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The Aston Martin DBS is the storied British automaker's flagship sports car. A high-performance two-seat version of the already extremely capable DB9, this V12-powered vehicular star of the James Bond films Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace is one of the fleetest production cars in the world, with seductive looks and lavish interior appointments to boot. Only the deepest-pocketed consumers could even consider procuring one, but there's no denying the powerful allure of the DBS, even when stacked up against its formidable competitors. Few, if any, cars on the road today can match this über-Aston's combination of dashing style, opulent luxury and ferocious V12 vigor. Just ask 007.
Current Aston Martin DBS
The Aston Martin DBS exotic sports car is offered in coupe and Volante convertible body styles. There are two seats standard, with a pair of parcel bins in place of the tiny optional rear seats. A veritable smorgasbord of high-end standard features are available, among them massive alloy wheels, an electronically adjustable active suspension, carbon-ceramic disc brakes, xenon headlights, front and rear parking sensors, automatic climate control, leather and Alcantara upholstery, power heated seats, an Alcantara headliner, Bluetooth, a Garmin-sourced navigation system and a 10-speaker Bang & Olufsen Beosound system with in-dash six-CD changer and iPod integration. The options list includes satellite radio and various aesthetic upgrades.
In the engine room, the rear-wheel-drive Aston Martin DBS sports a hand-built 6.0-liter V12 that generates 510 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque -- 60 hp more than the DB9, which employs a lesser version of the same engine while weighing nearly 150 pounds more than the DBS. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard and a six-speed automatic with paddle shifters is optional.
Remarkably, the DBS's engine output actually isn't as impressive as it sounds in today's horsepower-crazed marketplace -- there are cars available for a fraction of the Aston's lofty price that generate comparable power numbers. But the exotic sounds the DBS emanates under full (or for that matter, partial) throttle are sufficiently intoxicating to render such numbers meaningless. For the record, the DBS will sprint to 60 mph in a shade over 4 seconds, so the stopwatch-crazed should be satisfied as well.
In road testing, our editors have generally been smitten with the Aston Martin DBS. At civilized speeds, its advanced suspension yields an amazingly compliant ride, road noise is admirably hushed and the luxurious leather-lined interior seems fit for royalty. Yet the harder you push the car on straights and through corners, the more buttoned-down it feels, remaining flat and composed through all but the most demanding stretches of pavement. Granted, the DBS doesn't afford the razor's-edge performance of, say, a Ferrari 458 Italia. But it more than makes up for that deficit by providing a genuinely livable ride/handling balance -- and drop-dead gorgeous styling.
Used Aston Martin DBS Models
The Aston Martin DBS is a low-volume seller so finding a used car may be difficult. The DBS was introduced for the 2008 model year with only the coupe body style, two-seat interior and six-speed manual. The 2+2 seating and automatic transmission arrived in its second year. The Volante was introduced for 2010 along with a revised navigation system, while the previously optional Bang & Olufsen sound system became standard. Used buyers should note that the DBS navigation system prior to 2012 was sourced from Volvo and was very slow and finicky to operate.
Previously, the DBS name was affixed to an Aston Martin coupe from 1969-'72.