The king is dead. Long live the king. This is Aston Martin’s new £160,000-plus flagship, the DBS, which goes on sale at the start of 2008.
The DBS, previewed in the latest James Bond film, Casino Royale, supplants the Vanquish but is based on the DB9. You can see it in the car’s size and basic shape; it uses the same ‘VH’ modular component set as the DB9 and V8 Vantage, and is built at the same Gaydon factory.
But it is not a replacement for the DB9, which hasn’t even reached mid-life. Aston boss Ulrich Bez describes the new model as the culmination of the DB bloodline, designed to bridge the gap between the DB9 and the Le Mans class-winning DBRS9 racer.
The DBS introduces a range of new technology into the Aston line-up: carbonfibre body panels, carbon-ceramic brakes, adaptive damping, 20-inch wheels and more sophisticated stability control.
The kerb weight is cut by around seven per cent (120kg) by fitment of lighter seats, lighter brakes and carbonfibre panels, and the car’s overall gearing has been lowered. This, more than any power enhancement, makes the DBS the fastest production Aston ever - the 0-62mph sprint takes 4.3sec, and the DBS will do 0-100mph in 9.4sec. Top speed is 191mph.
The tough guy
Design director Marek Reichman describes the DBS as ‘a true tough guy’. It is lower (by 20mm), wider-tracked (by 20mm at the front, 40mm at the rear), more aggressive and more muscular.
At the front is a new bumper with square corners, a larger intake for engine-cooling air and twin brake ducts to provide extra flow to the new ceramic brakes.
Carbonfibre winglets improve front downforce and allude to the fact that the bonnet, doors, door surrounds and boot are all made from weight-saving carbonfibre.