These are the 10 best Aston Martins of all time

2018 Aston Martin DB11 V8
Miles Branman/Digital Trends
It’s probably best known as James Bond’s car of choice, but Aston Martin has a rich history beyond the silver screen. The iconic DB5 first driven by 007 in Goldfinger is far from the only great car Aston has produced during 105 years in the business. The company is currently at a crossroads, with potentially game-changing new models like the Valkyrie supercar, new Vantage, and Aston’s first SUV just over the horizon. But for now, let’s look back instead of forward, and revisit some of Aston’s greatest hits.

Ulster

Aston Martin Ulster

The Ulster wasn’t the first Aston Martin, but it was the car that established Aston’s performance reputation. It was a replica of the race car that won the 1934 Ulster Tourist Trophy, hence the name. A 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine developed 85 horsepower and propelled the Ulster to a claimed top speed of 100 mph — heady stuff for the time.

DBR1

Aston Martin DBR1

In addition to being one of the most gorgeous cars ever produced, the DBR1 gave Aston its one and only 24 Hours of Le Mans win. In 1959, Carroll Shelby (later of Shelby Cobra fame) and Roy Salvadori drove a DBR1 to victory in the famous French race. Despite trying hard, Aston hasn’t won since.

DB5

Aston Martin DB5

Bond. James Bond. What else do you have to say? The DB5 is inextricably linked with 007, and rightfully so. When Sean Connery took the wheel of a DB5 in Goldfinger, he turned Aston Martin into a household name. The DB5 itself was more an evolution of the previous DB4 than a completely new model, but its celebrity status makes it the most iconic Aston by far.

V8 Vantage

1980 Aston Martin V8 Vantage

Not to be confused with a more recent model of the same name, the original V8 Vantage was Aston’s attempt to make a supercar out of a tired model that had been on sale for years. In 1977 Aston took the AM V8 and boosted output to 375 hp (later 405 hp). The result was a car that could hit 170 mph — impressive for the time. The V8 Vantage also ended up the James Bond movie The Living Daylights, and it’s a favorite of current Aston CEO Andy Palmer, who owns a 1980 model.

DB7

Aston Martin DB7 Vantage

The DB7 is arguably the car that saved Aston Martin in the early 1990s. The DB7 introduced attractive styling that defined Aston for 20 years, and a 5.9-liter V12 that is only now going out of production. All of this was choreographed by Ford, which owned both Aston and Jaguar at the time, and used the latter’s engineering resources to help complete the DB7.

DB9

Aston Martin DB9

Aston kept building the DB7 for about a decade before replacing it with the DB9. Just as the DB7 defined Aston in the 1990s, the DB9 defined the company in the early 2000s. The DB9 improved upon the DB7 formula with similar styling, but fewer overt connections to Ford, which by then had sold Aston. The DB9 was incredibly long lived, staying in production from 2004 to 2016 and forming the basis for spinoff models like the DBS and Virage.

Rapide

Aston Martin Rapide S

Entering production in 2009, the Rapide is a four-door model built on a stretched version of the VH platform used for the DB9. While some automakers might have tried to hide the shared lineage, Aston styled the Rapide to look like a stretched DB9. That made for one of the best looking four-door cars in recent memory. This triumph of style over substance (the interior isn’t exactly roomy) is still in production as the Rapide S, with a 552-hp V12. It will also be the basis for Aston’s first all-electric production car.

One-77

Aston Martin One-77

It may look like a DB9 with a bizarre body kit, but the One-77 was a bona fide supercar. Its 7.3-liter V12 produced 750 hp, and the car had a claimed top speed of 220 mph. To get it into production, Aston Martin teamed up with Multimatc, the Canadian engineering company that is now building the Ford GT. Just 77 One-77s were made, priced at over $1 million each.

V12 Vantage S

2017 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S

This ultimate version of Aston’s “entry-level” Vantage is arguably the last of the company’s old-school models. As Aston moves toward turbocharged engines and increasingly complex electronics, the V12 Vantage S bellows a naturally-aspirated war cry. Best of all, Aston offers the option of a manual transmission to harness the V12’s 563 hp. Not only is the V12 Vantage S a car enthusiast’s dream, it’s fast — 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds, and a top speed of 205 mph.

Vulcan

Aston Martin Vulcan

Until the Valkyrie turns a wheel in anger, the Vulcan is the most hardcore production Aston Martin ever. It was so hardcore, in fact, that it wasn’t street legal. The Vulcan sported a 7.0-liter V12 that produced 820 hp, and aerodynamic aids that could generate 2,323 pound-feet of downforce (2,950 lb-ft with the optional AMR Pro upgrade). Aston organized a driver-training program to ensure the 24 owners didn’t kill themselves.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Cars

Pininfarina Battista is a 1,900-horsepower, 250-mph electric supercar

The Pininfarina Battista will be the first production car from famed Italian design firm Pininfarina. Named after company founder Battista Pininfarina, it has a claimed 1,900 horsepower and a $2.5 million price tag.
Cars

Gateway’s born-again Ford Bronco boasts classic style, 2018 muscle car power

Illinois-based Gateway Bronco has received a license from Ford to make brand-new examples of the first-generation Bronco. Every build starts with a Ford VIN and a donor vehicle, but Gateway upgrades every part of the car.
Cars

The Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake is the sexiest wagon ever

Aston Martin has revealed new photos of the limited-production Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake. The Vanquish Zagato line now includes the Shooting Brake, Coupe, Volante, and Speedster, each with bespoke styling.
Cars

Aston Martin bets classic car owners will choose volts over carburetors

Aston Martin has converted one of its most sought-after classic models to run on electricity instead of gasoline. The roadster uses electric components sourced from the upcoming Rapide E sedan.
Cars

This freewheeling Army truck-turned-tiny home is a labor of love

Most tiny homes are models of efficiency but one British metal worker has redefined the idea, converting an old Army truck into a mobile tiny home that comes with a bed, a sofa, a shower, and a beer garden.
Product Review

The 2019 Porsche Macan S is a luxurious and quick SUV, but it's no road tripper

The roster of models challenging the Porsche Macan grows annually. The German firm updated its smallest, most affordable SUV with a new engine, more tech features, and subtle design tweaks to keep it looking fresh.
Cars

Take a friend stargazing at 202 mph in the 2019 McLaren 720S Spider

McLaren has introduced the 2019 720S Spider. As its name implies, it's a convertible variant of the 720S coupe. The company promises the Spider retains the coupe's dynamism and agility thanks in part to the widespread use of carbon fiber.
Cars

Bloodhound’s plan to build a 1,000-mph car has run out of gas

The Bloodhound supersonic car (SSC) project has officially shut down. The upside is you can now buy a 135,000-horsepower car powered by a jet engine and a cluster of rockets for $319,000.
Cars

2019 Ford Ranger saves fuel without sacrificing towing capacity

The 2019 Ford Ranger marks Ford's long-awaited return to the midsize truck segment, which has seen a resurgence lately. But will being late to the party make Ford's job more difficult?
Cars

Tesla could show the electric pickup Elon Musk is dying to build in 2019

Tesla has started designing its long-promised pickup truck. The yet-unnamed model will come with dual-motor all-wheel drive and lots of torque, plus it will be able to park itself.
Cars

Allegro.ai is helping Hyundai mine the artificial intelligence gold rush

In November 2018, Hyundai invested in a startup named Allegro.ai. We talked to the company's founder to learn more about what that means for consumers in the not-too-distant futures.
Emerging Tech

With this robotic garage, retrieving your car is like using a vending machine

Remembering where we parked our cars can be a real pain. But what if our cars came to find us, rather than the other way around? A new automated robot parking valet system aims to help.
Cars

Thinking of opting for a car with a diesel engine? Here's what you need to know

Modern diesel-powered models prove that it is possible to build a clean, efficient diesel engine without sacrificing performance. Here's what you need to know about diesel cars, and how they differ from gasoline-powered models.