From £180,812
Tear-jerking good looks and a fabulously submissive sense of ride comfort add to a pleasing sense of heavyweight occasion behind the wheel

Our Verdict

Aston Martin DBS
Until the £1m One-77, the Aston Martin DBS was the British marque's halo model

The DBS is Aston Martin’s greatest ever GT

20 December 2011

What is it?

The Aston Martin DBS Carbon Edition is a special edition version of Aston’s fiercely expensive DBS. Essentially a sequel to the Carbon Black launched in 2009, the new addition to the range adds two more colours – Flame Orange and Ceramic Grey – and places handsome 10-spoke gloss black, diamond-turned alloy wheels under the arches.

Predictably, carbonfibre is a recurring feature. The trim level earns the DBS wing mirrors and rear light clusters infused with the wonder stuff. Inside the centre console gets the same treatment, as do the paddles belonging to the six-speed Touchtronic gearbox.

Tucked underneath the dashboard slab is a much-needed new satellite navigation system from Garmin that upgrades the woeful old unit with a clean and crisp interface better suited to its surroundings. In the case of the Carbon Edition, those surroundings now include a quilted, leather-lined headliner.

And not much else. The door sills get bespoke badges and there’s new windscreen wipers, but otherwise the 510bhp V12-powered DBS is much as we left it.

What’s it like?

A gilded lily. Unless you’re absolutely captivated by the sight of carbonfibre weave, there isn’t really a tremendous amount to recommend the Carbon Edition over the standard DBS. True, Aston’s shade of Flame Orange is a fantastic colour, and the opulent headlining is so tactile that it’s not uncommon to find yourself pawing at it while sat at traffic lights, but otherwise the model’s premium seems, at best, questionable.

Fortunately, the car beneath the trim lacquer is still tremendously appealing. If athletic pomp and circumstance are Aston Martin’s sovereign sales territory, the DBS is its HMS Victory: a first-rate GT flagship intended to radiate the momentous superiority of the brand’s age-old ancestral charm.

Tear-jerking good looks and a fabulously submissive sense of ride comfort add to a pleasing sense of heavyweight occasion behind the wheel, but it never overwhelms the car’s ease of use or its affability. Even tested on a rain-hindered, half throttle day, the performance is mesmeric: twelve cylinders of quiet amenability up to around 4500rpm, and then 2000rpm of venomous, howling, horizon-hungry rapture.

Should I buy one?

To any mere mortal the Carbon Edition’s £6k premium will likely to appear wasteful, but to Aston’s clientele it’s conceivably a drop in the DBS’s already oceanic £180,000 starting price.

Even so, the trim level’s tinsel doesn’t really convince. To earn creditability on Aston Martin’s playing field, a special edition car must embellish, alter or dramatically focus the standard machine’s heart and soul – the Carbon Edition does not.

Nevertheless, if the model’s introduction is simply intended to drag cash-rich potential buyers back into the DBS’s cockpit, so be it. Even unchanged, the aging formula is irresistibly persuasive.

Aston Martin DBS Carbon Edition

Price: £186,582; Top speed: 191mph; 0-62mph: 4.3secs; Economy: 17.3mpg; Co2: 388g/km; Kerbweight: 1695kg; Engine type, cc: V12, 5935cc, petrol; Power: 510bhp; Torque: 420lb ft; Gearbox: Six-speed Touchtronic

Join the debate

Comments
33

4 January 2012

I want one rather badly.

[quote Autocar]

Ceramic Grey – and places handsome 10-spoke gloss black, diamond-turned alloy wheels under the arches.


[/quote]

Il have mine in that colour with those wheels. When i see cars like this i wish i had won the Lottery last week. Some would think the carbon package is a waste but i think it just makes the car more awsome. It would have to be the coolset car ever made in my opinion. Im glad cars like the DBS with the big 6.0L N/A V12 are still being made today!

4 January 2012

Thank God for the few remaining V12s. I expect the DBS replacement will have a four-pot engine with six turbos and ten gears.

  • If you want to know about a car, read a forum dedicated to it; that's a real 'long term test' . No manufacturer's warranty, no fleet managers servicing deals, no journalist's name to oil the wheels...

4 January 2012

[quote BriMarsh] I expect the DBS replacement will have a four-pot engine with six turbos and ten gears.[/quote]

I will shed alot of tears when this happens

4 January 2012

Absolutely marvellous! There really is no other description for it.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

4 January 2012

[quote TegTypeR]There really is no other description for it.[/quote]

...with 'Carbon' scribed bold across the kick-plates I'd say it was more 'Lottery-Tastic'.

4 January 2012

[quote BriMarsh]Thank God for the few remaining V12s. I expect the DBS replacement will have a four-pot engine with six turbos and ten gears.[/quote]

Possibly, but one thing it will almost certainly have is the exact same styling as all other AMs of the past 15 years.

4 January 2012

They should finally get on and change these old cars.... Seriously how many people in the world are buying an Aston over a Ferrari or a Lamborghini?

4 January 2012

[quote deppi]They should finally get on and change these old cars.... Seriously how many people in the world are buying an Aston over a Ferrari or a Lamborghini?[/quote]

Well, I will. I love them. I have owned a 2007 V8 Vantage for 6 months now and I am very satisfied. The car isn't perfect but it looks great and here in Italy is so rarer than 911, R8, Ferrari and Lamborghini. It is more elegant and less showy too.

4 January 2012

[quote TegTypeR]Absolutely marvellous! There really is no other description for it.[/quote]

Perfect description!

4 January 2012

Fantastic? Aye right. How much? estimated £180k + £6k premium? And then you have to return the car to the dealership because the seal in the offside headlamp is faulty.

Check out the pics, looks like moisture build-up inside the unit to me, which of course over time will play havoc with the electrics. And that's on the press car! What's you're going to be like? Good old Aston eh? I wouldn't expect to find that on a £8000 Fiesta.

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