2008 Aston Martin DBS Preview
By Jeff Youngs, December 31, 2007
- All-new for 2008
- The new flagship Aston Martin
- Aluminum, magnesium and carbon-fiber construction
- Sophisticated electronic dampening suspension
- Standard carbon-ceramic disc brakes
- 6.0-liter V-12 rated at 510 hp
- 0-62 mph in 4.3 seconds
- Top speed of 191 mph
- Available in early 2008
Aston Martin has been building-and racing-passionate automobiles for nearly a century. Memorable cars such as the DBR1, DB2, DB5 and Vantage mix with racing names like Nurburgring, the French Grand Prix, Le Mans and Spa. The world's most demanding customers ask for sophisticated high-performance sports cars from Aston Martin. Joining the DB9, V8 Vantage and V8 Vantage-Roadster in the 2008 model range, the Aston Martin DBS was built to slot above the DB9 and just below the track-dedicated thoroughbred DBR9. The chosen sports car of fictional British secret agent James Bond (and previewed in Casino Royale, the latest Bond movie), the DBS will be available to the public in early 2008.
Built at Gaydon, Aston Martin's global headquarters in the United Kingdom, there is one unique model in the DBS lineup. All share an identical powerplant, 20-inch wheels and sleek composite bodywork. Standard interior appointments include semi-aniline leather and Alcantera upholstery. Matrix alloy trim with Iridium Silver finish on the center console complete the interior. Standard sport seats are heated, with 10-way electric adjustments.
Standard features on the DBS consist of automatic climate control, front and rear parking sensors, tire-pressure monitoring, remote locking and alarm. If the sweet sound emanating from the V-12 engine does not satisfy, Aston Martin has equipped the DBS with a standard 700-watt Premium Audio System with Dolby� Pro Logic II� and MP3-player connectivity. For inclement weather, an umbrella is mounted in the trunk. The options list includes satellite radio, alarm upgrades, as well as optional interior trim and wheel finishes.
Lower and tauter than other production Aston Martin models, the DBS suspension was designed for high-performance stability and handling, while still maintaining a low overall vehicle weight. As a result, it is the first Aston Martin to use extensive race-derived aluminum, magnesium-alloy and ultra-light carbon-fiber panels for construction. Following the DB9 and its sibling DB9R and DBRS9 racecars, the new DBS utilizes Aston Martin's class-leading all-alloy VH (Vertical Horizontal) architecture-a process of bonding aluminum components into a strong and rigid chassis. Using advanced aerospace manufacturing techniques for production, carbon-fiber and aluminum panels save weight, and add additional rigidity to the vehicle. A patented "Surface Veil" process adds a 200-micron layer of epoxy to the final exterior surface, creating a class-A surface that meets Aston Martin's tradition of high-quality finishes.
The unique carbon-fiber manufacturing process gives engineers design freedoms not found with metal bodywork. "There are no restrictions on form or shape," according to Aston Martin, so panels are wrapped aggressively around the wheels, and carefully sculpted to direct airflow over the bodywork. The underside of the vehicle incorporates a full flat underbelly tray for improved aerodynamics.
The 6.0-liter V-12 under the hood of the 2008 Aston Martin DBS will please even the most discerning enthusiast. Hand-assembled at Aston Martin's dedicated engine facility in Cologne, Germany, the engine design includes special "by-pass" intake ports that allude to a racing engine underhood. Rated at 510 hp, with 420 lb.-ft. of torque, the engine is connected to a standard 6-speed manual transmission. A carbon fiber drive shaft is employed to take the power to the limited-slip differential powering the rear wheels. Twenty-inch wheels, wrapped in specially developed Pirelli P Zero tires, apply the power to the pavement. Sixty miles per hour is reached in just over 4 seconds, with a top speed just over 190 mph.
The suspension and braking system found on the Aston Martin DBS is as sophisticated as the powerplant. Front and rear suspension is of an independent double-wishbone design with coil springs, monotube adaptive dampers and sway bars to complete the hardware. All suspension geometry has been optimized to prevent lift, dive or squat under various driving conditions, while offering a driving experience without compromise. Standard brakes are massive Carbon Ceramic Matrix (CCM) discs, with 6-piston calipers (4-piston in the rear) and anti-lock control. Carbon brakes are lighter than conventional iron brakes, reducing unsprung weight and rotational mass, further enhancing handling.
Electronic control-in the form of a sophisticated Adaptive Damping System (ADS)-uses different valves to set the dampers to one of five settings, ensuring the driver has complete control at all times. Damper settings are determined by a series of sensors reading vehicle speed, throttle position, brake position and steering wheel angle. The data is processed by an electronic control unit to establish the prevailing driving conditions initiated by the driver. A dedicated "Track" mode automatically sets all dampers to their firmest setting-ideal for what Aston Martin calls "circuit driving."