Engine: 6.0 litre, 48-valve, V12 Power: 420 bhp Torque: 400 lb·ft compression ratio of 10.3:1.
The DB7, known internally as the NPX project, was made mostly with resources from Jaguar and had the financial backing of the Ford Motor Company, owner of Aston Martin since 1988. The DB7's platform is an evolution of the Jaguar XJS's, though with many changes. The styling started life as the still-born Jaguar F type (XJ41 – coupe / XJ42 – convertible) designed by Keith Helfet. Ford cancelled this car and the general design was grafted onto an XJS platform. The styling received modest changes by Ian Callum so that it looked like an Aston Martin. The first generation Jaguar XK-8 also uses an evolution of the XJ-S/DB7 platform and the cars share a family resemblance, though the Aston Martin was significantly more expensive and exclusive. The DB7 was engineered in Kidlington, Oxfordshire, by Tom Walkinshaw Racing on behalf of Aston Martin. The engines continued to be built in Kidlington during the production run of the vehicle. With production of the Virage (soon rechristened "V8" following Vantage styling revisions) continuing at Newport Pagnell, a new factory was acquired at Bloxham, Oxfordshire that had previously been used to produce the Jaguar XJ220, where every DB7 would be built throughout its production run. The DB7 and its relatives were the only Aston Martins produced in Bloxham and the only ones with a steel unit construction inherited from Jaguar (Aston Martin had traditionally used aluminium for the bodies of their cars, and models introduced after the DB7 use aluminium for the chassis as well as for many major body parts). The convertible Volante version was unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in 1996. Both versions have a supercharged straight-6 engine that produced 335 bhp and 361 lb·ft of torque. Works Service provided a special Driving Dynamics package, which greatly enhanced performance and handling for drivers who wanted more than the standard configuration.