BONDED GOODS: ASTON MARTIN DBX

The fabled British automaker’s first sport-ute – BONDED GOODS: ASTON MARTIN DBX – will definitely leave you shaken and stirred, blogs Road Test Editor Howard Walker.

BONDED GOODS: ASTON MARTIN DBX

 There’ll come a time when Bond, James Bond, will need to hand back the Walther PPK, the MI6-issued Omega Seamaster and the License to Kill. He’ll get hitched, settle down, and no doubt have a couple of rug-rats with Moneypenny. The current 007, Daniel Craig, is 53 for goodness’ sake. Arthritis and AARP are surely just around the corner!

Of course, with matrimonial bliss will come spatial needs. It’s no good rushing around in a classic 1960s two-seater – even one with machine guns and ejector seats – when there are baby seats to fit and IKEA flat-packs to bring home. Taking it as a given that Bond will always drive an Aston Martin, the company has thankfully recognized 007’s dilemma and come up with the perfect new Bondmobile: the ‘21 DBX. An SUV no less.

But this is not your typical sport-ute. Here is arguably the sportiest, most agile, most dynamic load-hauling 4×4 out there. One that will definitely leave even 007 shaken and stirred. It’s also arguably the most gorgeous-looking SUV money, or even Moneypenny, can buy. And with that trademark front grille – a carbon copy of the one on Bond’s much-loved ‘64 DB5 – it’s unmistakably an Aston.

I love the swept-back windshield and swoopy roofline. I love that curvy, bulging hood which, I reckon, used Daniel Craig’s six-pack abs showcased in Casino Royale, for design inspiration.

While the company hasn’t enjoyed the greatest reputation for quality and reliability in the past, it’s comforting to know that much of the DBX’s key technology comes courtesy of Mercedes-Benz. Heck, even Aston’s new CEO, Tobias Moers, was formerly boss of Mercedes-AMG. Pop that curvy hood to see the fruits of the Aston-Mercedes partnership. Powering this new DBX is a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 that does duty in a bevy of Benzes, along with the Aston DB11 and Vantage.It’s been massaged by Aston to better suit SUV duty, cranking out an impressive 542-horsepower and muscley 516 pound-feet of torque. Mated to a Mercedes-sourced nine-speed automatic and rear-wheel-biased all-wheel drive, the DBX can sprint from standstill to 60 in just 4.3 seconds.

But instead of borrowing a 4×4 platform from Mercedes, the company developed an all-new one for the DBX; an I-beam-stiff concoction of glued and riveted aluminum. And it drives like a dream. Naturally it’s quick; dial-up Sport in the drive mode system and it will rocket away from a stoplight like a rock out of a catapult. But it’s not the hard-edged, blunt instrument it could have been. The snap, crackle and pop exhaust is there, it’s but subdued, less vocal.

BONDED GOODS: ASTON MARTIN DBXIn place of hard-riding sports suspension, the DBX features three-chamber air springs for a smoother, silkier ride. They even do double-duty raising the body to wade through waist-deep water. But what will stagger you is the sheer nimbleness and agility when you start powering the DBX through curves. With an electronic anti-roll system quelling just about any body roll, and the kind of precise, well-weighted steering that feels hard-wired to your brain, it’s an SUV that really thinks it’s a sportscar.

Inside, the Aston’s cabin is a joyous place to experience all this action. Most surfaces are slathered in buttery-soft Bridge of Weir leather with gorgeous double-stitching. Here there’s proper space for five adults, plus their luggage, with rear-seat legroom being especially stretch-out comfy. And the full-length panoramic sunroof floods the cabin with light.

I wouldn’t pick the somber, all-black Kentucky coal mine interior of our test car when there are so many more interesting combos to choose from. And the gimmicky, high-mounted push-button shifter on the dash of the BONDED GOODS: ASTON MARTIN DBX will drive you crazy!

Pricewise, you’ll pay $176,900 for a base DBX – around the same as a V8-powered Bentley Bentayga – though our extras-laden test car stickered at a lofty $205,086. Its only other real rival is the similarly-priced 670-horsepower Porsche Cayenne Coupe Turbo S.

As for 007, a DBX would definitely help ease him smoothly, and speedily, into parenthood. Perhaps “Q” could even design him a couple of custom kiddy seats. Minus the ejectors, of course!

For more information, please check out the BONDED GOODS: ASTON MARTIN DBX @ https://www.astonmartin.com/en-us/

Win a James Bond driving experience

Gareth Herincx

2 days ago
Auto Blog

Aston Martin DBS Superleggera

Drive 007’s car, wear his clothes, and watch an exclusive screening of the icon’s new film...

Specialist car dealership Dick Lovett is celebrating the release of the latest Bond movie in style, offering one lucky entrant the chance to spend a day in the shoes of the MI6 agent.

The winner will be given the ultimate driving experience – a test drive in an Aston Martin DBS Superleggera on the open roads and motorways of South-West England starting from Aston Martin’s state-of-the-art showroom in Bristol.

You will be accompanied by an Aston Martin pro driver who will show you all the buttons, gadgets, tips and tricks for driving this powerful car.

Of course, driving the car isn’t enough. Dick Lovett will also pay* for a full tuxedo fitting to make sure you get to test drive in style and provide two tickets to a screening of No Time To Die on location in the Everyman Cinema in Bristol.

All you need to do to enter is explain why you are the biggest Bond fan. Maybe you can recite all the words to every film, or you were born on the same day one was released? Either way, Dick Lovett wants to hear why you deserve to be Bond for a day. Entries close on 19 September 2021.

* Full competition terms and conditions.

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New Gladstone Motorcycles SE Bobber Unveiled

The new Gladstone Motorcycles SE has been unveiled, and it looks rather nice. The company was founded back in 2012 by TV presenter and biking enthusiast Henry Cole as a bespoke British motorcycle brand. And the SE is the follow-up to their original model, the Gladstone No.1 bobber, which appeared in 2013.

Although the SE shares some of the key components and features from the No.1, the SE changes things a bit. Designer Guy Willison describes it as a “slightly lazier, earthier version of the No.1. We wanted to build a bike where we didn’t have any customers for it – this is what I’d build for myself as a personalised bike on the road. No outside influence – just me and Henry building what we want to ride”

The Gladstone Motorcycles SE
The new Gladstone Motorcycles SE bobber

It turns out what Willison and Cole want to ride is a bobber which features some Gladstone trademarks. Those include a Metisse nickel-plated rigid frame, a bespoke alloy petrol tank and fake oil tank, and a 5″ Smiths analogue speedometer.

Gladstone Motorcycles SE Rear Three Quarters View
The new Gladstone Motorcycles SE uses a rigid Metisse frame

But there are some significant changes from the nine hand-built No.1s that the company previously produced. Most noticeable is the paint, with the new model adorned in Aston Martin Rosso Red. That’s a bolder look than the original model, which came in black.

The Gladstone Motorcycles SE also swaps out the 750cc Triumph T140 engine of the No.1, which came with a 5-speed left foot gear shift. Instead, you get a refurbished 650cc 4-speed Triumph T120R motor, with a right foot gear shirt and single carburetor.

Gladstone Motorcycles SE Triumph T120R Engine
The Gladstone Motorcycles SE Triumph T120R Engine

There are now Norman Hyde M-bars, rather than the flat examples from the No.1. And the Gladstone Motorcycles SE also gets shorter, 720mm Ceriani front forks. Another change is that a Norton TLS front brake replaces the Ceriani replica Grimeca 4-leading shoe drum.

Gladstone Motorcycles SE Seat
The Gladstone Motorcycles SE Seat in Alcantara

Rather than the Monza design used on the NO.1, the SE gets a flush-fitting petrol cap. And there are Doherty levers, plus natural rubber Tommaselli handlebar grips. The Alcantara seat comes with red stitching to match the Aston Martin paint. And the headlamp and tail light get brass bezels.

Gladstone Motorcycles SE Brake Light
The Gladstone Motorcycles SE Brake Light With Brass Bezel

As a bespoke British motorcycle manufacturer, customers get to tailor the Gladstone Motorcycles SE to their preference. Which means you can request changes to the colour finishes, grips, saddle and more. But you also need to be a little patient, as there’s a 12-month delivery time from when you order.

Gladstone Motorcycles SE Side View
The new Gladstone Motorcycles SE

Following the release of the 9 Gladstone No.1 models, the waiting list started for the new SE. And it’s a bit of an investment, with prices starting from £40,000. Hence why the company describe their customers as ‘discerning hooligans’.

Gladstone Motorcycles Designer Guy Willison
Gladstone Motorcycles Designer Guy Willison

But you do get something created with the iconic classic Triumph engine, a rather lovely frame, and numerous other hand-made and bespoke features for things like pipes, brackets and more.

Gladstone Motorcycles Founder Henry Cole
Gladstone Motorcycles Founder and CEO Henry Cole

So if you fancy ordering the new Gladstone Motorcycles SE bobber, and you have the finances, you can contact the company via their website to get the building started.

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ZAGATO CENTENARY: ASTON MARTIN DB4 GT & DBS GT!

ASTON MARTIN DB4 GT & DBS GT!

DBZ Centenary Collection showcases DB4 GT Zagato Continuation and DBS GT Zagato, with production limited to 19 pairs. None sold separately.ASTON MARTIN DB4 GT & DBS GT!ASTON MARTIN DB4 GT & DBS GT!In 2019, legendary Italian design house Zagato celebrates its centenary. For 58 of those hundred years, Aston Martin and Zagato have enjoyed a remarkable creative partnership. One in which these two iconic brands have created some of the world’s most desirable and stimulating cars, from the first DB4 GT Zagato to the latest Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake.

To commemorate this landmark year, Aston Martin and Zagato are continuing their historic partnership with a truly unique collaboration: The remarkable DBZ Centenary Collection pays tribute to an icon of the past and creates a future classic.

Andy Palmer, Aston Martin President and Group CEO, added: “The partnership between Aston Martin and Zagato is one of the most fruitful and enduring in the automotive world. With Zagato celebrating its centenary next year, what better way to celebrate this landmark – and the long-standing bond between our two great companies – than creating these 19 pairs of cars. As an engineer I would always say my favorite Aston Martin is the next one, but I have to say I’m struggling to think of a finer two-car garage than this!”

Andrea Zagato, head of the Milan-based design house, founded by his grandfather in 1919, continued: “Great Britain has always appreciated our work. In particular, I must say I’m honored and very proud that Aston Martin has chosen to celebrate our long-standing partnership with this unique DBZ Centenary Collection.”

ASTON MARTIN DB4 GT & DBS GT!With a build run strictly limited to just 19 pairs, this exceptional duo comprises a new, track-only DB4 GT Zagato Continuation and a new, road-legal DBS GT Zagato. The DB4 GT Zagato will be built at Aston Martin Works, Newport Pagnell – the original home of the DB4 – while the new DBS GT Zagato will be produced at Gaydon, Aston Martin’s global headquarters. Perfectly bookending Aston Martin and Zagato’s shared history, the DBZ Centenary Collection will be sure to take their place among the most coveted cars in the world.

Built to race against the might of Ferrari in the 1960s, the DB4 GT Zagato was a thoroughbred machine. Evolved for the rigors of motor racing and blessed with breath taking beauty, just 19 were built. Drawing on Aston Martin Works’ unrivalled knowledge and expertise, DB4 GT Zagato Continuations will be completely authentic and meticulously crafted cars that are true to original Zagato-bodied DB4 GTs produced by Aston Martin and Zagato in 1960.

ASTON MARTIN DB4 GT & DBS GT!Originally built as an evolution of the short-chassis DB4 GT, the DB4 GT Zagato Continuation follows the same recipe, with thin-gauge aluminum body panels, dressing a lightweight tubular frame. To improve the accuracy and consistency of the panels, the continuation car’s bodywork uses state-of-the-art digital scanning technology, before being hand-finished. Beneath the bonnet sits a version of the celebrated Tadek Marek-designed straight-six cylinder engine with two spark plugs per cylinder, transmitting 380 horsepower to the rear wheels through a four-speed manual transmission and limited-slip differential, for an authentic and unforgettable driving experience.

Paul Spires, Managing Director at Aston Martin Works, said of the DB4 GT Zagato Continuation: “It has been my pleasure and privilege to oversee many exceptional projects here at Aston Martin Works, but creating nineteen DB4 GT Zagato Continuations as one half of the DBZ Centenary Collection is a truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We will bring all our hand-craftsmanship and expertise to bear in building these 19 Continuation cars, sympathetically incorporating the very latest engineering advancements and performance enhancements, but remaining true to the purity and authenticity of the original design.”

ASTON MARTIN DB4 GT & DBS GT!The second half of the DBZ Centenary Collection is the DBS GT Zagato, which takes Aston Martin’s most potent series production car – the brand new DBS Superleggera – as the starting point for Aston Martin and Zagato’s latest and most exclusive offering. Created to embody the next evolution in Aston Martin Zagato design language, the exterior of the car will be characterized by a new proportion featuring a fresh interpretation of the iconic double-bubble roof. Together with a striking front grille treatment and a dramatically truncated tail the DBS GT Zagato will present an amplified physique and an unmistakable presence that combines classic Zagato hallmarks with spectacular new signatures. Paired to the build run of 19 DB4 GT Zagato Continuations, the DBS GT Zagato will also be the rarest of all the modern-era Aston Martin Zagatos.

ASTON MARTIN DB4 GT & DBS GT!Marek Reichman, Aston Martin’s Chief Creative Officer, said: “Aston Martin and Zagato is a uniquely dynamic union. One that unites the former’s love of proportion and clean, simple forms with the latter’s daring and maverick eye. Never afraid to push the boundaries, the partnership has resulted in some fabulous cars including the quartet of Vanquish Zagatos – Coupe, Roadster, Speedster and Shooting Brake. However, Zagato’s centenary demanded something extra special, and the Zagato Collection is just that: One car that pays tribute to a timeless icon; another that writes a fearless new chapter for future generations to admire.”

The DBZ Century Collection will be priced at £6m (approximately $7.9m USD) plus taxes. First deliveries to customers will commence QTR 4 2019 for the DB4 GT Zagato Continuation and QTR 4 2020 for the DBS GT Zagato.

For the latest luxury-performance vehicles from Aston Martin, please visit https://global.astonmartin.com/en-us/

https://global.astonmartin.com/en-us/For more information about Zagato products and services, check out https://www.zagato.it/

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Tesla Model S – Driven

It’s fair to say our first drive of the Tesla Model S is not entirely going to plan. Fellow scribe Phil Huff is peering through the rear window with a slightly quizzical expression. “You’ve broken it,” he jokes.

Tesla Model S85

Tesla Model S85

It later transpires this assessment might not be so far from the truth. Right now, however, we’re locked outside what could well be the future of motoring, stranded at our photo location just above the Milbrook Hill Route (famously the road on which 007 totalled his Aston Martin in Casino Royale). There are worse places to be marooned, admittedly, and it provides a good opportunity to reflect on what we have gleaned about the car so far.

The Model S has been around for a couple of years now, but recent months have seen a growing number taking to our roads. It’s a discretely handsome sports saloon with a generous luggage capacity and enough room to seat five adults. There’s even the option of two additional rear-facing seats in the boot, should you need them. Outwardly, there are almost no clues to the fact that this is an all-electric vehicle, but as such it’s exempt from road tax and the Congestion Charge. Perhaps more importantly, it also falls into the lowest bracket for company car tax.

Things are a little more radical on the inside. The massive 17-inch touch screen display is not only the largest, but also the cleverest that we’ve encountered, controlling everything from the sat nav to the sunroof. It’s like sitting inside Google.

Tesla Model S85 Interior

Tesla Model S85 Interior

The dashboard itself is a strikingly simple design, clad – in the case of our test car – in Alcantara and carbon fibre. The quality of the materials is first rate and they lend the cabin a bespoke feel that distinguishes the Tesla from its more mainstream competitors.

But enough of the pleasantries, what’s it like to drive? Really rather good, in short. You can feel the mass when pressing on – it weighs a not-inconsiderably 2.1 tons – but the combination of prodigious thrust and near-total silence from the electric powertrain is quite surreal.

Right now the internet is awash with videos of this car’s twin-engined evil twin, the P85D, demolishing supercars from a standing start. Our test car is ‘only’ the single-engined carisoprodol buy rear-wheel drive S85 model, but even this comparatively mild example of the breed feels good for its claimed 5.4 second nought-to-sixty time.

Where the Model S really scores, though, is response. With 440 Nm of torque available instantly, right from a standing start, overtaking urge is never more than a twitch of the toe away. There’s no shortage of grip either, with decent chassis balance and chunky, if somewhat lifeless, steering.

A small confession here: in the brief time we had with the car, I didn’t think to check which of the two braking modes had been selected. As sampled, lifting off the accelerator resulted in something not unlike conventional engine braking, while the middle pedal had a pleasingly natural feel. It certainly wasn’t the alien experience you might expect from a regenerative braking system.

Tesla Model S85

Tesla Model S85

All of this, of course, means little if you can’t get in to drive it. Having soaked up the Bedfordshire sunshine for 20 minutes a support car is dispatched to recover us and the stricken Tesla. The central locking issue is eventually traced to a slightly unlikely culprit, in the form of the dictaphone I’d brought along to record my notes. Apparently this had interfered with the keyless entry fob lying next to it in the centre cupholder. We’ll let you decide whether that constitutes a teething issue or (as one of Tesla’s European representatives insisted) user error.

But the fact is, the fundamentals of this car are superb. The Model S is reassuringly conventional when you want it to be and yet a genuine game-changer in other respects. It’s more than capable of competing with its internal combustion powered competitors in terms of comfort and performance, with anecdotal evidence suggesting there’s enough real-world range to get you from, say, London to Birmingham.

Throw in ultra-low running costs, plus more pioneering technology than you can shake a stick at, and it also starts to look like good value, starting at £59,380 on the road. This not a car reserved for hair shirt environmentalists, nor is it a low-volume concept like Volkswagen’s plug-in hybrid XL1. The electric car, it seems, is very much a reality.

2015 Model S 85

Performance & Economy 2015 Tesla Model S 85
Engine 85 kWh Battery
Transmission Automatic gearbox, rear electric-powered motor, all-wheel drive
Power (PS / bhp) 366 / 362
Torque (Nm / lb.ft) 440 / 324
0 – 60 mph (seconds) 5.4
Top Speed (mph) 140
CO2 Emissions (g/km) 0
VED Band A
Combined Economy (mpg) n/a (310 mile range)
Price (OTR) £54,000

Tesla Model S85
Tesla Model S85
Tesla Model S85
Tesla Model S85 Luggage Compartment
Tesla Model S85 Seats In Boot
Tesla Model S85 Interior
Tesla Model S85
Tesla Model S85
Tesla Model S85

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