Confused? Swipe left in the gallery – that grille is 007-familiar, is it not? And you’d be right on the money because that automobile, the BAE Vantare, is a re-bodied Aston Martin DB9. And the latter is, in turn, a proud descendant of the famed DBs before it, all the way back to the primordial DB5 of the sixties.
Somehow, the bodywork project aimed to kill two birds with one stroke of the quill and eagerly spared no effort in grafting the two iconic grand tourers in one homage-paying mold. Sure, the DB moniker finds its roots in the late ’40s, but the Vantare chose the 1963 DB5 as one source of inspiration.
The second one is fifty years younger than the James Bondian original automobile – the 2003 DB9. In full disclosure, this third-millennium Aston serves as the foundation of the Vantare – the chassis and driveline came straight from it.
As for the shell – it’s the work of British Automotive Engineering, a UK-based company that chiseled the looks of this two-for-one British automobile. The styling is an odd ode to past design trends and modern aerodynamic restrictions.
Performance-wise, the BAE Vantare has a V12 to brag with, courtesy of its benefactor. By the way, “vantare” is Italian for “vaunt,” “brag,” “boast,” or “show off.” And the head-turning BAE automobile has all the Aston Martin allowance to shout out to.
The 5.9-liter V12 puts 451 hp (456 ps) to the rear wheels via a ZF Touchtronic (push-button) six-speed automatic gearbox that propels it to 186 mph/299 kph (allegedly). The 421-lb-ft torque output (571 Nm) gives the fish-eyed “supercar” a 4.9-second acceleration time from 0 to 62 mph (100 kph).
Not necessarily impressive, but the car weighs 2.1 tons – despite the carbon fiber body. How BAE pulled off putting over 300 kg / 660 lb over the original Aston’s mass of 1,760 kg / 3.880 lb is quite a mystery. And so is their designation for this automobile – supercar, instead of GT (like its DBs donors).
When it came around in mid-2021, the car was rumored to have a production run of no more than 10 examples. The first one – chassis 001 – was presented at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July of that year. The price tag for each opened at £275,000 (over $343,000 at the time of this story).
Not a steep price if one puts this value against other low-series luxury GTs or unique one-offs from other long-running companies. Nonetheless, it is a hefty price for a car that is an early-model Aston Martin DB9 in some haute-couture clothing.
Put into a more practical perspective, the same amount could buy any current regular-production Aston Martin and still leave some change. And the BAE Vantare isn’t quite that promising in any aspect, bar rarity.
Only ten were initially planned, but there’s no clear status on the production stage of the remaining nine. The company’s website is “currently undergoing scheduled maintenance” (it’s been in this state since at least March 2023).
And their social media accounts appear abandoned too – the last post was in May of 2022. Whether this means the company is in trouble or not is up to the future to reveal, but one thing is undoubtful. This car will draw attention – either in awe or in scorn.
It’s challenging to describe it in one word, given its half-century age gap between the two donor cars. On a positive note, it’s packed with decent performance and a relatively comfortable interior that hints at a nostalgic analog era of gearheaded glory.
The only thing that would disrupt the ageless feeling is the touchscreen atop the center console, a digital-age must that chips the classic demeanor. Satellite navigation, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are some of the tech features of the Vantare, so the driver won’t feel out of time when behind the wheel.
Otherwise, the greenhouse is decently held back in the early-2000s style. Although it is not a transplanted interior of a DB9, the similarities are apparent, but not in a negative sense. The strictly necessary buttons and almost parsimonious steering wheel let a potential driver focus on the road – although this first car does feature several build quality mishaps.
The review from December 2021 might be the most appropriate available – it’s in the video below – and although it claims that at least one other Vantare exists, no other source testified to it – not even the company made any reference to a second car.
At the beginning of this project, the build time was estimated between 16 to 20 weeks, depending on customer specifications. The custom body panels were made of hand-laid carbon-fiber layers, and all glass surfaces were fabricated to order.
The 20-inch milled billet aluminum wheels are a throwback to the Borrani chrome wire wheels on the Aston Martins of the 1960s. The single certain BAE Vantare example – build 001 – is offered for sale, but the price is not openly disclosed. The car is available for viewing in person at the selling dealership in London, should anyone be interested in this quirky double DB resto-morph.