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.
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.
Aston Martin says the DBS' body is constructed from aluminum, magnesium and carbon fiber, all much lighter — and more expensive — than conventional steel. The car's frame is aluminum. Xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights and LED taillamps complete the package.
An adaptive suspension adjusts the dampers to changing road conditions, and it has a Track Mode for those who just can't stand any body roll. Twenty-inch wheels wear Pirelli P Zero tires.
The two-seat interior looks much like that of the DB9. The center control stack starts with the A/C vents up top and flows down to the center armrest. The dashboard, armrest, steering wheel and seats are upholstered in leather, and the climate and radio controls have silver accents.
Buyers get their choice of ultra-thin racing seats or chunkier, but still heavily bolstered, buckets. There's a small cargo area behind the seats that can hold a custom luggage set. A navigation system is available.
Under the Hood
The DBS' mid-mounted, 6.0-liter V-12 generates 510 hp and 420 pounds-feet of torque, enough to propel it to 60 mph in about 4 seconds. The engine sits in front of the driver and passenger, but is pushed back toward the center of the car. The standard six-speed manual connects to a carbon-fiber driveshaft. There is no automatic or automated-manual transmission option.
Standard antilock brakes use colossal 15.7-inch discs up front and 14.2 inches 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. The DBS also includes traction control and an electronic stability system.