This past weekend, I had the pleasure of driving an Aston Martin DBX 707, the performance variant of the British company’s first ever SUV. There’s a lot to like about the DBX 707 (which, despite its name, is only rated for 697 hp in the U.S. — the 707 figure refers to PS, the European power-output unit of measure). But my favorite little detail was something I discovered the moment I activated Adaptive Cruise Control.
See, when you turn on ACC, a little indicator pops up on the all-digital instrument panel to let you adjust how closely you want to follow the vehicle in front of you. And while most automakers use a generic car icon in their ACC readout, the folks at Aston decided to have a little fun with it, and put two vintage DB5s on the dashboard. Check it out:
[Humming the James Bond theme to myself]
It’s not unheard of for automakers to put their own vehicles on the dashboard in icon / cartoon form. Most companies depict their own models for cruise control, drive mode, and other functions, but more often than not, the icon vehicle is a cartoon version of the car you’re sitting in. An Infiniti QX55 will show you cruising behind another QX55 when you adjust the cruise-control following distance; a Ram 1500 shows a miniature Ram in the instrument cluster when you switch drivetrain settings or modes. Aston just took it a step further, opting to depict the most iconic model in the brand’s history on the dashboard.
This little tidbit gave me so much delight, I reached out to Aston Martin to find out a little bit of the history behind it. It turns out, the emoji-DB5 has been a part of the DBX digital dashboard ever since the vehicle debuted for the 2021 model year. So far, the wee DB5 isn’t featured on any other Aston dashboards, but I’m willing to bet it will be included on Aston’s sports car models whenever those vehicles get their next mid-cycle refresh.
Aston Martin is always enthusiastic to showcase the DB5. And for good reason: it’s not just the canonical James Bond car, it’s permanently in the top three on the list of most beautiful cars ever built, alongside the Jaguar E-Type and the Ferrari 250 GTO. (Editor’s note: Unfortunately, Bob is wrong; the best-looking cars ever made are the Lamborghini Miura and Ford GT40.) The DB5 exudes classical sports-car styling; you can’t see one without envisioning jaunty high-speed travel across Europe, perhaps evading SPECTRE or SMERSH in the process.
I love this kind of thing in cars. It shows attention to detail and a willingness to have fun with what would otherwise be a boring, straightforward cruise-control function. If your company’s history included an object of universal desire like the DB5, you’d be damn sure to plaster its image everywhere you could.
Now if only I could find the button for the DBX’s ejector seat...
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