What is it?
Aston’s replacement for the Vanquish. It’s billed as a stand-alone model, but it doesn’t take a trained eye to spot the DB9 that lurks underneath.
List price is £160k, nearly £50k more than a DB9 Sportpack. Most of the panels have been reshaped, some of them in carbonfibre. Ceramic brakes are standard, as is a 510bhp version of the DB9’s V12 motor.
What’s it like?
Not what you might expect. Disregard all talk of an Aston supercar: this is an honest old-school GT that’s at its happiest covering long distances.
The DBS uses electronic two-stage Bilstein dampers (sport and comfort) and a bespoke Pirelli tyre to produce the most comfortable and capable chassis we’ve experienced from Aston.
Weight has been taken from the steering (a good thing), the limited-slip diff is a bit tighter on the over-run and, at 1695kg, the car is around 100kg lighter than the Vanquish.
It’s not a car that likes to be hustled: under duress the steering column moves slightly and there’s a slackness to the chassis, even with the dampers in sport mode, that dissuades you from such antics. In isolation, that’s no bad thing, but within the context of all that carbon and those splittery diffuser things, it’s just not what you expect.
It’s also a confusing package because the car’s exterior styling is so aggressive. As ever, looks are a subjective issue, but no-one can deny that a) it looks like a DB9 with a few body modifications and b) it’s a fussier shape than any of the other new-age Astons. Neither facet squares well with the price tag.
Still, we like the fact that Aston has developed this car to be at its best where most people will use it: on the road.
So what if it isn’t the road-scalpel we’d been expecting? It’s far more comfortable than a Ferrari 599 GTB: road, tyre and suspension noise are well isolated from the cabin and the drivetrain may do without some snazzy semi-automatic gearbox, but it shows that a good stick-shift stirring a lazy V12 will always be something to savour.