Aston Martin DB10: walk-around with Designer, Sam Holgate

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Sam Holgate is just 28 years old; he’s also the designer responsible for latest Bond car, the Aston Martin DB10 from the movie, Spectre. How he came to design James Bond’s latest Mi6 company car is an amazing story in itself. It turns out the film’s director, Sam Mendes, was visiting Aston Martin’s design studio along with the head honchos from Bond film producers, Eon Productions, to discuss concept cars for the movie with Aston’s director of design, Marek Reichmann. Apparently, Mendes was about to leave the premises, when he noticed one of Holgate’s large sketches on the back wall, and asked Reichmann if they could build 10 of those – that being the DB10 – and as the saying goes, the rest is history. Holgate says that although the DB10 is a pure movie car and will not go into series production, it’s a hint at what the next generation of Aston Martin’s road cars might look like. It’s slightly longer than the current Aston Martin Vantage, on which it is based, but is considerably wider than any other in the Vantage range (almost as wide as Aston’s One-77 supercar) with extra wide Pirelli 305s on the rear – designed to accentuate the wider track. The DB10 is noticeably cleaner and a more pure shape than the current Vantage, which gives the impression of one seamless panel according to Holgate, like the classic Aston Martin DB5 from the 1964 Bond movie Goldfinger – from which the DB10 drew inspiration. The rear of the car is possibly the most striking with extra-wide hips, carbonfibre bumper with integrated exhaust tips and a heavily pronounced ducktail. Super-slim LED taillights and hidden stop light strips above the steeply raked hatch are designed to accentuate the car’s smoother lines and Aston’s inherent elegance. There’s a new interpretation of the traditional Aston Martin side strake. It’s cleaner design, which combines a larger intake with a more pronounced strake that also doubles as a convenient handle to lift the huge clamshell bonnet. There are none of the usual plastic/carbonfibre bonnet vents, instead, just a series of perfectly machined holes for heat extraction. It’s all in the interest of maintaining that seamless one-piece look. The grille, too, is another very different treatment from Aston’s usual style – much lower than anything before it, with a shark-like mouth that’s supposed to look more sinister – just like Bond’s predatory nature in the movie. Inside, is a massive departure from anything Aston has ever done before – far more minimalist and more driver-focused than any Aston to date. The flat-bottom steering wheel is wrapped in a combination of Alcantara and hand-stitched leather, with a host of multifunction buttons including a fingerprint recognition pad two switches that resemble miniature rockets. The six-speed shifter lever is new, too, more tactile than previous iterations, and I’m pretty sure there could be an eject switch hidden inside, just like on the DB5. Three large binnacles form the instrument display and there are one or two knobs that may or may not be for machine guns and flamethrowers. It’s clear that weight reduction was paramount in the DB10, as door handles have been replaced with leather door pulls and insulation is at minimum levels – at least on this movie car. If this looks anything like the next-generation Aston Martin Vantage, then I say, bring it on like no tomorrow.