Vehicle Inspectre

Bond makes another spectre of himself.

Aston Martin DB10 from Spectre:
Aston Martin DB10 from Spectre:

Unless you live cut off from the outside world in a nuclear bunker, or spend your days with your eyes and ears screwed shut shouting “la-la-la-la-la, I can’t hear you”, you cannot have failed to notice a new James Bond film is in the offing: Spectre. Wired have helped prime the PR pump with an article on Daniel Craig’s latest conveyance, the Aston Martin DB10.

Although the piece regurgitates large parts of the Columbia Pictures / Aston Martin press pack almost verbatim, creative director Marek Reichman does offer a few interesting insights into the model’s gestation: to wit, there wasn’t much of one.

Daniel Craig as James Bond emerges from his Aston Martin DB10:
Daniel Craig as James Bond emerges from his Aston Martin DB10:

According to Reichman, Spectre director Sam Mendes (perhaps fortunately) overlooked the paucity of new Aston Martin sports cars, instead taking a shine to a sketch pinned to the design studio wall. As the article says:

The sleek two-seater was exactly what he wanted, if Aston could deliver it before shooting started at the end of the year. Problem was, it was just a sketch … Reichman told Mendes not to worry, he’d have the car. “At which point,” Reichman says, “most of my team sat on the floor, put their head in their hands, and said, ‘What on Earth has he said yes for?'”

Having thus (over)committed themselves, Reichman’s team effectively short circuited the usual car design process. Unfettered by safety, durability or emissions concerns, they embarked on a journey similar to creating a running show concept. A V8 Vantage chassis was chopped up to dictate the DB10’s hard points, styling clays were made, then the whole project was dumped straight into CAD.

They also did a lot of the engineering in the digital realm, working out the details of the suspension, the 4.7-liter V8 engine, the body panels, and even the position of the driver and passenger … The Aston Martin folks sent all their CAD data to a tool maker, skipping the prototype stage in the interest of time.

Given Wired’s primary field of interest, their focus upon the technology-driven aspects of the design and build process is understandable. Indeed, this fast paced development echoed Richard’s recent article about rapid prototyping. The article continues:

The body is carbon fiber, which in addition to being lightweight, retains its shape particularly well when popped from a mold, without the spring-back that makes working with aluminium and steel a pain. Everything fit together perfectly.

The way Wired tells it, running out the ten copies required for filming was as easy as popping together a series of Airfix kits from pre-built CAD-CAM parts. God bless the machines! The reality was likely less straightforward, involving a great deal of on-the-hoof fabrication by actual sweating, swearing humans. (Whether Reichman, a cultured gentleman, hung around to see any of that is another question.)

Given the DB10’s truncated gestation, it is a surprise to find the car appears wholly resolved and very handsome indeed. Short and stocky, with clipped overhangs and a sweeping belt line, the car exudes a cultured muscularity perfect for both brand and Bond. Only the grille treatment jars, looking a touch too flat; more surface sculpture would perhaps help here. Crucially for an Aston Martin, the DB10 looks modern without appearing faddy, something that cannot be said about their recent short run specials. (Feel free to disagree in the comments.)


Sadly, having done the hard work (or at least, the outsourced “tool maker” having done the hard work), the DB10 will only ever be a flight of film fantasy. The article feeds us the usual PR blarney that the DB10 offers “hints of what Aston Martin’s got coming”, a line usually to be taken with a pinch of salt, were the car not so well conceived. Given the exposure generated by the film, perhaps augmented by a few selective showings of those ten prototypes in Qatar, Aston Martin should have little trouble securing the backing they need to turn the DB dial from 10 to 11.

Author: chrisward1978

Professional pixel pugilist and word wrangler. Unprofessional pub snug raconteur.

9 thoughts on “Vehicle Inspectre”

  1. It’s a long way from hiring a Sunbeam Alpine locally for a few days to film Doctor No.

    Despite the Daniel Craig reboot of a few years back, if not cartoon villains we now have a cartoon car. Inasmuch as it looks like the ‘concept’ that would preceeed the actual model. But I agree it looks well enough, and I quite like the ‘boot space is for common people’ profile. Though is that vanity plate actually used in the film? Some secret agent.

    Aston probably owes its continued existence to Bond films. It’s unlikely that so many middle-aged men would have propped it up over the years if they hadn’t watched Goldfinger, so I can see why they’d want to be involved, but this is a huge investment if it leads to no actual product, just reinforcing the brand. Can I imagine Aston ‘reluctantly’ giving in to ‘public demand’ later this year to ‘sanction’ a limited run.

  2. They have done a very nice job on the DB10 – I can’t believe it won’t re-emerge as the new V8 Vantage, give or take …

  3. I think I’ve taken too much of a dislike of Marek Reichmann’s fiddling with the Callum/Fisker era Astons to have an objective opinion about this car. it does look better in fhe photos from the rear 3/4 than the front.

  4. Does anyone think boot space is for common people? That said, I imagine Rupert Murdoch travels with nothing but perhaps a ‘phone. Everywhere he goes he finds the things he needs. We bring things with us because we have usually just one of everything. So, yes, boot space is for common people. Then again even if you are as rich as god, you might not find the exact things you want in the place you are going to. Imagine Heidi Klum shopping in the nearest ladies´ clothes shop because she left everything at home when she embarked on her visit to a small town in a scenic place for a few days of quiet and peace.

    1. Seeing how the wheels are positioned and the quasi-absence of overhang, I doubt there’s much load space available, so I wouldn’t worry too much about clutter…

    2. I never quite understand the throwaway “just room for a toothbrush in the boot” comment when testers write about many exotics. If I had a car capable of covering 250 km or more in a hour, I might want to actually use it to travel somewhere, which unless I was going to impress my hosts not only with my car but my bodily odour, would mean putting in a bag or two.

      The fact that this isn’t an issue for many owners suggests various things. Their personal servant follows them in an AMG Shooting Brake. They buy clothes when they get to the other end, then throw them away before they set off home. They only travel between their own (many) residences.They only use it for posing round town.

    3. When packing I always think to myself, would this fit in the slow cooker boot of a Lotus Elise? If not, then I’m packing too much stuff.

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