DB6 / DB6 Vantage
In the spring of 1963, serious thought was being given to what should succeed the DB5. The longest lead item for development was a completely new engine, but a great deal of thought was also being given to how the appearance of the car could be changed to bring it right up to date with the modern styling of market competitors. One of the key drivers was the notable customer demand for improved rear seat accommodation, which, in the DB5 was at best cramped and with minimal rear seat leg and headroom. There was also some concern and experience of the DB5 at speed on the motorways and autoroutes not being as stable as they could, and this led to some serious investigation to establish the true facts. What was discovered was a significant level of rear lift and some also at the front, and with a cross wind a feeling of instability. This lift also notably increased the aerodynamic drag, with obvious consequences for maximum speed and fuel efficiency.
Another key concern that was to be aired, which directly led to the launch of the DB6, was the cost in time and resource required to tool up for a new car and chassis, while still maintaining the peak production volumes of the DB5. Accordingly, a decision was reached early in 1964 to introduce the DB6 as the run out model of the DB4 era, while in slower time, the tooling, planning and development of the DBS could proceed.
With the DB6, therefore, the engine specification, with minor tweaking, was continued unchanged from the DB5. The same Vantage engine option was also added, though again, with minor changes to camshafts, that further increased the claimed (inflated!!!!) Vantage power output to 325 bhp. The most obvious change that came with the DB6 was the Kamm tail shape of the rear of the car, but other subtle changes were made, which together gave a notable increase in rear seta legroom and headroom, a key design requirement. The reduction in lift and drag was notable and this alone increased the maximum speed just below 150 mph, with notable reduction in the 0 to 60 and 0 to 100 mph acceleration figures compared to the DB5. So swift was the DB6 Vantage when road tested, that they closely rivalled the figures obtained with the DB4 GT. Other aspects of the car were carried over from the DB5 with an identical specification.
The DB6 Mk2 By 1968/9, and with the DBS yet to establish itself, it was thought sensible to offer a face lifted DB6, which was duly launched in 1969 as the DB6 Mk2. With the DB6 Mk2 came a number of innovations of which the most notable was a fuel injected variant of the DB6. Developed in conjunction with BRICO, it promised a major improvement in engine refinement and efficiency, as well as a useful increment of additional engine torque. Being analogue, it was a system that became notorious for losing tune and was intensely disliked accordingly. However, when it was working correctly, it gave an engine of comparable or better performance than the Vantage, with markedly improved fuel consumption and legendary refinement. This development, however, clearly points the way forward in the quest to improve this impressive engine and increase its power, refinement and efficiency, using an EFi fuel injection system.
The appearance of the car was externally most notable with wheel arch flairs, wider wheels and the inclusion of the same seats that were designed for the DBS. This with a 2 stage rear suspension makes the DB6 Mk2 the drivers favourite of the entire DB4, 5 and 6 range, offering the most comfortable ride, but with a steadiness and level of neutral handling that makes this model the car of choice to drive.