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Aston Martin DBS review

Aston-Martin_DBS_05Demands To Be Seen, Will Be Heard.

Aston Martin sports cars, despite starring in over-the-top James Bond movies, have always retained a sense of dignity, tradition and restraint.

Until now, that is; introducing the new flagship DBS supercar, the first Aston Martin to embrace bling.

When you turn on the DBS’s ignition, the words “Power, beauty, soul” flash up in a corner of the speedometer.

The ignition key is also history.

“The ignition key has evolved into a machined and highly tactile polished sapphire ECU (emotion control unit) resembling a fine wristwatch or piece of contemporary sculptural jewellery. You insert it into the docking station and it glows red to indicate the car is ready for action,” says the Aston Martin blurb. Rio Ferdinand will love that.

As this car costs £160,000-€220,000, I’m sure the company will make you a proper key, if you ask nicely.

But if you like Aston Martin’s new thinking, the company will sell you a limited edition, matching Jaeger LeCoultre chronograph wristwatch, which will start up the car, and lock and unlock it when you touch the watch. Price: £18,000-€25,000.

Aston Martin DBS review 2008The DBS uses many of the mechanical parts of the £50,000-€70,000 cheaper DB9, but it’s a bit bigger and lower, with a more aggressive, muscular body. You can easily tell it apart from the cheaper version by its new five-bar design for the polished alloy main grille, and two additional vents in the enlarged power bulge on the bonnet. If this doesn’t make clear it’s a DBS, the carbon fibre, add-on skirts, spoilers and ducts will.

Under the bonnet is a massively powerful 510 bhp, 6.0 litre V-12 engine which will thrust the car from rest to 62 mph-100 km/h in 4.3 seconds and on to a maximum 191 mph-302 km/h, if you drive on German motorways with no speed limit. It makes a big noise too which will turn heads. The DBS has a 6-speed manual gearbox and has high-tech components like carbon ceramic brakes, and computerised suspension to flatten out the bumps.

Aston Martin DBS review 2008

The interior has suede and special soft leather. The dashboard instruments are graphite backed.  There are only two seats.

The DBS was developed from the DBR9 GTI Le Mans racer and replaces the Vanquish. It is on sale now across Europe.

Aston Martin was sold by Ford earlier this year to a Kuwaiti investment firm for £450 million-€630 million. The new owners stunned traditionalists again in November with news that its new Rapide four-door sports car, expected in late 2009, might be made abroad, by Italians, Germans, Finns or Austrians.

Aston Martin DBS review 2008

That might be a break with tradition, but it’s also a necessity because Aston Martin is becoming a victim of its own success and is running out of capacity. Aston Martin made 7,000 cars last year, 2,000 more than the year before, and compared with just a few dozen cars when Ford bought it in 1987.

Aston Martin plans to sell only 500 DBS models. You probably won’t notice all the flamboyant bits when one zooms by you; you’ll be able to identify it though by the high-pitched howl of the massive V-12 engine.

Aston Martin DBS review 2008


Neil Winton – August 5, 2008

 Aston Martin DBS
Engine:V 12-cylinder, 48 valve, petrol
Power:
510 bhp @ 6,500 rpm
Torque:
570 Nm @ 5,750 rpm
Gearbox:
six-speed manual
Drive:
rear wheels
Acceleration:0-62 mph-100 km/h 4.3 seconds
Top Speed:191 mph-302 km/h
Fuel Consumption:
claimed combined – not available
CO2:not available
Length:4,721 mm (186 inches)
Width:
1,905 mm (75 inches)
Height:1,289 mm (108 inches)
Weight:
1,695 kg (3,737 lbs)
Competition:Ferrari 599 GTB, Lamborghini Murcielago
Price:£160,000-€220,000 on sale across Europe now

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