Aston Martin has teamed up with The Little Car Company to produce a miniaturised version of its iconic DB5 classic. This two-thirds-scale, electric-powered machine is called the DB5 Junior.
A regular model and a Vantage
There are actually two models of this tiny Aston, the DB5 Junior and the DB5 Vantage Junior. Either one is three metres long and 1.1 metres wide, allowing an adult and a child to sit side-by-side in the 'interior'. They are constructed of an aluminium honeycomb chassis and composite body, which makes it rigid and relatively light at 270kg, while the bodywork has the same Aston Martin wings, shield and other badges as a 1963 original. It sits on double-wishbone suspension at the front, with its roll centre and camber matching the full-sized thing's geometry settings, and there's a live axle at the back.
Power comes from an electric motor developing 5kW (6.8hp) in the DB5 Junior. This is sent to the back axle, shod with 10-inch wire wheels, and the little Aston is also fitted with ventilated disc brakes at all corners. The battery allows for a driving range of 16-32km, depending on driving style, but if more range is needed then a second battery pack can be fitted. The DB5 Junior also has three driving modes: Novice limits the power to 1kW (1.4hp) and the top speed to 19km/h, as well as providing a 'remote kill switch' which stops the car travelling more than 30 metres away from a parent - as this mode is intended for younger drivers; Expert mode unleashes the full fury of the 6.8hp, allowing the DB5 Junior to run on to an impressive 48km/h; and then there's Race mode (yes, Race mode), with a 'Balance of Performance' setting which allows the acceleration and top speed to be aligned with those of other Little Car Company models, in case you want to involve in some competitive, 66-per-cent-sized driving. There's even a rally-style hydraulic handbrake included.
However, if 6.8 rampaging horses isn't enough for you, then you'll want the DB5 Vantage Junior. This ups the power to a dizzying 10kW (13.6hp) and increase the Aston's top speed to an 'unconfirmed level'. It comes with a limited-slip differential and a lightweight carbon-fibre body, and the fitment of a second battery pack doubles the driving range to between 32-64km.
Matching chassis numbers
Just 1,059 Aston Martin DB5 Junior and DB5 Vantage Junior cars will be built, matching the build run of the real thing all those years ago. Owners of DB5s will be given first refusal on the Juniors and, if they take up the option to buy one of these two-thirds-scale electric cars, they will get the matching chassis number to their full-sized classic. Options for the Juniors will include flight cases, additional batteries, covers, toolkits and custom number plates, and as well as club membership and certificates of authenticity, all clients will receive membership of The Little Car Club - allowing them to take part in events where they, their children or even their grandchildren can drive their DB5 Juniors on the world's most prestigious racetracks.
Marek Reichman, executive vice-president and chief creative officer of Aston Martin, said: "I'm thrilled to see this new, exquisite interpretation of what is, perhaps, our most iconic model join the Aston Martin family. Our partners, The Little Car Company, have gone into meticulous detail to truly replicate the stunning form of the original DB5. I very much look forward to seeing these fun tributes to the timeless DB5 go into 'service' with owners of all ages around the world."
Ben Hedley, CEO of The Little Car Company, added: "It is an honour to partner with Aston Martin on this project, getting the opportunity to create a piece of history which will be passed down from one generation to the next. We are enormously proud of what we and the Aston Martin team have developed, and it is fantastic that we have made this iconic car accessible in a new way to a new generation of Aston Martin fans. As a child, I would not have imagined any better way to learn to drive than in 'The Most Famous Car in the World'."
From around €40k...
So, to prices. Buyers interested in securing one of the limited-edition DB5 Juniors can register their interest at www.thelittlecar.co/db5junior to place a fully refundable deposit on an example of the electric runaround on a first-come, first-served basis. When the build slots are full, a waiting list will be put in place. Production commences in 2021, with deliveries taking place over the following two years. And - ready for this? - each DB5 Junior will cost from around €39,200 plus local taxes, while the mighty Vantage will set you back something like €50,400 plus local taxes.