Aston Martin and The Little Car Company have today announced the DB5 Junior, a two-thirds scale electric junior car. Developed over the last 15 months as a collaboration between the two companies, the junior car 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. Powered by a torque-laden electric powertrain delivering 5kW / 6.7 bhp to the rear wheels, the drivers will be grateful for the integrated bucket seat as they accelerate to the 30mph top speed.
Absolute 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.
A perfect two-thirds scale steering wheel sits in front of the dash, but now sports a racing-style quick release to make entry and exit easier for the driver. Power is regulated by billet aluminium accelerator and brake pedals, and as you would expect there are working headlights, brake lights, indicators and a horn.
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 / trunk at the rear for storage should you wish.
The car sits on double wishbone suspension at the front as per the original, with the roll centre and camber gain matching the original geometry. At the rear there is the period-correct live axle, with authentic upper and lower trailing arm suspension and Panhard rod.
Power is transmitted to the ground through 10” wire wheels with four-wheel ventilated disc brakes, complemented by regenerative braking. A removable battery pack is stored under the opening bonnet, giving 10-20 miles (16-32km) driving 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 junior car also has three integrated selectable driving modes:
- A Novice mode with just 1kW / 1.3 bhp of power for less experienced drivers with a 12mph (19kmh) top speed. 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.
- An Expert mode is provided for more experienced drivers with 5kW / 6.7bhp of power and a 30mph (48kmh) top speed.
- Finally Race mode is a “Balance of Performance” (BOP) setting which allows the acceleration and top speed of the vehicle to be aligned with other Little Car Company models for competition on an even playing field.
And finally, for the ultimate driving experience, a rally-style hydraulic handbrake is included. While strictly not necessary, it does add to the fun for the bigger kids amongst us.
The Vantage version of the original DB5 was known for its performance upgrade. Now, the DB5 Vantage Junior takes the pace up a level, too. Whilst this elite model has the three driving modes of the standard car, there is also a fourth; Vantage mode, operated by a hidden ‘missile’ switch which doubles the power output to 10kW / 13.4bhp and increases the top speed to a still unconfirmed level. This output is now delivered to the wheels through a Limited-Slip Differential (LSD) to improve traction at high speed. Performance is further enhanced by the lightweight carbon fibre body and a second battery pack, doubling the range to 20-40 miles (32-64km) depending on driving style.
Owners will be invited to customise their DB5 Juniors either with a range of representative period exterior and interior colours or perhaps delve into Aston Martin’s contemporary palette, to match their full-size car. The cars will also come with a range of optional accessories including flight cases, additional batteries, covers, toolkits and custom number plates.
Every DB5 Junior owner will receive automatic membership of the respected Aston Martin Owners Club, three complete registers of the individual specification of all 1059 vehicles will be created for future provenance and authenticity. One copy will be held at Aston Martin’s Gaydon Headquarters, one at Aston Martin Works in Newport Pagnell (where the original DB5s were built) and one at The Little Car Company’s headquarters.
In addition, all clients will receive complimentary membership of The Little Car Club which allows them to take part in exclusive events where they, their children and grandchildren can drive their DB5 Juniors on the 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, said: “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’.”
Prospective buyers who wish to secure one of the limited-edition DB5 Juniors can visit thelittlecar.co/db5junior from 27 August, 2020 to place a fully refundable deposit on a first come, first served basis. When these build slots are full, a waiting list will be put in place.
Pricing for the DB5 Junior begins at £35,000 (AU $64,300) plus local taxes, while the more powerful DB5 Vantage Junior starts from £45,000 (AU $82,600) plus local taxes. Existing Aston Martin DB5 owners will be given first refusal on their DB5 Junior chassis number to match their full-size car.
Production commences in the UK in 2021, with deliveries taking place worldwide over the next two years. All final specifications to be confirmed before production commences.