DB7 i6 Coupe

DB7 i6 Coupe Description

In production: October 1994 - April 1999

Chassis numbers (pre-airbag, 1994, 1995 & 1996MY): 100001 - 100781

Chassis numbers (airbag, 1997, 1998 & 1999MY): 101001 - 102703

The first version of the DB7 to reach the public was the DB7 i6 Coupe. It appeared to be smaller than the Virage but only by 100mm in length and 75mm in height.

The engine was a light alloy, twin camshaft, supercharged straight six of 3,239cc based on the Jaguar AJ16 unit. The unique TWR designed cylinder head used 4 valves per cylinder with Zytec electronic multi-point fuel injection. The air was delivered through a water intercooler by an Eaton 'Roots' type supercharger which was driven by a multi-grooved flat belt from the crankshaft. This was the same type fitted to the twin supercharged Newport Pagnell built V8 Vantage. All the engines for the i6 were built by a small team at the nearby TWR Kidlington facility.

The exhaust was fitted with a three-way catalyst necessitating the use of unleaded fuel and the latest engine management systems allowed it to meet all the exhaust emission requirements of the world at that time. The power developed was a healthy 335bhp at 6000 rpm with a peak torque figure of 368lb/ft @ 3,000 rpm. Standard on the early cars was a Getrag 5 speed manual gearbox with a limited slip differential within the final drive unit that was mounted on the chassis. A 4 speed GM automatic gearbox was an alternative available a few months after launch.

The outboard disc brakes on all four wheels were controlled by a Teves antilock system. Steering was by a power-assisted rack.

The rear suspension displayed the biggest departure from previous Aston Martin production-car practice in that the rear wheels were suspended independently, the system bearing a great similarity to the Jaguar XJ-S.

The 18 x 8inch Speedline light alloy wheels were a unique design for the car and were shod with Bridgestone 245/40ZR18 tyres. The distinctive disc wheel trims seen on the prototype and early production cars were quickly phased out and are now very rarely seen, replaced by a much smaller hubcap leaving the 12 slim spokes exposed. Optional wheels such as the three piece aluminium alloy 5 spoke Aliseo or five spoke one piece Speedline magnesium alloy 1908 were very popular and are often seen today as they all took the standard tyre.

The sculpted interior panels, in which curved lines predominate, were trimmed with the best quality Connolly leather. There was also a restrained use of burr walnut panels. The front seats of the early cars have a distinctive ‘tombstone’ shape and could be moved, electrically, in almost any direction. Completing the interior were a pair of very occasional rear seats, also leather covered, behind which was the carpeted boot of reasonable size. It is possible to have a 2 seater DB7 since Aston Martin Works Service offers a smart conversion with a parcel shelf and luggage straps.

The press hand-out at the original launch suggested that there would be a 'Targa top' (as suggested in the original Jaguar XJ41); however, to ensure the stiffest possible structure, this feature was omitted as a Volante was planned from the outset.

The instrument panel featured round, white on black, traditional analogue gauges in a binnacle, although the clock, located in the centre console had a backlit digital display. The interior temperature controls were sited in the central console while the switches for the lights and wipers were mounted behind the thick-rimed steering wheel on the column housing. A radio cassette unit was also mounted on the central console as a standard fitment; however a CD unit came as the only possible option on early cars.

DB7 i6 Coupe Variants

DB7 GT

Chassis Numbers: 100001 & 100006

Early in 1995 and with production of the coupe in full swing, AML unveiled a rather special and exciting version of the DB7, the GT. Being so obviously influenced by the DB4GT 'gentleman’s racer' concept, the race track focused car signalled the intention for a return to the company’s racing roots. The original intention was to make both a fast road car and a competitive club racer, but the road car idea was quickly dropped. The plan for the GT also involved a plan to have a one make race series of mechanically identical cars to be run in support of major race events (F1, Le Mans etc.). Initially, AML commissioned Prodrive of Banbury (now responsible for AM Racing) to build a fully stripped out racing DB7 and sent them the very first production car (chassis number 100001) for development. Once stripped of unnecessary parts and fitted with uprated components, it was finished in a traditional AM racing green and adorned with a red band around the grille, reminiscent of the DB3S and DBR1.

Then a second example (100006, also an ex-press demonstrator) was built by AM Works Service with a similar colour scheme of Almond Green and white roundels but this time with a yellow band around the grille; in effect, a works replica. Chassis 100006 even got a new identity with DB7GT 001 displayed on an oval plate stating that it was a product of the Newport Pagnell 'Competitions Department'. The works-built car was extensively photographed, demonstrated by Sir Stirling Moss at Goodwood, tested by the press and eventually even road registered. In contrast, the original Prodrive car was hardly seen and contemporary photographs are rare. There was even some talk of Le Mans but sadly this, the club racers and the one make race series never came to be; both DB7GTs were quietly sold in 1996. Thankfully, the effort spent on the GT was not wasted and many of the performance modifications were eventually offered as aftermarket fittings through Works Service and marketed within the 'Driving Dynamics' package.

Features of the DB7 GT

  • Roll cage with removable side bars
  • Two full race Recaro competition seats, in black hide, to match black interior in Alcantara and quilted vinyl. Electric seats and windows deleted
  • New vented aluminium bonnet, boot lid and front wings to replace the composite originals • Safety cut off switch in driver’s side front wing • New style door mirrors mounted on cheater panels
  • Door-frames constructed in aluminium with acrylic glazing
  • Fuel cell
  • Enhanced 3.2 litre, 6 cylinder engine, estimated at around 385 bhp @ 6000 rpm and 360 lb/ft. at 3000 rpm
  • Competition clutch and shot-peened 5 speed manual transmission
  • Prodrive designed uprated front and rear suspension, and oil-cooled rear axle. Penske gas shock absorbers, adjustable from the cockpit
  • Special competition brakes with balance adjustable from the cockpit
  • Special tuned exhaust with centre catalyst

DB7 GTS and GTS II

The DB7 GTS was initially a special edition of the DB7i6 especially commissioned and built for Aston Martin Sales of Mayfair in 1996. The independent specialists in DB7s, Car Care Works of Hertfordshire (now better known as Chiltern Aston), were contracted to carry out the conversion work to both coupes and Volantes. In addition to the brand new cars, the GTS treatment was also made available to road registered i6s with the modifications retro-fitted.

The DB7 GTS II was a further development of the GTS with twin round Vantage style rear light clusters (but different to the type used by Works Service). GTS II cars also have monogrammed wheel centre and boot finishers. Whilst it is possible to purchase many of the special features of the GTS from Chiltern Aston, only genuine GTS/GTS II have the louvered ‘Zagato style' bonnet which has never been available for sale. The Register lists all the known cars which comprise 18 GTS i6 coupes, 6 GTS i6 Volantes, 8 GTS II i6 coupes and 3 GTS II i6 Volantes, all right hand drive. DB7 V12 Vantage GTS and GTS II cars also have been made but these are covered in the next section.

Typical specifications of the GTS

  • Air louvres set into twin 'Zagato style' bonnet bulges
  • Window quarter and scuttle panels body coloured
  • Black 'Le Mans' style grille with bright surround
  • Speedline split rim wheels with body coloured centres (Aliseo and Mistral wheels also available with the same finish
  • Contrasting nose cone edging and fine coachline
  • Sports exhaust system 
  • White instrument dials and a wood rimmed steering wheel (half wood on airbag steering wheels)
  • Additional wood veneers around the instruments plus a Garrard Swiss analogue clock

Additional typical features of the GTS II

  • Round V8 Vantage style rear lamp clusters
  • Monogrammed wheel centre and boot finishers

DB7 Driving Dynamics / Works Prepared

Based on experience gained from the DB7i6 GT, from June 1998, Works Service began to offer a series of DB7 performance modifications also available through AML dealers. The Driving, Visual and Chassis Dynamics packages offered a menu of enhancements for the DB7 rather than being a specific model.

Cars with such aftermarket enhancements are described as 'Works Prepared' and often feature the addition of the green 'Works Prepared' badge in the centre of the grille.

The modifications were not cheap for the first owner (suspension/brakes/wheels/badging £16,643, sports exhaust £3689, traction control £2852); many spending well in excess of £25,000 for a package of changes. The DD coupe tested in Autocar, 101947, featured Works Service extras amounting to £32,000 raising the total price to £116,973. Just to cause confusion, it is possible to find cars that have both Works Prepared and GTS/GTS II features.

DB7 Driving Dynamics and Visual Dynamics typical options

  • AP Racing brakes; 371mm diameter front, 260mm diameter rear, grooved and ventilated discs. Aluminium alloy four piston brake calipers both front and rear
  • Race-derived suspension; adjustable Koni dampers and secondary springs, rose jointed suspension links
  • Five spoke magnesium alloy GT wheels. These smart and lightweight wheels have a recessed rim section to reduce the risk of damage through kerbing
  • Traction Control
  • Stainless steel sports exhaust
  • Visual Dynamics - Revised front spoiler, sill profile and rear bumper with lower valance. Optional boot spoiler with optional high level brake light
  • Alternative rear lamp styling – V8 Vantage round lenses – also with revised rear bumper incorporating reflectors and reversing and fog lamps
  • A larger intercooler for the supercharger. Allows the engine to breathe denser air - together with a free-flowing exhaust manifold increasing peak power by 50bhp

DB7 i6 Coupe Derivatives

Alfred Dunhill DB7

Chassis numbers randomly within the range: Coupe 101938 to 102677, Volante 202336 to 202616

During June 1996, AML unveiled a unique DB7 for Alfred Dunhill, the leading English company specialising in clothing and accessories for a discerning clientele.

The car featured a series of exclusive luxury appointments such as a humidor for the storage of cigars, a silver cigar cutter, cigar lighter, a set of carbon fibre AD 2000 pens, a matching set of Dunhill ‘CityScape’ luggage and an exclusive Dunhill Millennium clock set into the centre console.

The coachwork and the wheels were painted an exclusive platinum metallic ; the interior had a contrasting Charcoal Connolly hide piped in silver grey. The traditional Aston Martin walnut veneers were replaced with attractive brushed aluminium panels. Design features from Dunhill products were incorporated in the door handles and the surround for the boot release.The instruments and the gear lever were finished in white. The design of the wheel centres was based on that of the Millennium Watch.

The press releases from June 1996 clearly stated that the car was 'A unique model and not for sale' but potential buyers must have made some fuss as by December 1996 it was announced that the production and sale of just 150 examples would begin in 1998. The only difference of note from the prototype was that a 'non smoking' version was offered where the humidor was replaced by a Dunhill grooming kit. Although the car was initially offered only in coupe form, a Volante version was also made available a little later.

Build numbers for the Dunhill have been difficult to establish; whilst a run of 150 may have been planned, AML has said that 78 were actually constructed. The current Registrar lists 49 coupes (25 RHD, 24 LHD) and 27 Volantes (12 RHD, 15 LHD), the chassis number of the original 1996 Dunhill has so far, proved elusive. Prices were £89,950 for the saloon and £97,500 for the Volante.

DB7 Stratstone special edition

Chassis numbers: Coupe 102631, then 102688 to 10703, Volante 202632, then 202687 to 202702

Shortly before the ending of DB7 i6 production in early 1999, Stratstone of Mayfair, the London dealer of Aston Martins (which took over from Aston Martin Sales in the capital) commissioned a small series of identical DB7s for their customers. However, unlike the previous Aston Martin Sales commissioned DB7, the GTS, the Stratstone limited edition was built entirely by Aston Martin.

In total, 19 were made; 9 coupes and 10 Volantes - all right hand drive and all destined for the British market. Each car was individually numbered on the sill plates, together with the first owner’s name.

Customers took delivery of these well specified cars at a special handover ceremony held at Blenheim Palace and were transported to the venue by helicopter.

DB7 Stratstone special features

  • Special order Bowland Black coachwork
  • Light grey interior, seats piped in charcoal (not duo-tone as seen in the standard DB7)
  • Seats embossed with 'Stratstone of Mayfair', plus embroidered mats
  • Chrome mesh grille with chrome surround
  • Wheels coloured in a more highly polished silver finish (Spark Silver)
  • Carbon fibre trim replacing the wood veneer (first time on a DB7)
  • CD player, heated front screen, plus leather hood cover on the Volante
  • Right hand drive only

DB7 Beverly Hills

Chassis Numbers: Coupe 102543 and unknown, Volante randomly within the range 202525 to 202547

The Beverly Hills DB7 was a special edition exclusively available through the Aston Martin dealership in Beverly Hills, California and was the US equivalent of the Stratstone. Of the six cars made, all were left hand drive, two were coupes (one 5 speed manual, one auto) and the remaining four were Volantes (one 5 speed manual, three auto). The burr maple veneer was perhaps the most distinguishing feature of the special edition particularly as it extended within the instrument binnacle, the only time this was done on a DB7.

DB7 Beverly Hills unique features

  • Midnight Blue coachwork
  • Mohair Midnight blue roof (Volante)
  • Chrome mesh grille with chrome surround
  • Spark Silver alloy wheels
  • Upper interior and seat piping in blue hide
  • Lower interior and seats in parchment hide
  • Burr maple wood veneers, including inside the instrument binnacle
  • Sheepskin over-rugs
  • Fitted luggage
  • Left hand drive only

DB7 i6 Coupe Specification

Body / Coachwork
Two door 2+2 coupe
Steel under-frame with steel body panels. Composite bonnet (steel from 1997MY), front wings, sills, boot lid and front & rear bumper/apron
Side-impact protection in doors
Drag coefficient 0.31
Interior
Full Connolly leather with burr walnut veneers
Alcantara headlining, Firth carpets. Wilton carpets optional (as used on the 'V' cars)
Electrically operated front seats
CFC free automatic climate control
Driver and front passenger airbags (from 1997MY)
Sony six speaker stereo radio cassette with CD option, Alpine radio cassette with CD auto-changer from 1997MY
Cobra 6019 alarm/immobiliser interacting with central locking system. Megamos alarm system and PATs engine immobiliser from 1997MY
Engine
All-alloy, twin overhead camshaft, 24 valve, 3,239cc straight six cylinder
Single Eaton M90 'Roots' supercharger. Maximum boost 14 p.s.i. (1 bar)
Water cooled intercooler for the compressed air with bypass valve
Fully catalysed stainless steel exhaust system
Compression ratio 8.3:1
Maximum power 335 bhp @ 6000 rpm (312 bhp @ 5500 rpm for AM02/02**** engine)
Maximum torque 361 lb/ft @ 3000 rpm (336 lb/ft @ 3000 rpm for AM02/02*** engine)
Zytec engine management system (EECV from 1997MY) with multi-point sequential fuel injection and electronic distributorless ignition system
Transmission
Getrag 290.711, five-speed manual gearbox
Optional switchable GM 4L80E four speed automatic
Final drive, GKN Powerlock limited slip differential. Ratio 3.54:1, giving 28.6 mph per 1,000 rpm
Steering
Rack and pinion, power assisted 2.76 turns, lock-to-lock
Column rake adjustment, reach and rake 1997MY onwards
Wheels and Tyres
Lightweight 8J x 18 alloy wheels
Bridgestone Expedia 245/40 ZR18 tyres
Suspension
Front: Independent double wishbone, coil springs, mono-tube dampers with anti-roll bar, anti-dive geometry.
Rear: Independent double wishbone with longitudinal control arms, coil springs, mono-tube dampers. With anti-roll bar from chassis 100172
Brakes
Front: 285 mm ventilated steel discs with four piston calipers
Rear: 295 mm solid steel discs (vented from 1997MY) with sliding aluminium calipers
Teves Mk II anti-lock braking system, Teves Mk IV from 1997MY
Dimensions
Length 4646 mm
Length for North American market, 1997MY onwards - 4722 mm due to deeper rear bumper
Width 1830 mm excluding wing mirrors
Height 1238 mm
Wheelbase 2591 mm
Front track 1516 mm
Rear track 1531 mm
Kerb weight 1994 to 1996MY manual 1700 kg, auto 1750 kg. 1997MY onwards, manual 1775 kg, auto 1825 kg
Fuel tank capacity 89 litres
Performance
Top speed 165 mph (manual), 160 mph (auto)
Acceleration 0-62 mph, 5.7 seconds (manual), 6.9 seconds (auto), 6.4 seconds (1997MY auto onwards)
Price at launch
October 1994 (1994MY) £78,500
October 1996 (1997MY) £82,500 ($130,000 US)
1998 (1999MY) £84,950

DB7 i6 Coupe VIN Decoder

Sample: SCFAA111XVK 101350

Character Description
1–3 Manufacturer, SCF = code for AML Character
4 Car Line, A = Aston Martin Character
5 Series, A = DB7i6
6 Body Type, 1=RHD Coupe, 2=LHD Coupe, 3=RHD Volante, 4=LHD Volante
7 Engine type, 1 = 3.2 6 cylinder supercharged
8 Restraint system, 1 = manual, 2 = automatic
9 Calculated check digit
10 Model year, R to X (1994MY to 1999MY)
11 Plant of manufacturer, K = Bloxham
12-13 Model prefix to sequential chassis number, 10= i6 coupe, 20 = i6 Volante
14-17 Sequential chassis number, 0001 to 2703 (excluding 0782 to 1000)
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