First unveiled at the 2007 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the Aston Martin DBS gets new ‘Touchtronic 2’ transmission. Introduced as an alternative to the standard six-speed manual gearbox, DBS customers will now be afforded the option of the ‘Touchtronic 2’ six-speed automatic transmission. Derived from the same ZF transaxle unit that was developed for the DB9, the system has been substantially re-engineered to accommodate the power and performance characteristics of the DBS.
The DBS Touchtronic transmission features a final drive ratio shortened from 3.15:1 to 3.46:1, aiding quicker acceleration times and an improved performance feel. Additionally, changes to the gearbox calibration aid more aggressive gear shifts and greater usability, while retaining the performance potential of the manual gear box – matching the 0-60mph time of 4.3 seconds. System functionality is consistent with that on the DB9, with ‘Park’, ‘Reverse’, ‘Neutral’ and ‘Drive’ modes selected via facia mounted controls.
When in ‘Drive’ mode, pulling either of the leather-trimmed magnesium alloy paddles mounted on the steering column will activate Touchtronic mode, enabling the driver to control gear shifts via the paddles. Touchtronic mode is also accessible directly on engine start-up or directly from ‘Reverse’. Alternatively, the ‘Drive’ mode can be selected at any time by pressing the ‘D’ control on the centre console, engaging a fully automatic mode which will select the most appropriate gear for the speed and driving conditions automatically.
The system also includes a ‘Sport’ mode - activated by a button on the centre console – which engages a more aggressive gear shift strategy as gear changes feel sharper and more forceful, engine speed matching on downshifts is more aggressive and in full automatic mode, upshifts occur at higher speeds. The Sport setting also incorporates a more responsive throttle map to match the high-performance characteristics of the DBS.