BOTTLED IN BOND
Aston Martin, the marque of choice for James Bond, opens up a year-long celebration of its 110th anniversary.
Written by Bridget Williams
January 15th marked 110 years since Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford officially formed a partnership leading to the creation of the first Aston Martin car, rising from humble beginnings in a small workshop in Henniker Mews, London, and becoming one of the world's most renowned automotive marques. To commemorate the milestone, Aston Martin commissioned a series of photographs bringing together two of its iconic models—the record-breaking 1923 racer Razor Blade alongside the Aston Martin Valkyrie hypercar—highlighting the brand's commitment to pushing the boundaries of performance and applying engineering from Grand Prix racing to the road.
One of the earliest cars to be designed explicitly with aerodynamics in mind and propelled by an Aston Martin Grand Prix specification engine, the trailblazing Razor Blade took numerous class records at Brooklands in 1923, a year on from Aston Martin's Grand Prix debut with TT1 – the car nicknamed 'Green Pea'. A century later, the era-defining Valkyrie embodies Aston Martin's role as an innovator with its high-performance models that modern Formula One engineering to the road.
2023 is already turning out to be a monumental year for the brand, which recently sent out a sweet swan song for its DBS with the unleashing of the DBS 770 Ultimate. Long associated with cars of exquisite style and intoxicating performance, since 2018, the DBS nameplate has stood at the pinnacle of Aston Martin's series production range: a Twin-Turbo V12 powerhouse endowed with ferocious power and unmatched style.
The DB moniker, named for English industrialist David Brown, came about after he acquired the company in 1947. While not an official DB model, the 2-Liter Sport, Based on Aston Martin's Atom concept car, is the first model to be produced under Brown's leadership and became known as the DB1. It secured a spot in the annals of racing with a decisive victory in its debut outing, the 1948 Spa 24 Hours.
A highly-collectible variant of Aston Martin's flagship Super GT, extensive design and engineering enhancements combine to make the DBS 770 Ultimate the fastest and most powerful production model in Aston Martin's history. Available in both Coupe and Volante variants, the DBS770 Ultimate is limited to 300 Coupes and 199 Volantes, all of which are spoken for.
DBS 770 Ultimate features a ferocious iteration of Aston Martin's quad-cam 60-deg 5.2-litre V12 engine. Developing 770PS at 6500rpm and a colossal 900Nm of torque from just 1800rpm to 5000rpm, it propels the hypercar to a top speed of 211mph. The engine benefits from both modified air and ignition pathways that provide a seven-percent increase in maximum turbo boost pressure. Precise tuning of power and torque curves gives the driver a sense of boundless performance, with an intoxicating blend of exceptional response, outstanding in-gear acceleration, and the authentic V12 soundtrack.
Aston Martin Chief Technology Officer, Roberto Fedeli, said of the DSB 770 Ultimate: "When an iconic model generation reaches the end of production, it is important to mark the occasion with something special. In the case of the DBS 770 Ultimate, we have spared nothing in ensuring the final version of our current series production flagship is the best ever in every respect. Not only is it the fastest and most powerful DBS in our history, thanks to a comprehensive suite of improvements to the transmission, steering, suspension, and underbody structure; it is also the best to drive."
Later this year, Aston Martin will unveil the first of its highly anticipated next generation of sports cars, teased via prototype as a more aggressive successor of the DB11, which will further enhance Aston Martin's focus on ultra-luxury, high-performance, and driving intensity. The milestone will also take center stage of this year's British Grand Prix at Silverstone (July 7-9), Goodwood Festival of Speed (April 15-16), Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance (August 20th), and other significant events as part of a global marketing campaign entitled 'Intensity: 110 Years in the Making'.
Amedeo Felisa, Chief Executive Officer of Aston Martin Lagonda, said: "In 1913, Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford came together with a shared vision of racing cars and using learnings from the racetrack to push the boundaries of automotive innovation. One hundred ten years and little over 110,000 cars later, that spirit continues. Our 110th year promises to be just as exciting as our first, as we turn a new chapter in Aston Martin history with the launch of our next generation of sports cars and the reveal of an extraordinary special model later this year that will celebrate this unique milestone." sl