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Here's Why The Names Of So Many Aston Martin Models Start With A 'V'

Illustration for article titled Heres Why The Names Of So Many Aston Martin Models Start With A V
Photo: Harold Cunningham (Getty)

If I had to rank all the letters of the alphabet from lamest to coolest, ‘v’ would be somewhere in the top five—it’s sharp and badass, commanding the kind of respect only the fronting letter of vampires and vacations can garner. But apparently Aston Martin has the same idea. From the Vantage to the Volante, most of their model names start with ‘v’. But why?

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Carfection on YouTube decided to do a deep dive into the issue to figure out what Aston Martin is up to.

The answer is pretty simple: the letter V represents the peak in its class, according to Aston Martin. It’s basically a very subtle humblebrag—which I can’t say is hugely surprising for the marque of choice for James Bond.

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Aside from having to start with a V, though, there isn’t really any other convention to Aston’s naming pattern. That leaves them free to basically name its models whatever word sounds coolest. And they have some pretty great choices.

The first Aston Martin to be named with the now-eponymous V was the 1965 short chassis Volante. Previously, most cars had been named as some evolution of the DB, named the initials of owner David Brown. While the Volante didn’t herald an immediate change, it was certainly quick to follow.

If you’re curious, we’ve thrown together the definitions of Aston’s V-named models, just to let you know how badass they are.

  • Volante - ‘flying’ or ‘moving lightly and quickly’ in Italian. It’s also a type of horse-drawn carriage
  • Vantage - able to afford an advantage; superiority
  • Virage - French for ‘curve’ or ‘turn’
  • Vanquish - to conquer or defeat, as in battle; to overpower
  • Vulcan - Ancient Roman god of fire and metalworking
  • Valkyrie - Mythological women who would choose who died and lived in battle, from Norse mythology
  • Valhalla - Odin’s drinking all where the souls of those killed in battle or died bravely commune in the afterlife, from Norse mythology
  • Vignale - a former Italian automotive design company

As a mythology nerd myself, I’ve always been a fan of the V-named cars that are inspired by some of the most badass figures and places, which carry more weight (to me) than mere words.

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Maybe one day this info will help you out on trivia night.

Weekends at Jalopnik. Managing editor at A Girl's Guide to Cars. Lead IndyCar writer and assistant editor at Frontstretch. Novelist. Motorsport fanatic.

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DISCUSSION

mikewballou
mikewballou

Voilà! In view, a humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of Fate. This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is a vestige of the vox populi, now vacant, vanished. However, this valorous visitation of a by-gone vexation, stands vivified and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin vanguarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition. [carves “V” into poster on wall] The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta, held as a votive, not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous. Verily, this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose, so let me simply add that it’s my very good honor to meet you and you may call me Voilà! In view, a humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of Fate. This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is a vestige of the vox populi, now vacant, vanished. However, this valorous visitation of a by-gone vexation, stands vivified and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin vanguarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition. [carves “V” into poster on wall] The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta, held as a votive, not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous. Verily, this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose, so let me simply add that it’s my very good honor to meet you and you may call me V.