Buy Aston Martin V8 Vantage. Get pen.
Symmetry is a wonderful thing.
When the folks at Aston Martin borrowed the interior bits (that's the correct Britishism, isn't it?) from the DBS and tossed them gently into the revamped V8 Vantage, they were faced with a slight aesthetic problem. You see, the DBS has four buttons at the bottom of the center stack, one of which controls the adjustable Bilstein suspension. While the V8 Vantage does use Bilstein dampers, they're not of the adjustable variety.
So what to do? Most other manufacturers would cover that extra button hole with a filler plate, reminding you that your vehicle is in some way inferior to one of their other offerings. Not Aston. They've fitted a spring-loaded Lamy pen in the rightmost opening. It's classy, shiny, and - most importantly - keeps the visual balance. (This particular pen looks most similar to Lamy's Pico Platinum and carries an engraved Aston Martin logo to boot.)
While I'm sure the pen is a nice bit of kit, I can't quite figure out its place in a $120,000 grand tourer. What is it that you're writing in a V8 Vantage, anyway? Where do I keep my paper? Maybe they were thinking of us motoring journalists.
So the pen kind of comes out of nowhere - in both the literal and figurative senses. I'm all for fine writing implements and admire the attempt to keep the interior looking clean. And when it comes down to it, try as I might, I can't think of anything better to fill that gap than a pen. Except for, you know, the DBS's adjustable suspension.
Candy? A cigar? A pencil? What would you have put in place of the pen? Share your ideas in the comments.
For more on the 2009 V8 Vantage, read Marc Noordeloos's review, and check out our wallpaper gallery.