The Aston Martin DBS has had a pretty long lifespan after first being introduced in 1967. The current generation, though, didn’t hit the market until 2008, which in itself is already long for the industry.
But despite its age, the DBS remains one of Aston Martin’s meal tickets, a car that has come to define the British automaker’s quest to build the ultimate expression of its engineering and technical know-how.
It’s not a coincidence that the DBS has lasted this long and even though, it’s ripe for a facelift, it’s still got the combination of style and power that even newer models like the Audi R8 V10 and the Bentley Continental GT have to take serious note of.
The 2012 Aston Martin DBS is personifies everything that’s right with Aston Martin, carrying with it the history and technology that has come to define this model in all the years that it’s been around.
Click past the jump to read about the Aston Martin DBS
There’s no mistaking that when you see a car of this language, it’s an Aston Martin. The history. The lineage. Certainly, there have been some notable changes since the DB4 of old; the front grille, for one, looks more athletic than in the past. The fenders are also more pronounced, presumably done to accommodate the set of 20s that the DBS rolls on.
Predictably, the body of the DBS is made from a combination of carbon fiber, aluminum and magnesium-alloy, while the side-impact beams are made from extruded aluminum. The materials notwithstanding, the agility the DBS’ body exudes points to Aston Martin’s attempt to continue the rich history of the model.
LEDs are also prevalent throughout the car, including on the side-strikes, adding even more sophistication to the DBS’ fender vents.
And finally, the high-rising rear end with the rear deck-lid spoiler exudes the kind of confidence you’ll normally see from someone with his shoulders all straightened out. In car speak, that translates to a car that oozes supreme confidence, the kind you only see in something that’s sure of itself. Just like the DBS.
|Width (excluding mirrors)||75 inches|
|Width (including mirrors)||81.1 inches|
|Turning Circle||37.7 feet|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||21.1 US Gal.|
Gallery Aston Martin DBS Coupe
One thing that we’ve noticed with Aston Martins is that the cabins are the personification of simplistic beauty. Even the center console, which is usually littered with buttons everywhere, was designed to be simple and functional.
Space is also an important factor with the DBS, particularly its 2+0 seating configuration. Owners can opt to keep the standard setup or add two more seats in the back. We don’t actually see the importance of those two extra thrones because the DBS was made to be a two seater and should stay as such.
And don’t sleep on the 13-speaker, 1,000-watt Bang & Olufsen stereo. It’s not uncommon for premium brands to have some high-end audio system in their cabins, but those 1,000 watts will surely drive your eardrums into submission when cranked up to full blast. We don’t suggest that you do, but should you have the top down on the DBS and you’re cruising down the highway, those bad boys sure do come in pretty handy.
- Full-grain leather interior, semi-aniline leather interior or leather and Alcantara interior
- Piano Black facia trim with Piano Black center console finish
- Leather sports steering wheel
- Carbon fiber door trims and door pulls
- Electronically-adjustable sports seats with side airbags
- Memory seats & exterior mirrors
- Dual-stage driver / front passenger front airbags
- Powerfold exterior heated mirrors
- Heated front seats
- Heated rear screen
- Automatic temperature control
- Organic Electroluminescent (OEL) displays
- Trip computer
- Cruise control
- Bluetooth Telephone Preparation
- Satellite Navigation System
- Front and rear parking sensors
- Tire pressure monitoring system
- Alarm and immobilizer
- Remote-control central door locking and boot release
- Glass ECU
- LED map-reading lights
- Boot-mounted umbrella
- Lamy pen and pen holder
- 1000 W Bang & Olufsen Beosound Audio System with Icepower technology includes six-CD autochanger
- Integrated Apple Ipod Connector
- USB Connector with Waveform Audio Format (WAF), Windows Media Audio (WMA), and MPEG (MP3) Audio file compatibility
- 3.5 mm auxiliary input socket
The Aston Martin DBS is powered by a 6.0-liter V-12 engine that produces a stout 517 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque while mated to a rear-mid-mounted, six-speed manual transmission. Those figures are good enough to propel the DBS to 62 mph in just 4.3 seconds and up to a top speed of 190 mph, with the electronic restrictions removed. Otherwise, you still get a tidy 183 mph at your disposal, which is nothing to sneeze at.
|Engine||All-alloy, quad-overhead camshaft, 48-valve V-12|
|Exhaust||Fully catalyzed stainless steel with active bypass valves|
|Max Power||517 horsepower at 6,500 rpm|
|Max Torque||420 pound-feet at 5,750 rpm|
|Acceleration (0-62 mph)||4.3 seconds|
|Top Speed||190 mph|
|Top Speed (Touchtronic 2 - Restricted)||183 mph|
- Rear mid-mounted, six-speed manual transmission
- (Available as option) Rear mid-mounted ’Touchtronic 2’ six-speed transmission with electronic shift-by-wire control system
- Alloy torque tube with carbon fiber propeller shaft
- Limited-slip differential
- 3.71:1 final-drive ratio (Manual)
- 3.46:1 final-drive ratio (Touchtronic 2)
Suspension and Brakes
Suspension and Brakes Specs:
|System||Adaptive damping system (ADS) with track mode|
|Front suspension||Independent double wishbones incorporating anti-dive geometry, coil springs, anti-roll bar and monotube adaptive dampers|
|Rear suspension||Independent double wishbones with anti-squat and anti-lift geometry, coil springs, anti-roll bar and monotube adaptive dampers|
|Front brakes||Ventilated carbon ceramic discs, 398 mm diameter with six-piston monobloc calipers|
|Rear brakes||Ventilated carbon ceramic discs, 360 mm diameter with four-piston monobloc calipers|
The 2012 Aston Martin DBS is priced from $275,861 to $299,576, depending on the options the customer adds to his purchase. Whatever the case may be, that’s still a pretty steep number any way you look at it.
The Aston Martin DBS is far from a mainstream car. But so are its rivals.
That being said, you can point to a couple of vehicles in its class to give you something to think about.
Straight out of Ingolstady, Germany, the Audi R8 V10 sounds like the perfect foil for the Aston Martin DBS. Aesthetically speaking, the R8 V10 doesn’t hold the same classy look as the DBS; it’s design was oriented more to be sporty and aggressive to show off its true supercar capabilities. That’s not a bad thing; it’s just something that could play a factor in what a customer is looking more.
Talking about performance, it’s pretty much a wash as the R8 V10 comes ready to fight with a 5.2-liter V-10 engine that produces 525 horsepower and 391 pound-feet of torque at 6,500 rpm. Those numbers are good enough to give the German wonder car an incremental leg up on the DBS with its 0-to-60 mph time of just 3.8 seconds and a top speed of 195 mph.
Gallery Audi R8 V10
Hailing from the same shores as the DBS is the Bentley Continental GT, , which is arguably the only car in its class that can match luxury wits with the DBS. From top to bottom, the Continental GT was built and developed to serve the same two-prong purpose of the DBS: stylish and classy design with matching performance credentials to boot.
That’s saying something, especially when you consider that the Continental GT comes with a 6.0-liter W-12 twin-turbocharged engine that develops a tidy 575 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, good enough to hit 60 mph in 4.4 seconds with a top speed of 198 mph.
Gallery Bentley Continental GT
The Aston Martin DBS isn’t the type of supercar that you normally find on the road. And while it’s not as perfect as you might think, it does have that combination of style, grace and power that makes for a well-rounded exotic.
You take what you can get and in the case of the DBS, you’re definitely getting something worth your time and hard-earned money.
- Impeccably styled interior
- Classic exterior with modern edginess
- Impressive performance credentials
- Competition is alive and healthy
- Price is a little tricky