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New Aston Martin DB10 review

We drive James Bond's car from the new 007 movie Spectre - the Aston Martin DB10

The Vantage V8 S on which the Aston Martin DB10 is based is feeling a little long in the tooth but if it’s good enough for Bond, it’s good enough for us. What’s more, some lucky person will actually be able to buy a DB10 as one of the two publicity cars will be auctioned off for charity. No doubt for a large sum.

It's a bit of a cliché to make James Bond references when writing about Aston Martins. But in this case they’re justified, because here we are actually driving 007’s car. The absolutely stunning and unique DB10 was created for the latest Bond movie, Spectre. 

The DB10 is the work of Aston Martin’s design virtuoso Marek Reichman. Though initially Bond was going to drive the next-generation DB9, Spectre director Sam Mendes thought the spy deserved something sportier than a GT car – and something even more unique. 

Apparently, Mendes spotted a sketch of a DB10 on the wall at Aston’s design studio, and convinced them to build it for his film. Within five months, the first carbon fibre panels were sprayed with special satin grey paint and placed on top of a longer, wider version of the V8 Vantage chassis. 

There are some neat design cues, including the strong shoulder line that runs from front to back and small perforations in the bonnet. Climb inside and almost everything you can see or touch is leather or carbon fibre. There’s also a little touch pad on the steering wheel – though you’ll have to watch the film to see exactly what that and other Q-branch gadgets fitted to the car actually do.

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Being a prototype, the DB10 has absolutely no soundproofing, so the noise from the 4.2-litre V8 reverberates around the cabin. Watch the movie and Bond will claim his car can do 0-60mph in 3.1 seconds – but while the DB10 feels quick, it’s not that quick. In fact, it uses the 430bhp unit from the Vantage S, so 4.8 seconds is more accurate. 

Still, it’s great fun wringing out the engine. And being a naturally aspirated unit, the throttle response is as sharp as one of Bond’s Savile Row suits. Interestingly for a spy who loves gadgets, 007’s car has a manual gearbox. It has a nice mechanical action and increases your involvement in this already visceral car.

Our test route took in the same road where Bond rolled his DBS in Casino Royale. Keen not to repeat this, we resisted the urge to push the DB10 to its limit, though we did drive it faster than Aston had requested. Unsurprisingly it felt rather like a normal V8 Vantage S. It has great body control, feelsome steering and strong brakes and the ride is good, too, which meant we got out of the DB10 feeling stirred, not shaken in true 007 style.  

What does the DB10 mean for Aston Martin?

The DB10 is more than just a slinky piece of metal for the bright lights and big screens of Hollywood. It’s the first Aston Martin in 11 years to showcase a brand new design language, hinting at the next-generation of Aston Martins we could begin to see as early as next year in the DB11. 

The current Aston family design theme was established with the launch of the DB9 in 2004, and has influenced the design of the Vantage, Virage, Vanquish and Rapide since it arrived. 

The DB10, however, is a radical departure from the current aging policy and is set to mould the look of Astons for the next decade. Importantly, the DB10 will also go some way into raising the profile of the brand. Although Aston is having to make cutbacks as profits are down, a clear and promising direction has been set out by new boss Andy Palmer. Electrification with the DBX and RapidE shows Aston is moving with the times and the manufacturer’s blossoming relationship with one of the world’s coolest franchises shows the future is bright. 

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