The Aston Martin DB5 vs. 2023 Aston Martin Vantage Comparison
The original Aston Martin DB5 was based mainly on the DB4, only with a new, more robust all-aluminum engine. Initially produced from 1963 - 1965, Aston Martin enjoyed success with the DB4, but after five years (1958 - 63), the company decided that an update was overdue. (Interestingly, Aston Martin introduced the Vantage name on a DB5 variant with 325 hp, but only 65 were built).
Power And Performance
The 1963 DB5 used a 4.0L straight six-cylinder powerplant mated to a ZF five-speed transmission and three SU carburetors. The motor had a bore of 3.78 and a stroke of 3..62, producing an 8.9:1 compression ratio. While the all-aluminum engine was a lightweight beast, cranking out 282 hp @ 5500 rpm and 288 lb-ft @ 3850 rpm of torque. The car could post an 8-second 0 - 60 mph time and had a top of 145 mph.
When the ‘63 DB5 was first released, a 4-speed transmission with overdrive was standard, but it was soon dropped in favor of the ZF 5-speed. Customers could opt for a Borg Warner automatic if they desired.
The 2023 Aston Martin Vantage uses two different engines scattered over its six trims. A 4.0L Twin Turbo V8 that produces 505 - 527 hp and 505 lb-ft of torque handles the duties for the Vantage Roadster and Coupe, F1 Coupe, and F1 Roadster models. A monster 5.2L V12 twin-turbo engine that puts out 690 hp and 524 lb-ft of torque. The high-powered Vantage has a top end of 200 mph and posts a 3.4 second 0 - 60 mph time.
The car is paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission (no manual is available). Carbon ceramic brakes provide more than enough stopping power for the V12, although there are reports of them being better suited for the track than the street.
Design and Dimensions
The classic DB5 was designed by the Italian coachbuilder, Carozzeria Touring Superleggera, out of Milan (the same company had designed the DB4). With a wheelbase of 98 inches, the DB5 had a length of 180 inches, stood barely over 5 feet wide, and had a height of 53 inches. The car weighed 3230 lbs, considerably heavier than its Jaguar XKE competition.
The body panels were made from magnesium alloy to assist with weight and aerodynamics. Chrome-wired wheels gave the car an expensive look (the front headlights encased behind clear glass helped). A central hood scoop highlighted the long nose, and the roof line sloped back to a shorter tail in true Gran Tourer style.
The DB5 sported a luxurious interior inside the car with deep pile carpeting, leather reclining seats, electric windows, and a fighter-style cockpit. The instrument panel consisted of seven round gauges that displayed information from fuel to oil and temperature readings. The car came with a fire extinguisher as standard equipment.
By contrast, the 2023 Aston Martin Vantage is a sleek, sexy sports car. With smooth lines, it exudes an elegant appearance. Depending on which of the six models you choose, the length varies between 175.8 - 177.7 inches, with a 76.5 - 78-inch stance and a height of 50.1 inches across all model lines. The newer Vantage has a much longer wheelbase than its distant relative at 106.5 inches. Still, considering it is powered by a V8 performance engine (technically, it's an engine used in partnership with Mercedes) or the true blood Aston V12, it needs every bit of stability it can get.
The interior is luxurious and functional, with all the amenities you might expect from a $150k sports car. Carpeted floors, an 8-inch display screen, eight-way power memory seats, and a six-speaker audio system with steering wheel controls, navigation, Bluetooth capability, and smartphone capability offer drivers all the comforts they can hope for. The 360-degree camera helps keep drivers safe and is paired with a host of added safety features. A heated leather steering wheel is among the available options.
We love how tuned the Aston Martin seems to be so attuned to the driver's needs, providing complete comfort with a bright, interactive instrument panel. The display greets customers with its classic Aston emblem before morphing into a speedometer display. Press the push button to start, and the Vantage rewards you with a deep-throated growl that shows the V12 is ready to take on all comers. It is easy to see that this car is one of the most revered in the world.
In classic Aston Martin tradition, all cars are hand-built to each customer’s specifications. The workmanship shows today as much as it did when Bond was zipping down a mountain road racing the bad guys.
One would expect the newer Vantage to be safer, with a 360-degree camera system, blind spot monitoring, and parking assist features. The car has six airbags and meets all safety regulations the IIHS and NHTSA dictate.
The classic was built before the general use of seat belts and the governmental mandates in 1968.
The retail price for the Aston Martin that Bond drove would have cost you around $12,755 (roughly $125,000 in today’s dollars). Of course, the value of an Aston Martin DB5 is much higher, with models pushing several million dollars. The highest DB5 ever sold at auction was a famous car (one driven by Sean Connery), which sold for $6.3 million in 2019. The sale propelled the classic DB5 to the distinction of being the most expensive Bond memorabilia ever sold.
The 2023 Vantage sells for $143k for the V8 version, and the V12 runs for $298k. While many might consider this a lot of money to pay for a luxury sportscar, the truth is that the classic DB5 is more expensive by far.
Over the three years of its production run, only 1,059 DB5s were built (considering that they were handmade, that is quite a lot - about one a day). Aston Martin made 123 of the DB5 convertible model, although only 19 were left-hand-drive.
Aston Martin reintroduced the Vantage (V8) in 2018 and the V12 Roadster in 2020. The company produced only 333 models of the 2023 Aston Martin Vantage, which sold out within hours of the British automaker announcing the production limits. Aston Martin has a new facelifted, redesigned Vantage in development, and we can hardly wait for it to be finished and hit the streets from the factory.
The Specs For Both The Aston Martins
While Aston Martin has worked hard to keep its connection with the Bond legacy alive and well, the British automaker will inevitably continue to have a part to play in upcoming Bond films. While only a select few know who will be the next James Bond (bets are being taken), rest assured that the superspy is in good hands.