Aston Martin’s new 550bhp DBS is undergoing final testing at the Nürburgring ahead of its launch later this year.
The new model — a huge revamp of today’s five-year-old, £185k two-seater — will get more aggressive styling, a higher-quality interior and more power in an effort to maintain its appeal against the new Ferrari F12 Berlinetta.
This Aston mule is disguised with thin plastic panels, but their relatively tight fit gives clues to the sharper look of the new DBS, inspired by the One-77 supercar. In particular, the new model will feature broader rear haunches with a crisper crease over each rear wheel arch and more pronounced side detailing.
Many of the gentle curves that make the DB9 such a timeless shape have been hardened up on the new DBS, features that will attempt to give it a more distinct identity to better bridge the wide gap between the £150k Virage and the limited-run One-77.
In line with this more aggressive styling theme, the front end of the new DBS gets sportier detailing, with a wider grille and a distinctive airdam chin spoiler that protrudes forward of the front valance.Under-the-skin changes include a power boost of around 40bhp for the DBS’s 6.0-litre V12 to take peak output to 550bhp.
Also improved is the DBS’s ZF automatic transmission, according to sources. It has been described as “new” — understood to possibly be a reference to the latest eight-speed version. And Aston Martin is also said to be ready to drop the option of a conventional manual.
The DBS’s interior will get a dramatic makeover, Autocar understands. Although this prototype is running an existing design, the new DBS will feature significant changes to the driving position and a One-77-inspired instrument pack and centre console.
Exact launch dates have yet to be confirmed, although the summer is being talked about ahead of production in the autumn. That could mean the car will be revealed at Pebble Beach in August.