A FEW very lucky car mad youngsters are in for a fantastic birthday treat next year when production starts of a scaled down Aston Martin DB5 with a price tag starting at £35,000 - plus local taxes.
And while nipper takes the wheel in this two-thirds scale roadster, mum or dad will fit alongside for the thrill - at up to 30mph with the 'expert' setting activated and nearly seven horsepower unleashed from its electric motor.
Otherwise, this DB5 Junior rolls along at a more sedate 12mph, using just 1.3bhp. In this mode a remote kill switch is included allowing the car to be remotely disabled at up to 30m. And if an enthusiastic novice disappears outside that 30m range, the car will automatically shut down and come to a gentle halt.
With the standard battery pack stored under the opening bonnet, the mini-Aston provides a 10-20 milesdriving range, depending on driving style. A second battery can be added, and each pack can be swapped for a replacement in a matter of seconds.
The car is being built by The Little Car Company at Bicester and has been developed over the last 15 months as a collaboration between the company and Aston Martin sand is based on Aston Martin's reference 3D scan of an original DB5 to ensure complete accuracy and authenticity.
At around 3m long, and 1.1m wide, the DB5 Junior is designed to easily accommodate an adult and a child side by side, to allow different generations to share the love of driving.
The aluminium honeycomb chassis and composite body provide a very rigid platform whilst keeping the total weight down to around 270kg.
Authenticity was key throughout the development of the vehicle. For example, the DB5 Junior sports the same iconic Aston Martin ‘wings', ‘shield' and DB5 badges as the original 1963 model.
Like its big brother, the dashboard is filled with functional Smiths instruments, which have been cleverly updated for the modern era. The fuel gauge has been converted into a battery meter, while the oil temperature now monitors the motor temperature. Finally, the same Smiths clock as seen in the original 1960s car sits proudly in front of the passenger seat.
In true DB5 style, the car comes in the famous Silver Birch colour as standard, with a full black leather interior and carpet set. There is even a boot at the rear for storage, should you wish.
The Vantage version (from £45,000 plus taxes) of the original DB5 was known for its performance upgrade. Now, the DB5 Vantage Junior takes the pace up a level, too. While this elite model has the three driving modes of the standard car, there is also a fourth;Vantagemode, operated by a hidden ‘missile' switch which doubles the power output and increases the top speed to a still unconfirmed level.