Aston Martin DB7 Vantage Volante
From Aston Martin press: It was Victor Gauntlett who first suggested that a new, smaller Aston Martin should be built alongside the big V8 Astons, a car that would, in terms, be a volume seller.
The advent of the Ford Motor Company and the appointment of the late Walter Hayes as Chief Executive of Aston Martin not only provided new funding, but a renewed vigour in the person of Rod Mansfield who, as Engineering Director in 1990, was charged with the development of the 'smaller' Aston Martin, code names DP1999.
The engine proved to be a light alloy, twin camshaft, supercharged straight six of 3,228cc based on a design that had originated at Jaguar. The cylinder head used 4 valves per cylinder with Zytec electronic multi-point fuel injection while the air needed to combust the fuel was delivered by a water cooled Eaton, 'roots' type, supercharger which was driven by a toothed belt from the camshaft.
Although it didn’t appear for almost 3 years after the DB7’s unveiling, Aston Martin had every intention of creating a soft-top version. In 1996, the Volante made its debut at the Los Angeles and Detroit motor show.
In 1999, the DB7 received significant engineering enhancements with the introduction of the DB7 Vantage – the first Aston Martin to use a V12 engine.