The History and Evolution of the Aston Martin DB10
The one and only mouthwatering two-door Aston Martin DB10 coupe designed exclusively for Daniel Craig, or rather James Bond, was just sold for a slighted £2.4million. The auction was hosted by Christie’s on behalf of Eon Productions. Unfortunately, since it is not a production car, the new owner will not be able to drive the car on the road. The Spectre coupe can hit a thundering 190mph on the track, and was unveiled outside the star-studded global premiere at Albert Hall in October 2015. Although the auction started at a slow £1m, the price had escalated to a massive £2,434,500 by the end of the show, for charity of course.
Despite prior knowledge that the car is not road legal, the speedster was met with a fierce bidding war. It is one of the ten DB10s created exclusively for the 007 adventure film Spectre, and the first to go into private ownership. The model also features what is arguably the greatest Aston Martin design ever. Of course, James Bond is very familiar with Aston Martin vehicles. The first car from the marque to feature in a James Bond Movie was the legendary DB5, in “Goldfinger”. Since then, five more models have been delivered by the Brits for the James Bond franchise. Let’s take a look at the history and evolution of the Aston Martin DB10.
A few weeks after EON Productions (the James Bond franchise producers) announced the 24th installment of the film as “Spectre,” the Aston Martin DB10 made its debut. The name sparked a wave of confusion among Aston Martin (or rather Aston Martin DB) enthusiasts, as it seemed to suggest a continuation of the DB lineup from the DB9 model. However, the car was simply a prototype that would not go into production. Unlike other concepts, Aston Martin produced ten units, most of which were used in the film. The DB 10 looked as aggressive as expected. It was also iconic as it seemed to diversify from the typical Aston Martin styling to a more compact design. This was a good move, and might have just come at the right time.
How it came to be
According to Marek Reichman (Aston Martin design director), the idea was to create a car that would capture the attention of every boy who watches the James Bond franchise film for the first time. At least this is what the film director Sam Mendes wanted. Reichman’s interpretation was an evolution of the DB5, which was driven by Sean Connery in the 1964 hit Goldfinger and marked the beginning of the legendary Bond-Aston affair. But far from it: the DB10 aimed to recapture its predecessor’s philosophy as opposed to its gadgetry.
At a glance, the task seemed rather simple: to revive one of the most influential Aston Martins both in film and reality. The only quandary is that this wasn’t just going to be a mere replica of the original, because, as Sam put it, it had to be unique and modern – the future generation of the DB5.
So, the production process for the DB10 began, using the V8 Vantage platform but employing a longer wheelbase and a stunningly wide track. As expected, the car was powered by a 4.7-L V8 engine and came with an extended hood. The cabin was positioned all the way back, and there was a simple, sharp line running down the side of the coupe. Apparently, the aggressive front end was actually inspired by SHARKS. It featured the lowest nose ever produced by Aston Martin. The grille was hidden in a dark silhouette, while the interior was extremely technical. It was baptized DB10 not because it was meant to succeed the Db9, but due to the fact that it was a modern version of the DB5. Indeed, the car does not look anywhere close to an evolution of the DB9.
Features and Performance
In line with the agreement the Brits signed in 2014 with Daimler, the Aston Martin DB10 received a brand new turbocharged 4-L V8 engine, which could deliver about 500 hp. This was paired to a 7-speed, dual clutch transmission and a series of electrical systems. The combination enabled the coupe to sprint from null to 60mph in less than 4 seconds, and garner a maximum speed of at least 180mph.
The DB10 benefited from sharper and stronger creases that gave it a stockier, shorter back end. Although the front grille is wider and lower, it was instantly recognizable as a typical Aston Martin. The front was also equipped with a brand new headlight design while the wings came with deep air vents that emphasized the front track. In terms of proportions, the car was somewhere between the DB9 and the Vantage 8. It featured extremely short overhangs, with the familiar curves in A-pillars leading to a new side window graphic.
The sills and rear are slightly reminiscent of the DP100 concept revealed previously. A large, single clamshell bonnet that seemed to open backward was also incorporated, hinting that the bodywork could be constructed from carbon fiber. As far as ride quality is concerned, the DB10 is excellent, or at least, in a lateral sense, sufficient enough to clatter down a number of steps without harming your waist. It’s hard to think how the handling can be improved.
Until recently, not only was the Aston Martin DB10 limited to the tracks, it was also not consumer ready. And even then, the coupe was extremely limited, with only ten units to have ever being constructed. Of course, even the previous consumer-ready Bondsmobiles did not come with flamethrowers. These concept cars were unique in that they reflected a future trend in the market. The burly posture in the DB10 is highly reminiscent of Aston Martin’s One 77, which was unveiled earlier.
The DB10, however, has a longer wheelbase that gives it a stout stance. For the first time, Aston Martin incorporated LEDs for the speedster’s headlights, subsequently evoking a sharp, thin, menacing stare. Additionally, the LEDs serve to reduce the weight at the front end, making the car all the more lighter. And, as Reichman emphasizes, any possibility of reducing mass comes with a performance advantage.