New & Used Aston Martin DBS: In Depth
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The first Aston Martin DBS was introduced in 1967, intended as a successor to the DB6, though the two models overlapped for several years. With a 4.0-liter in-line six-cylinder engine providing power to the rear wheels through a choice of automatic or manual transmissions, the DBS was an eminently attractive car from the outset, its scooped hood, balanced proportions, and fastback rear giving it what are now regarded as classic grand tourer looks. At the time, the DBS was simply modern. Sold through 1972, the first DBS built a reputation almost instantly, despite selling fewer than 800 units worldwide.
An updated DBS follwed the in-line six-cylinder model with a V-8 engine, considerably improving its power--and its style and speed won it a place in the 1969 James Bond film, On Her Majesty's Secret Service. At the time, the DBS V8 was regarded as the fastest four-seat production car in the world. In addition to the up-rated engine, the DBS V8 benefitted from light-weight alloy wheels, ventilated disc brakes, and numerous other performance enhancements.
While much of the original Aston Martin DBS's DNA lived on in the brand's subsequent products, the name itself fell into disuse until 2007, when the new DBS V12 arrived. Before the production model reached the market, however, it had already secured a spot in the 2006 Bond film, Casino Royale.
Derived from the DB9, the DBS V12 was envisioned as the brand's new flagship model, intended to replace both the DB9 and the Vanquish S. Debuted at the suitably elegant Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, the new DBS V12 brought with it aggressive looks, sophisticated interior materials and style, and Aston's potent 510-horsepower 6.0-liter V-12 engine. Unlike the original DBS, a manual transmission was never made available in the modern version, instead relying on Aston's Touchtronic 2 six-speed automatic. In 2010, a special-edition Carbon Black model was produced, featuring lightweight seats, a handful of carbon fiber accents, and a unique color scheme.
A convertible version the DBS was launched in 2009, dubbed the DBS Volante, which used a powered folding soft top roof.
In 2011, Aston Martin once again enhanced the DBS with a special edition, this time called the Carbon Edition, available on both Volante and coupe models. With unique color schemes, bespoke 10-spoke diamond-turned alloy wheels, carbon fiber appearance elements, and upgraded leather upholstery, the Carbon Edition cars commanded a premium even over the already high specification of the standard DBS flagship.
Despite the company's intent to make the DBS its flagship, the model lived a short life, going out of production in 2012, but not before one more special edition model was released: the aptly named Ultimate Edition. Again available in both coupe and convertible styles, the DBS Ultimate Edition was limited to 100 units, and featured--you guessed it--carbon fiber appearance elements inside and out, as well as upgraded Alcantara upholstery and quilted leather among other enhancements.