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