We’ve seen Aston Martins in many a Bond movie, and SPECTRE is no exception. The DB10 was produced especially for the film, with the Aston Martin design team working with director, Sam Mendes, to create the ultimate car for the world’s most famous spy. It all seems like the stuff of your wildest dreams, doesn’t it? And yet, not far out of London you can spend the whole day driving an Aston Martin for yourself! I went to experience life in the fast lane…
First up choose your car! Will it be a Vanquish Touchtronic Coupe, the V12 Vantage S Coupe, or maybe the DB9 Touchtronic Coupe..? Either way, you’re looking at sleek looks, hand-stitched leather seats that automatically remember your best driving position, and dials that emerge out of the dashboard when you switch the ignition on. First I got to know the car’s capabilities on the ‘city course’, with tight hairpin bends showing how well the car handles, and it’s a chance to test out – and feel – the difference between Drive and Sport mode.
Then you’re ready to hit the more heart-pumping courses, like the mile straight. Here, as I pulled up to the starting line, my driver John told me to slam my foot down on the floor and not brake until he said so. We roared off and within nano-seconds I was hitting 140mph. John reminded me to keep looking straight ahead, and the end of the track seemed to be approaching alarmingly quickly, yet still John wasn’t giving the signal to brake. But luckily, with Aston Martins, the brakes feel like they’re clamping the entire car to an almost immediate stop.
Then there’s ‘the bowl’ where you can experience the thrill of speeds above 100mph on this 2-mile circular banked track. There are more kicks when you hit the ‘alpine route’, with steep gradients, tight corners and even a jump. This is where the scene where Bond flipped his Aston Martin in Casino Royale was shot. Fortunately for my nerves, John didn’t push me to perform this manoeuvre. By the time I stepped out of the car at the end of the day, my hands were shaking – I don’t know how Bond does it.
Millbrook Proving Ground is near Bedford, but the nearest rail station is Flitwick where regular trains run from London and Luton Airport. Find out more on the Aston Martin Driving Courses at Millbrook.