New Model News

Aston Martin launches two James Bond-themed Vantage and DBS Superleggera models

One of the models is available with a ski rack.

Photo courtesy of Aston Martin

The 25th James Bond film, "No Time to Die", was set to be released November 20 then pushed back to 2021. Before it arrives on screen, a collaboration between Aston Martin and EON Productions, the company that produces the James Bond films with Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios, will bring new 007 editions of the Aston Martin Vantage and DBS Superleggera to a garage near you.

"No Time to Die" will feature four Aston Martin models: the iconic DB5; the classic Aston Martin V8; the brand's latest super GT, DBS Superleggera; and the Aston Martin Valhalla – the company's forthcoming mid-engined hypercar.

The special editions have been crafted by Aston Martin's bespoke division: Q by Aston Martin.

Aston Martin Vantage 007 Edition

Aston Martin Vantage 007 Edition

Photo courtesy of Aston Martin

The Aston Martin Vantage 007 Edition is inspired by the original Aston Martin V8, which made its debut in "The Living Daylights" in 1987 and is featured in "No Time to Die". The movie sees James Bond uncover the car from his personal lock-up in London.

The Vantage 007 Edition gets unique exterior styling including a bespoke mesh grille with chrome bezel that references the look of the brand's classic V8. It will have a Cumberland Gray exterior and Obsidian Black leather and dark chrome interior. 007 branding can be found on the center console of cars equipped with a manual gearbox.

The sun visors of all the cars features a subtle film reference in the shape of an embroidered radio station frequency – 96.60 (FM) – which 007 buffs will know was the Russian police frequency Bond used to aid his escape in "The Living Daylights".

Q by Aston Martin has given the Vantage 007 Edition carbon fiber setbacks and the outline of cello "f holes" inspired by the memorable cello chase scene featuring James Bond (Timothy Dalton) and Kara Milovy (Maryam D'Abo).

There is a dashed yellow diffuser that is inspired by the hazard stripes on the film car's rockets. The Vantage 007 Edition can even be delivered with a set of "The Living Daylights"-inspired limited edition skis and ski rack – referencing the "winterized" V8 saloon from the film.

A laser-etched gadget plaque references the various weapons and devices seen on the original film car. These included a rocket motor, missiles, lasers, a targeting display and ski outriggers. Cross hairs etched onto the car's paddle shift gear levers allude to the missile guidance system seen in the film.

Just 100 Vantage 997 editions will be made.

Aston Martin DBS Superleggera 007 Edition

Aston Martin DBS Superleggera 007 Edition

Photo courtesy of Aston Martin

The 715-horsepower DBS Superleggera 007 Edition is powered by a twin-turbocharged 5.2-liter V12. It has a Ceramic Gray exterior with roof, mirror caps, splitter, diffuser and rear Aeroblade IITM featured in black tinted carbon fiber. The model has unique Gloss Black diamond-turned Y-Spoke 21-inch wheels.

A 007 fender badge, finished in chrome with a black enamel infill and Stainless Steel Silver 007 foil, has been applied to the rear spoiler blade.

The interior of the model features leather upholstery with red detailing. Subtle 007 branding can be found on the door cards, armrest buckle badge and on the rear sub-woofer cover. The car is finished with a sill plaque that recognises it is one of just 25 DBS Superleggera 007 Editions.

The DBS Superleggera 007 Edition with a recommended retail price from RRP £279,025 and the Vantage 007 Edition with a recommended retail price from RRP £161,000 are on sale separately now. First deliveries will begin in Q1 2021.

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The IIHS may increase the speeds it uses to test advanced driver aids.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently announced that it is considering changing the speeds it uses to test vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention systems. The agency currently tests the systems at 12 and 25 mph, but says that the speeds don't accurately represent the types of crashes the safety tech is meant to prevent.

Front crash preventionwww.youtube.com

Automatic emergency braking (AEB) is designed to notify of a possible collision and help respond with automatic application of braking. Just like a human using the brake pedal, it can stop the car, but higher speeds make it difficult to stop in time. The new tests would be conducted at 35 to 45 mph, which is the range where a large number of rear-end crashes occur. As Automotive News noted, an IIHS study showed 43 percent of rear-end crashes occur at speeds of 45 mph or less, so it's important to have a test that shows how well the tech performs at those levels.

A whopping 85 percent of 2022 vehicles earned a "Superior" rating in the current testing regime, so the IIHS will remove it from 2023 testing and Top Safety Pick award evaluations. Their view is that, since the majority of vehicles meet the criteria, it's no longer an accurate way of evaluating performance. In its place, the agency introduced a night test for automatic emergency braking systems that will begin next year.

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What was your best car-related experience this year?

Chris Teague

This year has been a lot of things, but it hasn't been boring. Even if we focus only on the car world, there's plenty to talk about, from microchip-related new vehicle shortages to the wave of new electric vehicles hitting the market. That leaves us with a question for all of you: What was the best or most memorable car moment for you in 2021? I'll get the conversation started.

Porsche Cayenne GTSMy SoCal Cayenne śaw snow for the first time in its nearly 200k-mile life last week.Chris Teague

I'd spent a good portion of 2021 wanting a new-old car to drive when I wasn't testing a new vehicle. That's harder than you'd think for someone who thinks, talks, and writes about cars all day, because there are so many interesting, risky, and downright funky options out there in every price range. The added headache for me was that I'd chosen to shop for a "fun" car in one of the most volatile car markets ever seen. Even the extremely high-mileage "untouchable" European cars I wanted to buy were commanding ridiculous prices.

After a solid few months of waffling between various rattletrap Mercedes-AMG, BMW M, and Audi S/RS cars, I landed on an option that had escaped me before: The Porsche Cayenne. First-generation Cayennes are a real bargain now, but the 955/957 (Porsche's internal code for the SUVs) can experience major problems that occur with or without regular maintenance and care. I was determined to buy one, and wasn't overly concerned about mileage, as long as I could count the number of owners on one hand. There was a beautiful 2009 Cayenne GTS with 90,000 miles but nine owners, a gorgeous 2004 Cayenne Turbo with a concerning engine tick, and many more just like them. Finally, I decided to risky-click a 196,000-mile Cayenne GTS in Southern California. It had one owner and one dealer-owner for a month or two prior to sale, its condition looked decent in photos, and I was able to negotiate a reasonable enough price that shipping it from San Diego to Maine wasn't a huge problem.

Porsche Cayenne GTSThe pics look great, but hands-on tells another story.Chris Teague

I had two traveling Euro mechanics check the car out, and both confirmed that it was well-worn but mechanically sound, so I jumped. Ten days later, on a snowy, icy, dark Maine afternoon, the Cayenne arrived. Cosmetically, there were a few things the dealer and mechanics failed to mention, but overall, it looked good. The SUV passed Maine safety and emissions testing without problem, got a new set of Michelins, and I was on my way.

Porsche Cayenne GTSI'm in danger, but thankfully this should be a reasonable fix.Chris Teague

A few days of driving revealed what I was really in for. A check engine light revealed a camshaft position sensor error and the Cayenne displayed a nasty vibration at idle. A new sensor and motor mounts, and I'm on my way. I'll update you as more things break or miraculously work, but I want to hear your memories from 2021.

Email me at chris@automotivemap.com, and I will compile the best and most interesting stories for a story on New Year's Day. May you all have a wonderful 2022.

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