Little more than a week after completing its bid for independence from Ford Motor Co., Aston Martin has a critical piece of its future.
Heavily influenced by the luxury marque’s motorsports program, the DBS, which goes into production in October, will become Aston’s new flagship superseding, though not formally replacing, the aging Vanquish supercar.
First seen in the recent James Bond film, “Casino Royale,” the DBS is a sleek two-seater derived from Aston’s surprisingly flexible VH platform. The lightweight chassis is used for virtually every product in the lineup, including the “entry-level” V8 Vantage, as well as the DB9 sports car, which the DBS is closely related to.
But the new coupe is about an inch lower and slightly wider, as well, with flaring wheel arches barely concealing its 20-inch wheels and P Zero Pirelli tires. The extra rubber is an advantage when you’re trying to plant the 510-horsepower bursting from the DBS’s 6.0-liter V-12. That’s a full 60 more than the DB9, and enough to launch the car from 0 to 60 in just 4.3 seconds, a full half-second faster than the brand’s former speed king, the Vanquish, and 0.6 seconds quicker than the DB9. Top speed is 191 mph.
To get the extra power, Aston lets the twelve-banger breath more freely, with new, computer-controlled valved air boxes that respond to rising engine speeds. With the DBS, the engine reaches peak power at 6500 rpm, compared to 5750 for the DB9. Torque tops out at 420 lb-ft at 5750 rpm. The new system will also provide aural satisfaction, with a louder, more track-like brap at top revs.
While the family resemblance is clear, there are notable difference between the DBS and DB9, including the new car’s 5-bar take on Aston’s classic grille. And the DBS boasts a larger under-bumper aperture to ram air into the engine. Additional ducts provide cooling for the car’s standard ceramic brakes.