Aston Martin unveiled the most eagerly anticipated car of the year the new Aston Martin DBS at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance on August 16th 2007, where the company took a starring role as the featured marque.
Equally at home on a twisting mountain circuit as on the open road, the DBS is a true thoroughbred. The Aston Martin DBS is a 6.0-litre V12 powered, race-bred, two-seater shaped by the aerodynamic demands of high performance, with an exquisite interior that marries beautifully hand-finished materials with the very latest in performance technology.
The need for high-performance stability, handling ability and low kerb weight defined the DBS's form and construction. Accordingly, the Aston Martin DBS becomes the first production Aston Martin to make extensive use of ultra-light carbon-fibre body panels. High levels of performance and control are delivered by the combination of inherent light weight, near-perfect weight distribution, a supremely powerful and flexible V12 engine, and a performance-honed six-speed transmission, together with new carbon ceramic brakes and an adaptive damper controlled suspension system.
At the heart of the Aston Martin DBS is a 6.0-litre V12 engine. The DBR9 and DBRS9 race cars are powered by an enhanced version of this same V12, tuned to produce in excess of 600bhp. The shared powerplant continues the strong link between Aston Martin's road and race cars, just as the six-cylinder engine used in the DBR1 also powered the Aston Martin DB4, DB5 and DB6 in the 1950s and 60s.
As with all current Aston Martins, the engine is hand-assembled at Aston Martin's dedicated engine facility in Cologne, Germany. The classic 6.0-litre V12 features a number of power-increasing enhancements. These include a 'by-pass' engine air intake port that opens above 5500rpm to allow more air into the engine, and re-profiled air inlet ports that further improve airflow into the combustion chamber. Combined with a compression ratio of 10.9:1, the result of these enhancements is prodigious power and torque: the Aston Martin DBS delivers 380 kW (510 bhp/517 PS) at 6500 rpm. The 3.71:1 final-drive ratio ensures that the additional power is usable, enhancing in-gear acceleration in particular.
A lightweight, rigid structure is the design engineer's ultimate goal, and achieving the right balance between strength and mass is crucial. Like the DB9 and its sibling DBR9 and DBRS9 race cars, the DBS uses Aston Martin's class-leading all-alloy VH (Vertical Horizontal) architecture, a lightweight bonded aluminium structure that provides outstanding strength and rigidity. Aston Martin's engineers have also employed advanced materials and processes to further reduce weight and increase the Aston Martin DBS's performance and dynamics.
Carbon-fibre panels are used for the boot enclosure, boot lid, door opening surrounds, front wings and bonnet, giving a saving of some 30kg over more conventional materials without any reduction in strength. "There are no restrictions on form or shape in using carbon-fibre," says Marek Reichman, Aston Martin's Design Director, "and the material allowed us to wrap bodywork around the 20" wheels and maintain the precise relationship between the wheel and the bodywork."
Each panel has been carefully sculpted to direct the airflow around the car, into the engine and to help cool the braking system. The carbon-fibre elements are produced using advanced manufacturing techniques developed from the aerospace and motorsport industries.
As with the DB9 and DBR race cars, the Aston Martin DBS benefits from the inherent characteristics of the VH architecture. The VH underframe consists of pressed, extruded and cast aluminium components, bonded together to create an immensely strong underlying structure.
The Aston Martin DBS is manufactured using the finest materials, with a combination of hand-finishing and pioneering high-technology processes. From the exceptional quality of the design and finish to the advanced production techniques employed to save weight and create strength, the DBS is both a technological masterpiece and a powerful visual and tactile experience, inside and out.
The Aston Martin DBS is the culmination of the DB bloodline, a synthesis of race-bred technology and road-going practicality that can be traced back to the iconic Aston Martin DB2, DB3S and DB4 GT, and is continued today with the DBR9 and DBRS9 race cars. The DBS's powerful, flowing form fuses the visual language of the DBR9 GT1 race car with the innate elegance of the DB series. Lower and tauter than other Aston Martin production models, the DBS has subtly flared wheel arches accommodating standard 20" diameter wheels and tyres. These provide excellent stability and grip, while giving the car a muscular and athletic stance that evokes the DBR9 and DBRS9. The design process involved continuous revision and honing of the Aston Martin DBS's surfaces, ensuring that the shapes and forms represent perfectly the car's inherent power, while never diluting the fundamental proportions that are the essence of every Aston Martin.
The external detailing reflects the power and dynamic abilities of the Aston Martin DBS, with revised inlets and enlarged grilles that deliver more air into the engine and increase its cooling capacity. Subtle design details include a new five-bar design for the polished alloy main grille, as well as two additional vents in the enlarged power bulge on the carbon-fibre bonnet. These vents are entirely functional, improving engine performance and efficiency, yet also communicating the increased power output of the uprated V12 engine.
The widened front and rear track improve handling and give the car a more muscular character. To accommodate this additional width, the surfaces of the wings have been sculpted and re-shaped with harder lines, which also serve to emphasise the car's strength and power. The lowered ride height is accentuated by the enhanced side sills, carefully profiled to improve aerodynamic performance and reduce drag along the flanks. The iconic Aston Martin side strake, a design feature of every DB car since the DB4, has been redesigned for the DBS, incorporating a side repeater formed by a bank of LEDs.
The interior of the Aston Martin DBS represents the epitome of Aston Martin's commitment to using materials honestly, without disguise or embellishment. Lightweight materials are used throughout to save weight; door pulls are made from carbon-fibre, for example, and the carpet has been woven with lighter fibres to save valuable kilograms. Special semi-aniline leather is used throughout the cabin, saving weight as well as giving a soft feel and distinctive aroma.
The DBS features unique primary controls, including a new steering wheel profile with a twin-stitched detail marker that indicates the 'on-centre' position. The gear knob is fashioned from polished alloy to echo the metallic finishes on the new centre console. The instrument cluster is designed with white numerals on a dark graphite background for excellent legibility. The twin-stitch pattern runs through the interior as a signature device; the alignment of both stitch lines is testament to Aston Martin's ongoing tradition of exceptional craftsmanship.
Aston Martin DBS Specification
* Two-door coupe body style with 2+0 seating
* Bonded aluminium VH structure
* Aluminium, magnesium alloy and carbon-fibre composite body
* Extruded aluminium door side-impact beams
* High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps (main beam)
* LED rear lamps and side repeaters
* All-alloy, quad overhead camshaft, 48-valve, 5935cc V12.
* Compression ratio 10.9:1
* Front-mid mounted engine, rear-wheel drive
* Fully catalysed stainless steel exhaust system with active bypass valves
* Max power: 380kW (510bhp/517 PS) at 6500rpm
* Max torque: 570Nm (420 lb.ft) at 5750rpm
* Acceleration: 0-100 km/h (0-62mph) in 4.3 seconds
* Max speed: 302 km/h (191mph)
* Rear-mid mounted, six-speed manual gearbox
* Alloy torque tube with carbon fibre propeller shaft
* Limited-slip differential
* Final-drive ratio 3.71:1
Wheels and Tyres
* Front: 8.5'' x 20'' Pirelli P Zero 245/35
* Rear: 11'' x 20'' Pirelli P Zero 295/30
* Rack and pinion, Servotronic speed-sensitive power-assisted steering, 3.0 turns lock-to-lock. Column tilt and reach adjustment
* Front: Independent double wishbone incorporating anti-dive geometry, coil springs, anti-roll bare and monotube adaptive dampers
* Rear: Independent double wishbones with anti-squat and anti-lift geometry, coil springs, anti-roll bar and monotube adaptive dampers
* Adaptive Damping System (ADS) with Track mode
* Front: Ventilated carbon ceramic discs, 398mm diameter with six-piston calipers
* Rear: Ventilated carbon ceramic discs, 360mm diameter with four-piston calipers
* Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) with Track mode
* Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
* Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD)
* Emergency Brake Assist (EBA)
* Traction control
* Length: 4721mm (185.9'')
* Wheelbase: 2740mm (107.9'')
* Width: 1905mm (75'') (exc. Mirrors) 2060mm (81.1'') (inc. Mirrors)
* Fuel tank capacity: 78 litres (17.2 Imp.galls, 20.5 US galls)
* Height: 1280mm (50.4'') Weight: 1695kg (3737lb)