An Aston Martin was the original sultry star commandeered by Bond, James Bond, and this new 2005 Aston Martin DB9 is an international machine of beauty. The handcrafted coupe with pushbutton controls hits 0 to 60 in under five seconds.
Sticker price: $155,000.
Available: Now, but plan on spending a year on the waiting list. In the interim, you can look forward to the six-speed manual Graziano and convertible Volante editions.
Backstory: The "DB" stands for David Brown, who bought the firm in 1947 and led it through its golden years, which included a 1959 DBR1 win at Le Mans and the DB5 role in Goldfinger -- although ejector seats and instant oil slicks were never available options.
Vital stats: 450-hp V-12, paddleshifters, 50-50 front-rear weight distribution, bonded aluminum frame, and 108-inch wheelbase.
Nice touches: 128-watt Linn stereo system, 20 colors of leather, and swan-wing doors that stand in place.
Drawbacks: A trunk that might not fit a croquet set and SUV-esque gas mileage -- estimated 11 mpg (city)/18 mpg (highway).
What you think it says about you: "Women want me, men want to be me. In other words, I am 007."
What it really says about you: "Aston Martin owner or not, you're still more Timothy Dalton than Sean Connery."
Second opinion: "Underneath the DB9's svelte skin is a superb chassis," says Winston Goodfellow, who's written for Automobile Quarterly. "What movie star wouldn't die to have this body?"
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