bank of 6-cylinders AND one of the turbochargers. This measure reduces engine wear by switching between banks keeping the catalyst hot.

The front mid-mount engine is set up for rear wheel drive. The rear mid-mounted 8-speed automatic gearbox has an electronic shift by wire control system for those who prefer to do the shifting themselves. The DB11 is fitted with an alloy torque tube with a carbon fibre prop shaft to save weight, and a limited slip torque vectoring differential to maintain traction under all driving situations. Extraordinary sports car performance is just a tap of the accelerator pedal away.

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A masterful grand tourer in every aspect

The DB11 is more than just a fancy sporting machine…it’s an Aston Martin. An impressive array of logistics accompany this iconic road-going masterpiece. Ingenious Launch Control – the same technology developed for the brand’s class-leading motorsport division – balances throttle, transmission, traction, and damping controls to optimize take-offs from a standing start catapulting the DB11 as quick as a cat.

Its driver-selectable dynamics tailor the experience to suit the driving situation. GT mode captures the essence of Aston Martin luxury for exemplary ride quality in the grand touring tradition. Sport mode stiffens the suspension while providing agility. Sport-Plus fine tunes and synchronizes steering, suspension, 8-speed transmission, and torque vectoring for the ultimate high performance adventure in automotive paradise. Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Traction Control (TC), Positive Torque Control (PTC), and Dynamic Torque Vectoring (DTV), all network to make this happen…

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Such a powerful grand tourer requires an equally qualified braking system. The DB11 benefits from Aston Martin revolutionary braking technology. Front ventilated 2-piece steel brake discs are fitted with 6-piston calipers. Rear ventilated co-cast piece steel discs are fitted with 4-piston calipers. These motorsport-inspired assemblies shorten stopping distance as they provide safe, fade-free operation with rapid heat dissipation.

Electronic Brakeforce Distribution intuitively varies the force applied to each wheel contingent upon speed, road conditions, load, etc. to maintain optimum vehicular control under all driving situations. Electronic Brakeforce Distribution combined with ABS maximizes stopping power to avoid skids for accident avoidance. Hydraulic Brake Assist increases braking pressure in panic braking automatically within milliseconds reducing stopping distances even further.

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Beneath the sumptuous design of the DB11 is a sophisticated network of Aston Martin technology. It will feature Aston Martin’s newly engineered architecture. The previous VH (Vertical Horizontal) design platform has been used since 2001 on all models except the One-77. The all-new bonded aluminium platform is lightweight and rigid to aid the vehicle’s wind-cheating abilities. It includes components from AMG, Mercedes-Benz high performance division.

The front suspension uses double wishbones and coil springs. The rear has a multi-link set-up and also uses coil springs. Front and rear anti-roll bars and an intuitive Adaptive Damping System (ADS) maintains stability enhancing overall driving dynamics. Speed contingent rack and pinion electric power steering has power column tilt and reach adjustment for the steering wheel. The DB11 rides upon staggered Bridgestone tires with size 9J X 20” S007 255/40 ZR20 fitted to the front axle and size 11.0J X 20” S007 295/35 ZR20 fitted to the rear axle. Dashing 20” 10-spoke Diamond Turned wheels adds the finishing touch.

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…Aston Martin – Style

Cabin Amenities remain tastefully appointed in the tradition of the brand. Wide individual lounge seats are highlighted with Aston Martin’s brogue detailing. The interior is enhanced with hand-tailored leather with soft Alcantara accents. Nexus quilting and Celestial perforation adds a dashing flair. Myriad color combinations are available from conservative to exotic.

Its ergonomically designed comfort includes head restraints embellished with the familiar Aston Martin logo. The cabin benefits from the 2.5” longer wheelbase with increased head and legroom in the rear passenger compartment. There is also more room in the boot. Wider door apertures offer easier entrance and exits. This is a highly bespoke motorcar offering an inspiring array of detailing and options to satisfy the most discerning clientele.

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The all-new instrument panel has a full color 12” TFT LCD display that contains all of the DB11’s primary information. Another 8” TFT screen is centrally located for infotainment including Satellite Navigation and is controlled by a rotary controller. An optional touchpad offers character recognition, multi-touch and gesture support. Aston Martin Premium Audio or an available Bang & Olufsen sound system upgrade brings concert hall quality along for the drive. A convenient Parking Assist feature is equipped with a 360 degree camera. The DB11 is a luxury sport car complete. Everything is pleasing to the eye and convenient to the touch…

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An Aston Martin is one of the world’s most eloquent possessions. It is designed for men and women of taste who have worked hard to get where they are in life. Its poised beauty is the envy of the auto industry. Through evolution, the Aston Martin becomes even lovelier. The latest offering in this exclusive continuing saga is the DB11. As the world bids farewell to the iconic DB9 series – the formidable presence of the DB11 takes center stage.

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Aston Martin DB9 GT

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This sophisticated new expression of Aston Martin is the most powerful and efficient road-going model in the history of the brand. The ferocious new 48-valve, 5.2 litre twin-turbocharged V12 engine delivers 600 horses with a swift top speed in the 200 mph range. The DB11 is the epitome of handcrafted grand tourers with every luxury and convenience presented as standard equipment to make each drive enjoyable and considerably effortless. Aston Martin has once again exceeded superlative with the introduction of the 2017 DB11…a proud successor in the illustrious DB series of high performance motorcars. Welcome to the power…beauty…and soul of the Aston Martin DB11. It’s NotoriousLuxury in every respect.

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Photos courtesy of the Aston Martin Media Club  

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The Aston Martin DB11 is NotoriousLuxury…

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NotoriousLuxury is Greg’s World

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A Contemporary Flashback: The Speedback GT

Posted in Editorials, Exotic Exotics, Exotic Sports Cars, Luxury Sport Cars with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 9, 2016 by 99MilesPerHour

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It is as contemporary as it is classic…

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There’s a high-tech renaissance cruising the horizon. The corporate mission statement is: “To achieve classic status, one must draw from the past and then embrace the future.” It’s a return to exemplary quality, fit and finish from the 1960s…transforming them into 21st century principles, adding the coachbuilder’s venues.

The man is David Brown. The impressive motorcar is the elusive Speedback GT. The company is David Brown Automotive. David Brown is not associated with Sir David Brown and Aston Martin to dispel ambiguity. David Brown Automotive is a refreshing new approach to a time-honored tradition adding their own interpretation of excellence. The British Speedback GT is the “dernier cri” in sporting grand touring automobiles –

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It takes courage and conviction to transform a dream into reality. That one singular idea leads to a vision…then, that vision becomes a driving force as fierce and unrelenting as a hurricane. David Brown’s indomitable vision and his zealous pursuit for perfection resulted with the introduction of the all-new Speedback GT.

It’s a contemporary rendition of a classic grand tourer designed for the enthusiast with a thirst for adventure…one who doesn’t follow status quo. The timeless elegance of Speedback GT will challenge the years gracefully leaving its indelible impression in automotive history. For a mere £495,000 or $795,000 you can park one of these in your garage…

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The Speedback GT made its enigmatic entrance at The Top Marques Show on April 17, 2014. This show of supercars is an annual event where the outrageous meets reality. This is THE most exclusive auto show in the world. It takes place in the Grimaldi Forum, an exclusive seafront conference center in Monaco. The sleek handcrafted Speedback GT is a contemporary supercar reminiscent of classic sports cars from the Sensational-Sixties.

It reintroduced the age-old art of coachbuilding…which is the summit of the automaker’s craft. This elite example of automotive art will be built at a highly restricted pace not to exceed 100 vehicles which will make them instantly collectible. David Brown Automotive is a spanking new entry in the automotive industry. The ultimate embellishment of British craftsmanship adds to the Speedback GT’s charismatic appeal. Just look at it…it begs to be driven!

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In any field of endeavor, progress can be defined by the introduction of a product which establishes a new benchmark. The Speedback GT will set new standards within the automotive industry. It is built with accumulated knowledge and 21st century technology resulting in a motorcar of extraordinary quality. Now…add to this, the mastery of custom crafted bodywork – the result is superlative, rarely achieved in today’s mass-produced…I want it yesterday world.

David Brown Automotive is redefining the ultra-luxury supercar. There is nothing more distinctive than a coachbuilt motorcar. Being highly bespoke transforms an automobile into the ultimate in exclusivity and supremacy…”your” car can be as unique as your own fingerprints. Speedback GT is the pinnacle of individuality; no two automobiles will ever be alike. Each creation will reflect the requisites of its owner – 

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Once upon a time, clients desired something more than an “out of the box” automobile. It was the job of the coachbuilder to produce a completely unique motorcar of distinction with character. These creations are some of the most unique and beautiful automobiles in the world.

The client would purchase a rolling chassis for the car of their choice and have it delivered to the coachbuilder for custom bodywork. HJ Mulliner, Park Ward, Pininfarina, and Bertone are just a few of the world’s most eminent artisans who created automotive masterpieces. David Brown Automotive is reviving the art, thus escaping mass-production mediocrity, carving its own niche in the world of limited edition motorcars.

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In today’s market, most automobile manufacturers focus on production numbers…and how to maximize profit with the intent of making more yet offering much less. David has the right idea. Speedback GT has a certain “je ne sais quoi” which captivates the astute automobile connoisseur.

Since every Speedback GT is custom crafted and built to order, clients may track the progress of their car via their own dedicated personal ‘eportal’. It’s updated with not only the progress of the build but also includes images of the work in process. Handcrafted automobiles are completely individualized with a more personal touch…

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The Speedback GT exudes timeless elegance. Its sensual curves and sultry good looks is not the result from a blinding flash of inspiration. Alan Mobberley, former chief designer for Jaguar/Land Rover has designed a sophisticated thoroughbred of exceptional beauty and grace, capturing the essence of the 1960s.

In fact, it’s the retrospective appeal which augments the contemporary design that makes the Speedback GT the grand tourer par excellence. Per Alan: “Our challenge was to create a contemporary GT with the heart and soul of a classic…” I say: mission accomplished…his interpretation of a retro supercar is notorious! One could say…the neoclassic Speedback GT is a culmination of Aston Martin glamour, Ferrari mystique, and Maserati allure, with its own avant-garde élan –

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Speedback GT’s beauty is based upon a rigid, structurally advanced pillarless monocoque. This type of one-piece construction is not only strong but is also lightweight. Its handcrafted bodyshell is brought to life from a clay mock-up. The models are scanned generating accurate renditions.

The computer fine tunes the aerodynamics and engineers the structure. The body panels are designed from photo etched patterns for perfection. Every component of the Speedback GT has been fully engineered, machined, and tested to exacting standards.

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The outer surfaces of the bodyshell are shaped completely by hand. Computer-controlled milling machines form “bucks” which enable the craftsmen to build the bodywork. More than 2,500 hours alone are clocked per vehicle just for crafting the bodyshell.

These talented artisans using traditional hand-beating and hand-rolling techniques on an English wheel gives the body panels their shape. The body panels are made from aluminium sheets blended seamlessly together before being attached to the car’s aluminium inner substructure.

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Over 120 hours are clocked on each car’s paintwork. The flawless finish requires prep work smoothing the bodyshell before the primer coats are applied. Each layer of hand-applied primer, paint, and lacquer is continually measured for depth ensuring the application is even and consistent.

The finish is polished until a mirror-like reflection appears. The entire process is meticulously scrutinized by accomplished body & paint technicians for the Speedback GT’s perfection – The chrome “dazzles” with depth not as a mere superficial shine because a thin layer of copper is applied before the chrome plating.

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Speedback GT boasts a highly bespoke cabin offering the epitome of British handcrafting. Its opulent woodwork is patiently expedited by Nantwich Veneers Ltd. of South Cheshire in the UK. An impressive array of the finest veneers will make each vehicle uniquely one of a kind.

The client may choose from a number of exquisite veneer patterns including exotic Walnut Crotch, the elegance of Angel-Step American Walnut Burl, jazzy Tamo Ash, and a stunning Dyed Figured Sycamore. The warmth of handcrafted veneers adds character and prestige. It’s artfully integrated into the contours of the dash flowing gracefully around into the door panels. The steering wheel is crafted with the same wood pattern with metallic accents for an additional touch of class to this elegant grand tourer.

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Speedback GT’s exclusivity is further enhanced. Semi-aniline hides augments the opulence of the cabin. Naturally tanned drum dyed leather creates an aromatic ambiance. It’s hand-cut, hand-sewn, and hand-fitted by talented British leather crafters which will make it extra appealing…to age like your favorite leather jacket. Each Speedback GT is a masterpiece of contemporary automotive art.

David Brown automotive uses a process called direct metal laser sintering to fabricate the cabin brightwork trim. This is achieved by melting and layering nickel with an industrial laser. The Speedback GT has a classic simplicity making it an extremely tasteful grand tourer for the 21st century.

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A truly unique feature is the tailgate which opens out as a picnic seat. The lift back hinges upward and a valence drops down into a horizontal position as that of the Range Rover. This type of embellishment is reminiscent of the Harold Radford Countryman crafted to suit the rural lifestyles of the landed gentry. 

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Underneath the resplendent retro styling is a sophisticated network of technology. It’s the perfect combination of brains and brawn. The dynamics of the Speedback GT are based upon the alloy platform of the Jaguar XKR. Its prodigious power is derived from the Jaguar 5.0 litre 32-valve supercharged DOHC AJ-V8 engine which cranks 503 hp (ECE) @ 6,000 rpm with 625 Nm of peak torque @ 2,500 rpm. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in just 4.6 seconds with a top speed in the 155 mph range.

The engine is mated to a 6-speed ZF sequential shift automatic transmission. Speedback GT is not the biggest nor the fastest grand tourer and is not designed as such. It will focus on high quality and exquisite hand finishing. Speedback GT is an elegant grand tourer…understated and fundamentally conservative. David Brown believes in quality as it once was. It’s a genuine and enduring satisfaction, valuable…beautiful now and for years to come. Speedback GT is the birth of a legend…and a benchmark of excellence.

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Every now and again a car comes along that not only tickles your fancy but also excites your soul. Speedback GT is that car. It looks as though it drove right off the set of a James Bond flick. It is the brainchild of David Brown. He knows exactly what the true connoisseur wants: a classic handcrafted sporting grand tourer designed for today’s world.

While other automobile manufacturers are building clones with shoe-boxy wedge look designs…David Brown Automotive has restored esoteric automobile style and grace, with the emphasis on bespoke precision build quality. The all-new Speedback GT is a renaissance where technology reunites tradition for the 21st century. It is not only the quintessential supercar…it is one class act –

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For more information on the Speedback GT go to: http://www.davidbrownautomotive.com

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Special thanks to Hannah Burgess at Torque Agency Group LTD.

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…welcome to Greg’s World

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…”Sweet dreams ’til sunbeams find you, sweet dreams that leave all worries behind you – but in your dreams whatever they be – dream a little dream of me…”

Go Fast With Class – BMW 850 Ci Sophisto…

Posted in Bad Boy's Club, BMW, Classic Exotic Luxury, Editorials, Exotic & FAST, Exotic Sports Cars, Grande Marque, Riva Yachts, Supersports with tags , , , , , , , on August 1, 2015 by 99MilesPerHour

…it’s a natural headrush

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The exhilarating…exclusive…and elegant BMW 850 Ci was available by special order. It’s a consummate blend of luxury and spine tingling acceleration. The BMW 850 Ci is uniquely individual and uncompromising in every detail. The 8 Series introduced many “firsts” to the industry. It is the first car to feature CAN-bus multiplex wiring.  BMW’s Steptronic dual-mode manual transmission without a clutch provides refinement and hands-on control for those who take performance seriously.

The 850 Ci is one of the most sophisticated world-class luxury sport cars to wear the BMW signature twin kidney grille. BMW’s standards of excellence, athletic spirit and exceptional performance have earned world-wide acclaim from millions of dedicated fans – the 850 Series not only exemplifies the brand’s exponential technological prowess…it also has that rare ability to ignite the emotions on sight.

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The formidable BMW 8 Series is a luxurious grand tourer built from 1989 until 1999. This Flagship coupé was available as the following configurations: Series 840i equipped with a 4.0 litre M60B40 V8, Series 840 Ci equipped as a 4.4 litre M62B44 V8, Series 850i equipped with a 5.0 litre M70B50 V12, Series 850 Ci equipped a 5.4 litre M73B54 V12, and as Series 850 CSi equipped with a 5.6 litre S70B56 V12.

The 8 Series targets a different clientele. Its appearance is timeless…it looks as fresh today as it did when it was new. The milestone BMW 8 Series, with its avant-garde style and high-performance epitomized the brand with a unique eloquence. The pillarless unibody hardtop construction is aerodynamically sleek with a mere drag coefficient of 0.29…it slices through the atmosphere with grace. As with all BMW masterpieces – the 850 Series moves with tremendous verve and élan.

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The BMW 850 Series bitch-slapped the competition before the coined phrase was introduced – This is the BMW that doesn’t follow status-quo. It is the Bimmer that blows the doors off the competitors…bolt by bolt. The BMW 850 Series is the quintessential bad boy’s car. In its V12 configuration – it’s ferocious by all standards with spirited performance.  It’s not for the faint at heart…the awesome, jaw-dropping performance calls for the open road and a nice leafy run.

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BMW’s Flagship luxury coupé showcases the brand’s superlatives. The 850 Series is the first BMW supercar to offer a V12 engine mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox on a road-going production model. It is also one of the first automobiles to use an electronic drive-by-wire throttle system. BMW used CAD tooling to design the unique bodyshell which was among the first in the industry at the time. The 850 Series is one of BMW’s first cars to use a multi-link rear axle. It is designed for the connoisseur that demands outstanding performance without sacrificing luxury. It was priced substantially higher in the $96,000 range (which equates to around $112,000 in today’s market). The 850 Series exhibits suave exclusivity as a grand tourer that doubles as a supercar –

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To dispel ambiguity, I will use the European specification for the 1996 BMW 850 Ci coupé. It is equipped with the BMW M73B54 engine used from 1992 until 1999. The 5.4 litre naturally aspirated SOHC 24-valve 329 CID V12 engine produces 322 hp @ 5,000 rpm with 490 Nm of peak torque @ 3,900 rpm. The engine is mated to the ZF 5HP30 5-speed automatic transmission. It is built upon the E31 platform. The 850 Ci was introduced for the 1993 model year and was a refined version of the 850i Series.

This car is swift…BMW knows what fast is all about. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 6.4 seconds, 0-100 mph in 16.3 seconds, and 0-120 mph in 24.7 seconds. It has a top speed in the 155 mph range (some rate it as high as 171 mph). The 850 Ci does the ¼ mile @ 95 mph in just 14.6 seconds.

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The ferocious 5.4 litre V12

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The 850 Ci is one of the most seductive body styles ever built. It blends grace of form and refinement of luxury with the astonishing thrust of BMW’s V12 engine. The 850 Series was so carefully conceived and executed; it represents a benchmark of modern grand tourers. Its clean front end ensemble is augmented by hidden headlamps. The rear end design has a short overhang aiding its aerodynamic efficiency. The bumpers of the 850 CSi has a rounded, more aerodynamic design for both front and rear. The stainless-steel dual exhaust ports for the 850 Ci are square while the 850 CSi uses a round design.

Its overall silhouette is sleek and rakish. The swept roofline with the absence of “B” pillars adds a sporty look to its luxurious flair. All windows can be retracted into the body. This is an aerodynamic wedge of power. The BMW 850 Ci rides upon a tight 105.7” wheelbase, is 73” in width, and 188.2” in length. This was BMW’s highest performance driving experience in a refined road-going model for the day.

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If you are like me…and you require more than 6-cylinders, this is the car for you! It moves with aplomb – this is the “serious” BMW. The 850 Series “IS” BMW. They know racing…racing engines have muscle, but what’s the use if there is brawn…but no brains? BMW pioneered automobile electronics.

BMW chose to give its racing engines intelligent technology that makes standard production engines so unique. Digital Motor Electronics (DME) makes the difference. The success is evident; the formidable Formula 1 engine became the first computer-controlled turbocharged engine to win a World Championship title in 1983…the success is due in no small part to the finesse of BMW electronics. The brand uses power and performance reserves previously regarded as unattainable – BMW turns minimal energy into maximum performance…

Motorsport

Motorsport represents an integral component of BMW’s character. BMW’s motorsport experience helps to build better automobiles. The brand promotes a constant exchange of experience between racing specialists and production engineers. This generates a continuous flow of information.  It is a known fact that BMW production models and racing models share many features in common. Performance has always been part of BMW’s philosophy…just ask the competition –

1997 BMW 850 Ci 9

1997 BMW 850 Ci 8

BMW has accumulated an extraordinary level of engineering knowledge throughout the decades through evolutionary processes. BMW engines are endowed with an exceptional sense of power on demand with perfectly balanced crankshaft and piston assemblies. The 850 Ci has perfect engine response to the accelerator at all speeds, and gear changes are extremely imperceptible in its overall operation.

There are a total of 30,621 examples built up to 1999. BMW pulled the 8 Series from North American markets because there were only 7,232 sold over a 7 year timespan. More than two-thirds of all the BMW 8 Series are produced with V12 engines, and only one in six models fitted with the 6-speed manual gearbox. The 850 CSi accounted for 1,510 of the examples produced. This ultra-high performance model was available exclusively with a manual gearbox maintaining a sporting nature.

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What’s most impressive about the 850 Series is the fact BMW integrates all cabin controls and instrumentation into ergonomic principles. Everything is aligned for optimum results. The driver’s line of vision, seating configuration, steering wheel angle, the shape and position of the gear shift lever, and dash instrumentation are all placed exactly where they should be to integrate man/woman and machine. The 850 Series has excellent all around visibility. Everything is designed to assist the driver.

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the absence of the center “B” pillar makes a dramatic statement

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This beautiful car is built exceptionally rigid with a steel protective passenger safety cage. It has front and rear collapsible crush tubes that accordion at a controlled rate dissipating impact energy before reaching the passenger compartment. In severe frontal impacts dual air bags deploy and front seat belts tension to help protect passengers.

The BMW 850 Ci also takes care of itself. Every BMW has added theft protection; each key is embedded with a computer chip and cannot be easily duplicated. Should a key be used and not recognized…the 850 Ci will not cooperate thanks to the coded Driveaway Protection system. Its theft deterrent system is also on guard protecting your investment.

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Creature comforts include air conditioning, glove-soft Nappa leather upholstery, stereo radio/tape sound systems, power sunroof, cruise control, remote-control central locking system, power windows, and a high-performance onboard computer. Among other new features for the 850 Series include the seat belt system integrated into the seats, an electrically adjustable steering column with memory function, and an automatically dimming rear view mirror.

The CAN-bus multiplex electrical system was featured for the first time with data transfer from several different systems via the same conduit enhancing reliability and reducing weight. This list goes on and on…this is BMW in its most luxurious level. It accomplishes this high level of comfort while delivering exceptional stability and agility along with serious power and performance that is expected with a car of this stature. The 850 Series delivers a celebration of all that makes driving desirable – it presents luxury as a way of life and performance as a way of living…

1997 BMW 850 Ci 3

Automatic Stability Control plus Traction (ASC+T), Speed-Sensitive Power Assisted Steering, Electronic Damper Control (EDC), and ABS are among the amenities that give the 850 Series a distinctive identity as the ultimate driving machine. The 850 CSi Series, introduced in 1993, had new driving dynamics which include active rear axle kinematics. The rear wheels turn in the same direction as the front wheels optimizing directional stability.

The 850 CSi is the top of the line in the 850 Series and one of the most collectible models. It was built from 1994 to late 1996. Production ended because the S70 engine could not be modified to comply with new emission regulations without substantial re-engineering. The CSi’s unique electrohydraulic system is the precursor to modern-day Integral Active Steering available in 5, 6, and 7 Series BMW’s. The 850 CSi is equipped with a 5.6 litre V12. It produces 382 hp with 550 Nm of peak torque available. The 850 CSi can sprint from 0-60 mph in less than six seconds.

850 CSi

1996 850 Ci 10

A BMW 850 Series is very high performance delivered in a luxurious environment. This outstanding Flagship sports car continues to distinguish itself from its competition with advanced technology and engineering which results in astonishing performance capabilities. The front engine rear drive high-performance set-up, exceptionally solid body structure, high quality production, and sporty lines combine to elegantly characterize the timeless design concept. Effortless acceleration, superb road-holding abilities, and exemplary comfort provide the 850 Ci owner with an unparalleled driving experience.

BMW introduces an unprecedented range of exciting new automobiles; each with a distinct personality and driving character. These are athletes of grace, providing enormous power, with championship performance. BMW’s are not ordinary automobiles…they are built for people who truly love to drive. Racing heritage is evident in every BMW model. New technologies are developed for, and tested on, the grueling Nürburgring race track – and the experience gained from the track is refined for road-going models. The 850 Ci is an excellent example of this philosophy…

1997 BMW 850 Ci 4

Special thanks to Daniel Schmitt Classic Cars

Photos and specifications courtesy BMW Media Club

Without a slashing array of rhetoric…whether it is the V8 or one of the V12 engine configurations it is truly the ultimate driving experience…from the ultimate driving machine – “BMW also offers no less a paradigm of expressed individuality than do its products or its customers. And that distinct BMW character has been evident from very early on in its history.” BMW stands proud of its reputation for understated luxury and engineering prowess. BMW has always been deeply involved with motorsport; this dedication stamps a distinct and lasting mark on BMW automobiles – the handsome, aerodynamic BMW 850 Series represents excellence through innovation…

850 Ci blue

Class photo

…from a vicious, unrelenting heritage – 

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…comes vicious, unrelenting competition

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BMW 850 Ci 5

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The End

Brawn at its summit…the BMW 850 Ci

The Class of 2015: BMW 3.0 CSL

Posted in BMW, Editorials, Exotic & FAST, Exotic Sports Cars, Serious Speed, Supersports with tags , , , , , , on July 11, 2015 by 99MilesPerHour

BMW is bred for intense motorsport competition…

Hommage 1

BMW Archive 5

The 3.0 CSL dream coupé is the most successful touring car of its day. It was a pioneer when it came to innovation. In 1973 it received its power from BMW’s first 24-valve Inline 6-cylinder engine. In 1974 it featured a prototype anti-lock braking system. In 1975 nearing the end of 3.0 CSL production, a turbocharger was added boosting the maximum output to 800 hp. In 1976 a 3.2 litre Inline 6-cylinder with bi-turbocharging was added producing 750 hp.

Hommage 3

A BMW is a finely tuned evolutionary machine. It is a precision automobile built by engineers and perfected in locations such as LeMans, Monte Carlo, and the grueling Nürburgring. Automotive high-performance is more than bulging hood scoops and colorful decals. Accuracy is prominent; agility and durability are not just matters of theoretical speculation.

BMW is committed to building automobiles with extraordinary deftness and stamina, remarkable handling, and of course efficient design. The BMW philosophy of exceptional performance is achieved through balance, not excess…more performance using less energy. At the heart of BMW is a rich motorsport heritage.

BMW Archive 1

BMW 3.0 CSL

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A special lightweight and extremely potent coupé was constructed on the E09 platform and bodied by Karmann from 1971 until 1975. The relentless BMW 3.0 CSL is extremely successful at racing. It helped to establish BMW’s status as a true driver’s car and laid the foundation for one of BMW’s most formidable racing divisions. As a fitting tribute BMW created the 2015 3.0 CSL Hommage Concept…it is truly the Class of 2015.

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On May 22, 2015 the BMW Group introduced the new BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage Concept at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este on beautiful Lake Como. The 3.0 CSL Hommage epitomizes the iconic BMW coupé from the 1970s. It celebrates the exemplary performance of the lightweight design and engineering prowess of a timeless classic touring coupé. The Hommage Concept is the contemporary interpretation combining the character of the earlier model and cutting edge technology from the present. The BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage Concept is motorsport with an elegant character.

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1971 BMW 3.0 CSL

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“CSL” equates to Coupé Sport Leichtbau or simply, lightweight sport coupé. It is pared down to the bare essentials to save weight. The original BMW 3.0 CSL was launched at the 1971 Geneva International Motor Show. It was originally intended to be a homologation model for the German Touring Car Championship expedited by a separate division within BMW AG which would later become BMW Motorsport GmbH, incorporated in 1972. The division was later renamed BMW M GmbH. The unique tri-color stripes that form the iconic “M” came into being on the classic 3.0 CSL coupé. Arrogance…but not conceit, as a touring coupé it is complete – This is the aggressive BMW “M-Powerment!”

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To Craig Brody: “This one’s for you…kid”

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Classic 3.0 CSL models follow BMW design DNA. The styling continuity is uncomplicated and aerodynamically efficient. The 3.0 CSL variant differed from the standard 3.0 CS models. The 3.0 CSL was designed in two versions. The lightweight racing variant includes lighter sheet metal with aluminium used for doors, boot lid, front wings, and hood. Cosmetic variances include: chrome fender lip moldings, black side stripes with “3.0 CSL” logo, a racing-inspired pin release for the hood, no front bumper, a lightweight 5.5 pound plastic rear bumper without guards, Alpina 7 x 14” alloy wheels, and no trunk lock/tool kit.

Its auto glass is also lightweight using a “Verbel” laminated windscreen, lightweight Plexiglas door glass, and lightweight fixed rear quarter windows. The racing 3.0 CSL variant used the “minimalist” approach to its design. Interiors for the classic 3.0 CSL uses unique three-spoke leather wrapped steering wheels and Scheel sports seats in black with matching leatherette bolsters. The head liner is black.

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1973 BMW 3.0 CSL

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Bonham's City Package 3.0 CSL

The classic 3.0 CSL coupé was available as a genuine road-going coupé The “City Package” is a tamer street-lethal, more civilized variant usable as a daily driver. This edition swapped steel for the aluminium body panels, however; not all included this. It has power steering, and the entire standard 3.0 CS/ 3.0 CSi chassis components. It also shares front and rear bumpers, windscreens, standard side and rear glass, rear window defroster, retractable power assisted windows, trunk lock and tool kit, velour carpeting, additional sound deadening materials, and under coating. This transformed the ferocious 3.0 CSL into an elegant touring coupé…and a sporty driver’s car –

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Mad4wheels 2

Mad4wheels

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BMW Archive 9

BMW Archive 2

BMW Archive 4

The classic 3.0 CSL is a unique lightweight high-performance champ that is considered to be the very first “M” Series model; it isn’t badged as such at this point. These exquisite racing machines were hand-crafted by Karmann Werkes in Rheine, Germany.  BMW developed four different versions over five years and were all built to European specifications. The original variant was produced in late 1971 and early 1972 using the 2,985cc M30 Inline 6-cylinder engine equipped with two Zenith carburetors. This version has an 89mm bore and 80mm stroke. It cranked 180 hp @ 6,000 rpm with 260 Nm of peak torque @ 3,700 rpm.

In late 1972 and early 1973 the next variant is equipped with an electronically controlled Bosch fuel injected 3,003cc with a slight increase to an 89.25 bore. It produces 200 hp @ 5,500 rpm with 276 Nm of peak torque @ 4,300 rpm. The finale for this legend is equipped with a 3,153cc engine with a longer 84mm stroke which now cranked 206 hp @ 5,600 rpm with 291 Nm of peak torque @ 4,200 rpm.

The final version was built in two separate production runs during late 1973 and the last were built during the 1974-1975 model years. The 3.0 CSL is about 440 pounds lighter than the standard steel bodied 3.0 CS models. Road-going variants are 297 pounds heavier than the racing version of the 3.0 CSL. All engine configurations are equipped with Getrag four-speed manual gearboxes with limited slip differentials.

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BMW Archive 12

BMW Motorsport 2

BMW Motorsport 1

The mighty BMW 3.0 CSL shares the identical suspension as its E09 3.0 CS stablemates. It uses a MacPherson strut/ semi-trailing arm design with Bilstein gas-pressurized shock absorbers, a 20mm reduced ride height with specific progressive-rate springs, and an increased camber (1.1 degree front, and 1.0 degree for the rear). It is fitted with 10.7” four-wheel disc brakes and 195/70VR 14 tires. Staggered tires improve overall handling, in my opinion. The 3.0 CSL has a manual ZF worm and roller steering system. The City Package adds power steering, and could have been ordered as an option on the standard 3.0 CSL coupé. CSL models are not fitted with front and rear roll bars.

The classic BMW 3.0 CSL is a vicious contender. In 1973 Toine Hezemans won the European Touring Car Championship in a 3.0 CSL. He was also the co-driver with Deter Quester in a victory at LeMans in a 3.0 CSL. Hezemans and Quester won 2nd place at the 1973 German Touring Car Grand Prix at Nürburgring driving a 3.0 CSL…being beaten by Chris Amon and Hans-Joachim Stuck in…guess what…another 3.0 CSL!!! BMW 3.0 CSL’s won the European Touring Car Championship every year from 1975 through 1979. A 3.0 CSL won races in the IMSA GT Championship in 1975.

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Ultimate Car Page 4

Here’s an interesting case in point. The final rendition of the BMW 3.0 CSL was homologated in July 1973 with an extreme aerodynamic body package that earned it the nickname “Batmobile.” This fully aerodynamic option included a large air dam, short front fins atop the fenders, a spoiler above the trailing edge of the roof, and a huge rear wing.

These humongous wings were not installed at the factory and were left in the boot for installation after delivery of the vehicle. This was done because the wings were not street-legal in Germany. A BMW 3.0 CSL is indeed a fierce competitor – and is considered highly sought as collectible cars by connoisseurs world-wide. This is the ultimate driving machine in one of its most extreme interpretations – 

Ultimate Car Page 3

Ultimate Car Page 6

Maintaining a minimalist approach with classic simplicity, the BMW 3.0 CSL had a small roster of options. Standard glass, tinted glass, power windows, locking gas cap, air conditioning, head lamp washers, and passenger side outside rearview mirror were the choices available.

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Ultimate Car Page 8

Ultimate Car Page 9

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Ultimate Car Page 2

Hommage 6

Now…let’s fast forward to the 2015 BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage Concept coupé. This is a stunning example of a timeless classic. The design team’s tribute captures the classic beauty and overall finesse of the original in a 21st century interpretation. The engineering achievement is exemplified by the lightweight design and performance. Cutting edge technology makes it an automotive collage of high-performance success. It exudes dynamism and sophistication as did its predecessor. The BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage Concept coupé is painted in the authentic original color Golf Yellow. It is an aerodynamic sculpture of raw power…

The classic BMW 3.0 CSL used aluminium to keep its architecture lightweight…the carbon fibre technology rules with the 3.0 CSL Hommage. Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic offers optimum weight-to-strength ratio. It is lighter than aluminium and far more versatile.  The 3.0 CSL Hommage Concept continues the original lightweight design principle for both interior and exterior. BMW is the world leader in CFRP technology; their expertise is clearly evident in the new 3.0 CSL Hommage.

Finale 5

The BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage Concept is an efficient aerodynamic sculpture. Its architecture is designed to hint at its illustrious predecessor, but aggressively sets the center stage with a unique stature all its own. The sculpted architecture manages the air flow efficiently around the entire vehicle. The front air deflector vents the engine bay for efficient cooling. The wings over the rear wheels send air flow around the vehicle. Small rearview cameras reduce aerodynamic drag. A large rear wing increases downforce to the rear drive wheels improving power transmission. It has an air curtain and air breather system to optimize airflow to the rear wheels cooling the brakes.

The BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage Concept boasts a fierce front end ensemble. It is the widest and lowest front end design in the industry, which gives it a formidable and aggressive, high-performance stance. The familiar kidney grille has been refreshed to reflect a more contemporary look. Laser light and LED technology assimilates art lighting graphics. The flat contours of the headlamps are typical characteristics of BMW. The fancy “X-shape” inside the headlamps hints at the headlamp X-stickers used on classic race cars. The large carbon fibre front splitter combined with the kidney grille is a contemporary interpretation of the classic 3.0 CSL’s sharknose styling. Past, present, and future styling cues come together for fresh new racing car flair with a touch of class…

Hommage 5

The 3.0 CSL Hommage Concept has a long, low-slung silhouette. The aggressive stance, long wheelbase, long bonnet and aerodynamic rear end design stretches the appearance making it look even longer. The interesting way the designers used flowing contours, adding the retro character from the classic 3.0 CSL has created a unique contemporary supercar.

The familiar “Hofmeister Kink” is deftly worked into the style perfectly. This roofline is a throwback to the original rooflines that did not flow into the tail. The BMW logo proudly adorns the C-pillars in a traditional manner. This augments the athletically wide shoulders and high haunches to the sides.

Its dynamism is showcased through shadow lines and interplay between light and dark shadows. It appears to be in motion even when it is parked. Carbon fibre technology is used throughout its architecture. The black matt and high gloss 21” alloy wheels adds a 21st century nudge to the car’s attitude. Air control blades in the interstices of the wheel rims further optimize aerodynamics.

Hommage 9

The BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage Concept sports a viciously aggressive rear design. The focal point is its wing that flows into a contour atop the rear fenders. The body panels form geometric symmetry throughout its architecture. This is a ferocious 21st century supercar in every respect. LED strips are designed into the spoiler to link the taillamps together. The apron has a CFRP diffuser to optimize downforce in conjunction with the large wing. The powerfully sculpted rear end design creates a visual impression of raw power. The light and dark shadow interplay makes the car look different each time you look at it – 

Hommage 10

Keeping in tune with the minimalist approach as its classic predecessor, the interior is pared down to an absolute minimum. The all CFRP interior is a fresh new interpretation of the 3.0 CSL bringing it to a contemporary style. The only wood-like presence is the instrument panel which is a structural cross member. It is a clear reference to the classic 3.0 CSL coupé. The instrument panel shows only necessary information such as current gear selection, speed, revs, and shift points. It’s the carbon fibre technology that creates a special appeal. Every part has a high quality look and feel. It is understated elegantly, yet sporty –

Hommage 12

The racing theme for the interior includes two bucket seats. They have a six-point belt system. Red anodized safety features include outlet nozzles for fire extinguishing foam, the fire extinguishing mechanism, the fire extinguisher itself, and two emergency shut-off switches on the center console. In place of a rear bench seat are covers for the eBoost energy accumulators which have LED strips creating a holographic 3-D effect on them. The only elements in the rear are two helmets integrated into the transmission tunnel, and are held in place by a belt when not in use.

Bonham's Race Homologated

Finale 1

BMW’s commitment has to been to design and engineer automobiles noted for extraordinary stamina. A BMW is bred for intense motorsport competition. The BMW 3.0 CSL is a fierce competitor winning European Championships. Its impressive portfolio of victories includes the 24 Hours of LeMans and the grueling Nürburgring. The impressive 3.0 CSL left its mark in automotive history as an indomitable persona. The CSL…“Coupé Sport Leichtbau” or Light Sport Coupé, is a lightweight and extremely potent design built from 1971 until 1975 in various forms.

The BMW engineers designed a one-off creation as tribute to commemorate the achievements of the formidable 3.0 CSL…the 3.0 CSL Hommage Concept celebrates this notorious supercar brilliantly. It refines both retro and contemporary styling cues creating a striking 21st century interpretation. The designers used light and shadows in combination with contours for special effects for this timeless masterpiece. The 3.0 CSL Hommage Concept uses the latest CFRP technology for both exterior and interior. As far as the Hommage’s production…we will have to wait and see what form it will arrive. BMW concept cars always predict future production models –

Finale 3

Photos and specifications courtesy BMW Media Club

Alexander Caldwell 1

Alexander Calder 1975

Alexander Caldwell 2

Alexander Caldwell 3

BMW Inline Six

BMW AG 1

Special thanks to Craig Brody, The Ultimate Car Page, Conceptcarz, and Mad 4 Wheels for the use of their photos of these extremely rare automobiles.

Finale 4

NotoriousLuxury salutes BMW…the Class of 2015

Retrospect: 1986-1989 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante

Posted in "Q" by Aston Martin, Aston Martin, Editorials, Exotic & FAST, Exotic Exotics, Exotic Sports Cars, Luxury Sport Cars with tags , , , , , , , , on June 20, 2015 by 99MilesPerHour

British hand-crafted excellence…

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Aston Martin creates some of the most beautiful automobiles in the world. They become even more so as they mature. One such timeless beauty is the V8 Vantage Volante. The V8 Vantage is considered the first British supercar. It was the brand’s hottest offering for two decades. The AM V8 Vantage Volante is a sensual drop top with a thirst for performance. The V8 Vantage Volante convertible was built from 1986 until 1989. An available power upgrade includes the 580 X-Pack engine (Works Service Conversion).

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This is the first British supercar…the Aston Martin V8 Vantage

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The V8 Vantage Volante personifies the European idea of grand tourer. So transformed is the automotive world today. Styling trends come and go…but the beauty of an Aston Martin is timeless. A classic Aston Martin can be more intriguing than a brand new model. They are like your favorite leather jacket that mellows as it ages gracefully, every line, crease, or wrinkle adds character to that jacket…same with an Aston Martin…every mile it is driven, it becomes even more distinctive…

Aston Martin used the name “Vantage” on previous models to denote high-performance. It was a separate model for 1978 as the AM V8 Vantage. Cosmetic changes include the closed-off power-dome hood, closed-off grille with high intensity fog lamps, contoured spoiler on the front valance, and a distinctive spoiler integrated into the rear deck lid. The Vantage is the quintessential bad-boy’s toy. Back then, this was a new breed…ferocious and wild.

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XP 6

The ferocious 580 X-Pack creates a rare automotive experience very few enthusiasts will ever know. The alloy 5.3 litre 16-valve 327 CID V8 engine is given an adrenaline rush. The DOHC V8 is fitted with four Weber 481DF3/150 carburetors and a ZF 5-speed manual gearbox (Euro-spec).

The X-Pack big-bore magic includes high-performance camshafts, increased compression ratio, larger inlet valves, new manifolds, Cosworth pistons and Nimrod racing heads. A deep-throaty, free-flow straight-through exhaust system intensifies the experience. The X-Pack was available originally for 1986 through 1989 model years. The 580 X-Pack is as quick as a Ferrari Daytona!

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The 580 X-Pack engine cranks 432 hp @ 6,200 rpm with 536 Nm of peak torque @ 5,100 rpm. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as: 0-60 mph in 5.2 seconds, 0-100 mph in 11.5 seconds, 0-120 mph in 17.1 seconds, and 0-150 mph in 37.7 seconds. It does the ¼ mile @ 108 mph in 13.3 seconds. Its top speed is a respectable 163 mph.

The epochal Aston Martin legend of high-performance such as the classic Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante remains among the finest hand-crafted automobiles in the world. The Aston Martin V8’s are among the fastest, most elegant, and longest running production model series ever built in the history of the brand.

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V8 Volante

The AM V8 Volante convertible was introduced in 1978. It was equipped with a power, fully lined convertible top. The frame is stronger than that of the hardtop. They are built with a lower center of gravity. The Series 4, 375 hp Oscar India spec versions were introduced to round out the performance portfolio.

The “Oscar India” specification was introduced in October 1978 at the Birmingham International Motor Show. Visually, the former scoop on the bonnet gave way to a closed “power bulge”, while a spoiler was integrated into the tail. Most Oscar India cars were equipped with a Chrysler Torqueflite three-speed automatic transmission, and wood trim was fitted for the first time since the  DB 2 of the 1950s. Just 352 Oscar India models were built from 1978 through 1985.

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V8 Volante 5

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The Series Five V8 Vantage Volante convertible was introduced in 1986 at the New York International Auto Show and was built until 1989. They have an aggressively, muscular physique. The low-slung wind-cheating design inherits Aston Martin beauty, it will challenge the years gracefully. The AM V8 Vantage Volante convertible showcased an integrated rear deck lid spoiler, a deeper front spoiler, wider wheel arches, and extended side skirts.

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For the 1987 model year, HRH Prince Charles of Wales ordered a new V8 Vantage Volante. He made a few minor requests to refine his to look understated and sophisticated without the wide wheel arches, front air dam, and side skirts. It retained the open mesh front grille and power bulge on the bonnet. A discreetly sculpted spoiler is attached to the front valence. This style became known as the “Prince of Wales” (POW) specification, with another 21 built at the factory.

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Five additional “Cosmetic” versions of the Prince of Wales style were built to U.S. specifications. They were equipped with the less powerful fuel injected engines along with impact absorbing front and rear bumpers. The POW versions are the most highly sought out of all 1970s – 1980s V8 models. This was actually the humble beginning of the elite “Q” by Aston Martin bespoke commissioning service. The AM V8 Vantage Volante looks as good today as it did when it left the assembly hall. Beauty is tradition with Aston Martin.

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U.S. specification with front and rear impact absorbing bumpers

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The V8 Vantage Volante rides on an independent front suspension with upper and lower control arms, coil springs and anti-roll bar. The rear uses a de Dion axle with Watt linkage trailing arms. Power rack and pinion steering and the integrity of four-wheel power disc brakes aided its overall operation. Its 102.7” wheelbase and 74.4” width gives it nimble, and quick, response packaged within a 183.7” overall length.

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The Aston Martin V8 has been one of the best-selling series in the history of the brand. The Aston Martin V8 Vantage has the honor of being the first British supercar. It is the Vantage V8 Volante that personifies the European idea of gran turismo. The 5.3 litre V8 engine with the 580 X-Pack transformation cranks 432 hp with a top speed exceeding 163 mph. This is raw power…raw, naturally aspirated power, not computer enhanced euphoria…or merely an excellent power to weight ratio…it flexes its muscles without the ‘roids’ of the industry (turbos and superchargers etc.) getting in the way.

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“Vantage” is a mononym used by Aston Martin to define high-performance; it became a model series. The V8 Vantage Volante built from 1986 until 1989, is one of the most seductive GT’s Aston Martin has ever built. It successfully synthesizes performance and luxury without sacrificing either –

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Aston Martin is looking to the future. They set forth a “Second Century” plan aligning their vision for growth into the 21st century. It promises exciting and highly desirable new luxury sports cars as well as new power train technology. This is the largest investment plan in their 102 year history. It is a comprehensive plan for their growth and development taking the brand into a new direction. Aston Martin’s goal is to replace every model in the current line with the addition of three all-new models by the end of the decade.

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Aston Martin Vulcan supercar

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Aston Martin Lagonda Taraf super saloon

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Photos and specifications courtesy Aston Martin Media Club

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Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante is NotoriousLuxury © 2017

2015 Aston Martin Rapide S Super Saloon

Posted in "Q" by Aston Martin, Aston Martin, Editorials, Exotic & FAST, Exotic Exotics, Exotic Sports Cars, Extreme Luxury, Luxury Sport Cars with tags , , , on June 9, 2015 by 99MilesPerHour

Welcome to the new world of Aston Martin…

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The Rapide S is the fierce four-door head rush from Aston Martin. If you prefer your performance packaged as a super saloon…this is your car. The Rapide S captures the elite refinement of an ultra-luxury sedan, the breathtaking V12 power of a high-performance sports car…and the ability to move with the tremendous verve and élan of an Aston Martin. Four-door saloons can flex their muscles too – the Rapide S is proof. Where ever the journey takes you…a serendipitous adventure along the way is inevitable –

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Anatomy of power –

Who says there is no such thing as a four-door muscle car? To flaunt the point, a refined and ferocious aluminium alloy 6.0 litre 48-valve AM29 V12 moves this car with aplomb…while minding its manners of course – let’s go fast with class…its factory rated top speed is a mind altering 203 mph. The engine is mated to a ZF 6HP26 8-speed automatic with Touchtronic III shift by wire control system for those who prefer to do it themselves. The gearbox is mid-rear mounted with an alloy torque tube and carbon fibre prop shaft. The AM29 V12 engine is front mid-mounted for a near perfect weight distribution. This is the most advanced V12 engine in the history of the brand.

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The engine and transmission are coordinated for efficiency. The Bosch Engine Management system digitally enhances performance by monitoring and analyzing pertinent data. This sophisticated performance management technology brings a new level of engineering excellence to the Rapide S.

This is one of the fastest four-door saloons in the world. The potent 6.0 litre V12 produces 552 hp @ 6,650 rpm with a respectable 630 Nm of peak torque @ 5,500 rpm. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds, 0-100 mph in 9.9 seconds, 0-120 mph in 14.4 seconds, 0-140 mph in 19.8 seconds, and 0-180 mph in 50.7 seconds. It does the ¼ mile @ 112 mph in just 12.7 seconds.

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An Aston Martin Rapide S is an integrated machine, driving is believing. All of the attributes of a premium automobile coordinate themselves anonymously. Its extruded aluminium and carbon fibre bonded VH body structure is fitted with aluminium and carbon fibre body panels with cast-magnesium door structures. It has single Bi-Xenon headlamps with integrated LED side lights/directional indicators. The exposed carbon fibre splitter, diffuser, and sill blade add a touch of drama with the spotlight on the LED light blade taillamps. Traditional Aston Martin beauty is apparent in the Rapide S.

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Structural integrity –

“VH” is an engineering methodology and not just a platform. The “V” represents shared body construction principles. The “H” represents horizontal systems shared such as engines, suspension components etc. These functional networks can be modified easier because of the component nature of their construction. The bonded aluminium chassis provides the basis for other cars shared from the single common central core.

Its VH architecture is 3 percent stiffer. It absorbs and cancels road noise and vibration before reaching the passenger cell. Its lightweight aluminium structure is bonded with an industrial strength epoxy resin. Through technical evolution, the Rapide S benefits from a unique sports car architecture of phenomenal stability and rigidity.

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The Rapide S is equipped with Gen4 Adaptive Damping. This allows the driver to select from “Normal,” “Sport,” and “Track.” At the touch of a button it goes from a luxurious super saloon to an assertive sports car with immediate response. The Rapide S has a near perfect 45:52 weight distribution. Its precise handling and efficient aerodynamics are sure to satisfy the most discerning drivers.

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Its aggressive independent 4-wheel suspension uses double wishbones, coil springs, anti-roll bar, and monotube 3-stage adaptive dampers fitted to the front and rear. The front suspension has anti-dive geometry, while the rear has anti-squat and anti-lift geometry to maintain stability and poise under any driving situation. Speed-sensitive Servotronic power assisted rack and pinion steering is precise and allows the driver to “feel” the road. The power 4-wheel disc brake system is equipped with ABS and Hydraulic Brake Assist.

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Computer assisted Dynamic Stability Control has been recalibrated. Normal and Track modes further refine the ride to monitor and detect irregular wheel spin, under or over-steer, it then compensates the deficiency with engine torque reduction or braking technology. When in Track mode, the ABS system remains passive until required which allows the experienced driver to maintain a greater level of handling and control.

Digital Technology such as Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, Dynamic Stability Control, Traction Control, Positive Torque Control, and Electronic Parking Brake, all work in harmony behind the scene to maintain optimum overall performance at any speed. The Rapide S is a sports car with two extra doors – 

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Executive-style elegance –

Inside the British hand-crafted super saloon are four of the most desirable seats in the industry. Super soft, full grain Luxmill hand-stitched leather by Bridge of Weir graciously upholsters the high back lounge seats, door panels, and dash. Two different wood finishes, Piano Black and Ice Mocha are designed to complement the leather and carbon fibre detailing for a rare luxury experience. For an even more enticing Rapide S, allow “Q” by Aston Martin to assist in creating a totally bespoke vehicle as distinctive and individual as your finger print.

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Rapide S is unique among luxury automobiles. Elegant glass dash switches and walnut fascia trim are exclusive Aston Martin virtues. Power operated front seats have a memory function that include the outside rear view mirrors. Heated front and rear seats are standard. The Rapide S is a comprehensively equipped luxury saloon. With its extensive list of power features…it would be easier to tell you what is not. When traveling…it’s the journey that is actually more important than the destination…right? Aston Martin makes the journey most rewarding –

Switch on the 1,000 watt Bang & Olufsen Beosound audio system…no matter which seat one occupies, this sophisticated sound system delivers perfect pitch. The sound of the AM29 V12 engine is balanced precisely with the audio system. Even the stainless-steel exhaust system is equipped with active bypass valves to deliver a “tuned” exhaust sound. Rear seat entertainment systems are available to further distinguish your Rapide S.

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There is just something intriguing about a four-door Aston Martin. The Rapide S has become a contemporary work of automotive science. Powered by the refined AM29 V12 engine, this luxurious saloon becomes the unexpected sports car. Technology, form, and function, follow evolution with every Aston Martin.

The Rapide S is an elegantly styled and boldly distinctive result of such. Its trim, athletic aluminium and carbon fibre architecture conceals the intricate VH body structure refined to be 3 percent stiffer than the previous model. The Rapide S is a unique four-door luxury sports saloon with world-class dynamics and the exquisite beauty of an Aston Martin –

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Photos courtesy Aston Martin Media Club

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Can you see the Aston Martin sports car in its silhouette?

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2015 Aston Martin Rapide S Super Saloon is NotoriousLuxury…

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Aston Martin Lagonda Taraf 4-door super saloon

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Its production schedule is limited to 200 vehicles world-wide

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Aston Martin Rapide S 4-door super saloon

Aston Martin DB5 – The Ultimate Icon

Posted in Aston Martin, Classic Exotic Luxury, Editorials, Exotic Exotics, Exotic Sports Cars, Grande Marque with tags , , , , , , , on June 5, 2015 by 99MilesPerHour

…This is the most famous Aston Martin

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…It’s also one of the most beautiful Aston Martin creations

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The Aston Martin DB5 is probably the single most identifiable model in the brand’s history. The iconic DB5 was built from 1963 until 1965. These luxury grand tourers have a sensuous Italian design and are powered by fast In-line 6-cylinder engines. The DB5 is another Aston Martin classic success story.

Its Superleggera formed architecture makes this series unique. Lightweight, powerful, and beautiful – the Aston Martin DB5 remains a highly collectible pedigree.  Robust beauty and high performance are Aston Martin signatures, the DB5 is the most famous of all Aston Martin automobiles – it was James Bond’s gadget-laden rolling arsenal in the 1964 movie “Gold Finger.” To drive any Aston Martin is to drive an automotive legend…

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Beautiful and fast like all Aston Martin automobiles, the DB5 defined British motoring luxury for the day. Thrilling performance was standard and not an afterthought. The DB5 is powered by a 4.0 litre In-line 6-cylinder 16-valve 243.7 CID alloy engine. Its fuel delivery system uses 2 SU HD8 carburetors. The engine cranked 282 hp @ 5,500 rpm delivering 391 Nm of peak torque @ 3,850 rpm. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 6.2 seconds, 0-100 mph in 15 seconds, and 0-120 mph in 24.5 seconds. Its top speed is 146-148 mph. It can do the ¼ mile @ 97 mph in 14.6 seconds.

Vantage

Adequately geared for fierce ‘take no prisoners’ European road rallies, the Aston Martin DB5 Vantage was introduced in 1964. It is a more powerful version substituting 3 Weber 2-bbl carburetors as a ‘full-throttle’ set-up increasing energy to 325 hp @ 5,750 rpm delivering 393 Nm of peak torque @ 4,500 rpm. The Vantage increased the top speed to 155 mph. It could do the ¼ mile @ 101 mph in 14.3 seconds. Longitudinal acceleration for the Vantage is rated as 0-60 mph in 6 seconds, 0-100 mph in 13.9 seconds, and 0-120 mph in 21.6 seconds. Only 65 DB5 Vantage coupes were built.

The engine used a 4-speed manual gear box for the 1963 model year. Model years 1964 and 1965 mate the engine to the ZF 5-speed all synchromesh manual. For those who required automatic shifting a 3-speed Borg-Warner DG (Detroit Gear) was available. It was refined into the Borg-Warner Model 8 shortly before introduction of the new replacement model.

Upgrading the DB4 to DB5 includes a Girling 4-wheel solid disc braking system with twin hydraulic brake servos, 15” wheels, and power windows.

Aston Martin DB5

The Aston Martin DB5 has distinctive hand-crafting. Its body and chassis are made by Superleggera Coachwork. This super light-weight construction is technology developed by Italian designer Felice Bianchi Anderloni of Carrozzeria Touring of Milan.  The Superleggera construction system is relatively simple in theory.

It consists of a structural framework of small diameter tubing conforming to the shape of the bodyshell. The tubing is covered with lightweight aluminium body panels. The bodyshell strengthens the framework. This design offers greater flexibility while in theatre allowing innovative body designs in less time than conventional die casting. Aston Martin was licensed by Carrozzeria Touring for the DB4 and DB5 models built using this patented process.

There are issues to the Superleggera process. First and foremost, it simply cannot meet important impact resistance standards. This type of build cannot accommodate suspension components, therefore a chassis is required. Due to the nature of this build type, galvanic corrosion occurs between the aluminium body panels and the steel of the tubular frame.

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1965-1966 Volante (short chassis) 2

The Aston Martin DB5 was built based upon 2+2 configurations as a two-door coupe, convertible, and Harold Radford Shooting Brake body styles. The most famous Aston Martin DB5 configuration is the lethal Silver Birch rolling arsenal driven by James Bond in the 1964 film “Gold Finger.” A different DB5 was used for “Thunderball” a year later, and then again in the 1995 filming of “Golden Eye.”

There is always more than one Bond car in any single film depending on the stunts involved. Another DB5 version appeared in 2006 in the James Bond film “Casino Royale.” One version of the DB5 was stolen and never recovered. Still another version of the Silver Birch DB5 appeared in Skyfall. These iconic Aston Martin collectibles fetch millions of dollars on the auction block. An Aston Martin is portrayed as invincible as the 007 character that drives it –

James Bond

DB5 Shooting Brake

Shooting Brake coachwork by Harold Radford

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The Aston Martin DB5 sports the minimalist approach to cabin appointments. All pertinent information is displayed directly in front of the driver. The heady aroma of impeccably tailored leather is as important as the grip of its hand-crafted steering wheel. Aston Martin is among the purveyors of grand tourers of the world.

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Aston Martin DB5 is a genuine sports car with no frills…

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Extraordinary automobiles for extraordinary people. Aston Martin has been creating excitement for over 100 years. The DB5 is the most famous of all models. This elegant grand tourer was built from 1963 through 1965 as convertible, hardtop, and Shooting Brake body styles. Exemplary British hand-crafting, the ultimate in high-performance, and one of the world’s most beautiful automotive designs makes the Aston Martin DB5 the quintessential classic sports car for a true enthusiast.

And having James Bond on your resume can’t hurt either…The Superleggera construction makes it as unique as the vehicle itself. Performance is built into an Aston Martin, not just tacked on as a package option. These are raw-power experiences…not just a good power-to-weight ratio. The DB5 is a driver’s car that typifies classic British sports cars from the genre – but then…an Aston Martin is not just a car…now is it?

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Aston Martin DB9

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Ask the owner of the Aston Martin DB9…about what part of the legend excites them most. Could it be the 6.0 litre 48-valve naturally aspirated V12 engine that produces 510 hp @ 6,500 rpm with 620 Nm of peak torque @ 5,500 rpm? Or is it due to the fact its longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds, 0-100 mph in 9.3 seconds, 0-120 mph in 13.6 seconds and has a top speed of 193 mph?

Or the fact that it does the ¼ mile @ 115 mph in 12.5 seconds? And lest we forget, the ZF 6HP 6-speed automatic with Touchtronic 2 manual shift mode?  The Aston Martin DB9 is the contemporary grand tourer. The only thing more exciting than an Aston Martin motorcar is another Aston Martin. Engineering, performance, and beauty rank top marks in its class. Aston Martin epitomizes British hand-craftsmanship continuing the proud tradition –

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…seize the moment

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Photos courtesy Aston Martin Media Club

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…a matter of choice

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Aston Martin is the ultimate icon

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Aston Martin DB5 is NotoriousLuxury…