Aston Martin DB AR1

The DB American Roadster 1 (DB AR1) was derived from the DB7. Based on the DB7 Vantage Volante (convertible) and boasting revised bodystyle with coachwork by Zagato of Italy and incorporating a number of dynamic elements, which were finely engineered to offer a new dimension to the Aston Martin driving experience.

Available only as a two-seater, the DB AR1 did not represent a convertible Zagato version of the Coupe (DB7 Zagato) - launched in the summer of 2002 - but instead another addition to the Aston Martin range.

The DB AR1 featured a large distinctive radiator grille and accentuating rear wheel arches, whilst the carefully detailed features such as the reverse/fog light combination provided graphic evidence of intricate hand craftsmanship and quality that has become an Aston Martin trademark.

Developments of Aston Martin’s low emission, all alloy, 6.0-litre V12 engine, meant that DB AR1 benefited from a performance increase, offering 435bhp – compared with 420bhp of the DB7 Vantage.

This increased power together with a revised final drive ratio and active sports exhaust system not only provided noticeable improvement in mid-range power, but also additional torque - up from 400 lb/ft (DB7 Vantage) to 410 lb/ft, providing a sharper accelerating drive.

An AP twin plate racing clutch, replacing the single plate clutch found on the DB7 Vantage, combined with the revised quick-shift gear lever – also fitted to the DB7 GT – enabled the driver to maximise use of the increase in power and torque and enjoy a faster gear change.

Aside from a revised body design, the DB AR1 also came equipped with special multispoke 19” alloy wheels - with revised offset to give a wider track (8x19” front, 9½x19” rear) - fitted with SO2 245/35 ZR19 front and 265/30 rear, low profile Yokohoma tyres.

The active sports exhaust system with rear muffler by-pass valves - as used on the V12 Vanquish - provided the DB AR1 with a very distinctive exhaust note.

A combination of racing-style grooved 355mm (front) and 330mm (rear) Brembo disc brakes and up-rated Pagid RS 42-1 front pads provided the DB AR1 with better-sustained performance, with improved resistance to judder and fade, particularly at high speed. An up-rated brake booster unit – as used on the V12 Vanquish - assisted in providing the driver with progressive braking and a firmer and more consistent pedal feel.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in March of 2010 at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida.

Source: Aston Martin press; RM Auctions

Gallery: Aston Martin DB AR1