The lightweight superleggera (tube-frame) body was designed by Carrozzeria Touring in Milan, and its Continental looks caused a sensation on its unveiling at the 1958 London Motor Show. Although the design and construction techniques were Italian, the DB4 was the first Aston to be built at the company's Newport Pagnell works in Buckinghamshire, England.
There were five "series" of DB4s, with the most visible changes being the addition of window frames in Series II and the adoption of a barred (rather than eggcrate) grille in Series IV. The Series V cars of September 1962 have a taller and longer body to provide more interior space, though the diameter of the wheels was reduced to keep the overall height the same. The front of the Series V was updated with a more aerodynamic look that was later carried over to the DB5 cars.
A convertible was introduced in 1962. It featured in-house styling similar to the Touring saloon, and an extremely rare factory hardtop was also available. In total, 70 DB4 convertibles were made from a total DB4 production run of 1110 cars.
Spinoff models included the Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato, Lagonda Rapide 4-door saloon, and replacement DB5.