Aston Martin's latest flagship, the DBS, should satisfy the desires of anyone who mourns the departed Vanquish. Sporting a 510-horsepower V-12, massive wheels and a low-slung hood, the DBS competes with supercars like the Ferrari 599 GTB and Maserati Gran Turismo.
The rear-wheel-drive DBS crowns Aston Martin's three-car lineup. It shares its platform with the similarly styled DB9 and less-expensive V8 Vantage, both of which have convertible variants. The DBS comes only as a two-door hardtop.
New for 2009
After a year of production, the DBS receives updates in the form of a newly available six-speed automatic transmission, Bang & Olufsen audio system and optional seating that allows the traditional two-seater to carry four passengers.
Those who have seen a mid'90s DB7 or anything newer should recognize the DBS as an Aston. Its trapezoidal grille and low-slung hood mimic the V8 Vantage and DB9; the front air dam is larger, the bumper has a few more etchings and the rear sports an aggressive underbody air diffuser.
- Constructed from lightweight aluminum, magnesium and carbon fiber
- Aluminum chassis
- Xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights
- LED taillamps
- 20-inch wheels standard
- Available lightweight 20-inch wheels
The two-seat interior looks much like that of the DB9. The center control stack starts with the air conditioning vents up top and flows down to the center armrest. There's a small cargo area behind the seats that can hold a custom luggage set. For 2009, the rear cargo area can be replaced with additional seats to increase seating capacity to four.
- Leather-upholstered dashboard, armrest, steering wheel and seats
- Choice of ultra-thin racing seats or chunkier — but still heavily bolstered — buckets
- Available navigation system
- Available Bang & Olufsen audio system
Under the Hood
The engine sits in front of the driver and passenger but is pushed back toward the center of the car. The new automatic transmission is similar to the unit used in the DB9, but with beefed-up internal parts to handle the extra power.
- Mid-mounted 6.0-liter V-12
- 510 hp and 420 pounds-feet of torque
- Zero to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds
- Standard six-speed manual transmission
- Available six-speed automatic with paddle shifter
- Adaptive suspension adjusts dampers to changing road conditions
The braking system includes colossal 15.7-inch discs up front and 14.2-inchers in back. That's more than an inch wider than the discs on the 599 GTB and 2 to 3 inches wider than the ones on most heavy-duty pickup trucks.
- Antilock brakes
- Traction control
- Electronic stability system
- Side-impact airbags