(from Zagato Press Release)
Thursday 2nd January 2003 - Aston Martin and Zagato have shown a
lightweight concept Roadster at Los Angeles Motor Show that has been
designed specifically to appeal to its US customers.
At Le Mans race in year 2002, Dr. Ulrich Bez had something like “a
feeling…”, while he was driving a DBR1. Talking about it with Andrea
Zagato at Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance the next August, this feeling
turned into an idea and this idea gave life to the beautiful American
The DB American Roadster 1 (DB AR1) is derived from the DB7 – the most
successful Aston Martin of all time. It is based on the current DB7
Vantage Volante (convertible) and boasts revised bodystyle with
coachwork by Zagato and incorporates a number of dynamic elements, which
have been finely engineered to offer a new dimension to the Aston Martin
Available only as a two-seater, the DB AR1 is not a convertible Zagato
version of the Coupe - launched in the summer of 2002 - but an addition
to Aston Martin’s exclusive product range.
“Aston Martin is unique in its ability to react quickly to its customers
requirements and produce limited edition sports cars,” explained Dr
Ulrich Bez, CEO of Aston Martin.” This is the reason why Aston Martin
has preferred Zagato: it has the same approach to business: quick
answers and quality.
The DB7 Zagato was a huge success for Aston Martin with all 99 cars sold
very quickly. It’s very clear; customers want choice and individuality.
“However, the DB AR1 is a concept car that has been designed with the
Californian weather in mind and is a Roadster in the proper tradition,
with no hood and space for just two people.”
All cars have been sold in a three – weeks tour in United States, after
Los Angeles Motor Show. The production (66 to 99 pieces) will start in
Pricing has yet to be confirmed, but it is anticipated that DB AR1 will
cost around $230,000 US (plus or minus 10%).
The DB AR1 has a large distinctive radiator grille and accentuating rear
wheel arches, which are also new, whilst the carefully detailed features
such as the reverse/fog light combination provide graphic evidence of
intricate hand craftsmanship and quality that has become an Aston Martin
Aston Martin has yet to conduct performance testing however, it is
expected that recent developments of Aston Martin’s low emission, all
alloy, 6.0-litre V12 engine, means that DB AR1 will benefit from a
performance increase, and offer 435bhp – compared with 420bhp of the DB7
This increased power together with a revised final drive ratio and
active sports exhaust system will not only provide 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
An AP twin plate racing clutch, which replaces the single plate clutch
found on the DB7 Vantage, combined with the revised quick-shift gear
lever – also fitted to the DB7 GT – will enable 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 has special multispoke 19”
alloy wheels - with revised offset to give a wider track (8x19” front,
9˝x19” rear) - equipped 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 - provide the DB AR1 with a very distinctive
A combination of racing-style grooved 355mm (front) and 330mm (rear)
Brembo disc brakes and uprated Pagid RS 42-1 front pads provide the DB
AR1 with better-sustained performance, with improved resistance to
judder and fade, particularly at high speed. An uprated brake booster
unit – as used on the V12 Vanquish - assists in providing the driver
with progressive braking and a firmer and more consistent pedal feel.