Vital statistics

At the heart of the DB7 is a 3.2-litre supercharged six-cylinder engine which develops 335 bhp at 5600 rpm and 368 lb/ft of torque at 3000.

For comparison, the latest Jaguar XJ12 saloon's six-litre V12 produces 318 bhp at 5400 rpm and 342 lb/ft of torque at 3750. The Jaguar saloon weighs 1985 kg; the DB7 is a comparative featherweight, at 1650.

The Aston's performance figures should be outstandingly good, and claims include 5.5s from standstill to 60 mph, 0-100 mph in 13s and a top speed of 165 mph.

As in the Virage Vantage, Aston Martin chose supercharging as the method of boosting power, with its particular benefit of immediate low-speed response. The Eaton supercharger operates at a maximum boost pressure of one bar (14.2 psi) and has a water-fed intercooler. Zytek supplies the advanced engine management system with sequential fuel injection and EDIS distributorless ignition.

There is a choice of transmissions five-speed manual or an electronically controlled four-speed automatic, with a limited slip differential.

Motor Panels will supply ready welded steel monocoques and the doors, zinc coated and treated for a lifetime. Carbon composite materials will be used for the bonnet, boot lid, front wings, sill panels, front and rear bumper systems, and the Targa-type lift-off roof panel.

All interior trim will be made by Aston Martin at Newport Pagnell, including hand-crafted leather upholstery, Wilton carpet and burr walnut panelling.

Upper and lower wishbones are featured in the front and rear suspensions with coil springs, monotube dampers and anti-roll bars. Big disc brakes are installed front and rear, those at the front ventilated and with four-piston calipers, and the Teves anti-lock hydraulic system is specified.

Power assisted rack and pinion steering is high-geared, with 2.54 turns from lock to lock. Alloy wheels are 18 in in diameter, 8 in wide, carrying 245/40 ZR 18 Bridgestone tyres.