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Carbon-fiber panels are used for the boot enclosure, boot lid, door opening
surrounds, front wings and bonnet, giving a saving of some 70 lbs over more
conventional materials without any reduction in strength. "There are no
restrictions on form or shape in using carbon-fiber," 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
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-fiber elements are produced using advanced manufacturing techniques
developed from the aerospace and motorsport industries.
panel-making procedure also delivers an industry-best surface finish, thanks to
a patented 'Surface Veil' process. The application of a 200 micron layer of
epoxy and glass to the panel delivers a class-A surface that is in line with
Aston Martin's tradition of high-quality finishes. Inside the car, the weave
patterns on the exposed carbon-fiber elements have been carefully selected to
present the most harmonious surfaces.
Aston Martin DBS's VH
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 aluminum components, bonded
together to create an immensely strong underlying structure.
structure means that weight is kept to a minimum, with the front-mid mounted
engine and rear-mid mounted transaxle ensuring a near perfect weight
distribution: 85% of the car's weight is positioned within its wheelbase. The
DBS's polar moment of inertia is therefore very low, producing a car with
natural agility, a strong, stable platform for the V12's high power output and
an exhilarating driving experience.
To take full advantage of its
extremely precise and rigid platform, the DBS employs a new and sophisticated
Adaptive Damping System (ADS) which uses two separate valves to set the dampers
to five different positions, allowing instant adjustment of the car's ride and
handling characteristics. The ADS automatically alters the suspension settings
to ensure the driver has high levels of control at all times, with the ability
to respond instantly to different driving conditions. The dampers can be
'softer', with a corresponding improvement in ride quality, or 'firm', providing
improved body control for more spirited driving.
The damper settings are
determined by an electronic control unit which takes sensor readings from the
car's systems, including throttle position, brake position, steering wheel
rotation and vehicle speed. This data establishes the prevailing driving
conditions and the demands the driver is making on the car.
Adaptive Damping System perfectly captures the car's sporting character,
ensuring that stiffer dampers are available for better handling and control when
the car is being driven enthusiastically, without compromising ride comfort
during 'normal' driving conditions. A designated 'Track' mode automatically sets
all dampers to their firmest positions, making it ideal for circuit driving. The
DBS is fitted with Pirelli P-Zero tires that have been developed especially for
the car, along with new 20" lightweight alloy wheels.
The DBS also has a
revised Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system, designed to help maintain
maximum traction in challenging driving conditions. In default operation, the
DSC is automatically on. Select and press the button for two seconds and DSC
'Track' mode is engaged, raising the threshold at which the system intervenes to
allow the experienced driver to explore the car's limits. Hold the button for
four seconds and DSC is disengaged entirely.
The car's braking system
features another innovation, the first time Carbon Ceramic Matrix (CCM) brakes
have been used on a road-going Aston Martin. The end result is shorter stopping
distances with excellent resistance to fade in even the most demanding driving
conditions. CCM brakes are also some 12.5kg lighter than a conventional system,
reducing the weight of the car overall and, in particular, the unsprung weight
and rotational masses, further enhancing the performance of the suspension.
A Powerful Visual Experience
The 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.
Lower and tauter than other Aston
Martin production models, the DBS has subtly flared wheel arches accommodating
standard 20" diameter wheels and tires. 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
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 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-fiber
bonnet. These vents are entirely functional, improving engine performance and
efficiency, yet also communicating the increased power output of the uprated V12
The DBS's aerodynamic enhancements are shaped by Aston Martin's
racing experience. A carbon-fiber splitter and a new front bumper design help
channel airflow around the car's wider bodywork. The aerodynamics team worked
hand in hand with the modeling team to ensure that the forms and surfaces of DBS
were sculpted for inherent stability at high speeds.
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 emphasize 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.
Improved aerodynamics shape the rear
of the DBS, where the more prominent boot spoiler is carefully incorporated into
the carbon-fiber boot lid. A horizontal chrome finisher is set into the lid to
accentuate the wide track of the new car. The car's flat undertray helps to
improve the aerodynamics of the underbody surface and culminates in a new
carbon-fiber rear diffuser, another feature carried over from the race cars.
This device creates an area of low pressure beneath the rear of the car,
reducing lift and improving high-speed stability without the need for large,
unsightly external spoilers. The new one-piece diffuser also incorporates the
DBS's large and distinctive twin exhaust tailpipes.
in the Cabin
The interior of the 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-fiber, for example, and the carpet has been woven
with lighter fibers. Special semi-aniline leather is
used throughout the cabin, saving weight as well as giving a soft feel and
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.
The DBS start sequence blends tradition
with high technology and a touch of theatre. The ignition ECU (Emotion Control
Unit) has evolved into a machined and highly tactile polished glass ECU,
incorporating a stainless steel inner case. Resembling a fine wristwatch or a
piece of contemporary sculptural jewellery, this glass ECU epitomizes the spirit
of the DBS.
To operate the car, the glass ECU is inserted into a special
docking station in Aston Martin's signature dashboard-mounted glass starter
button, and glows red to indicate when the car is ready to start. The engine is
fired by pressing the ECU flush with the surface of the starter button. After
pressing to stop the engine, the ECU automatically motors out of the dashboard
The start sequence of the DBS is augmented by an all-new
centre console design with a cast metal surround, crisp typography and new
graphics. The new console has a traditional dial-face clock at the centre,
flanked by two rotary controls for the heating and air-conditioning system,
fashioned from solid, turned aluminum.
These controls are also used to
navigate the audio system, Bluetooth telephone preparation and satellite
navigation functions. The Aston Martin 700 W Audio System, with Dolby Pro Logic
II has been exclusively developed for Aston Martin to provide outstanding sound
quality. A slot for the six-CD autochanger is located at the top of the console,
while within the centre armrest cubby box there is inbuilt connectivity for MP3
players. Bluetooth telephone preparation is standard on the DBS, enabling you to
synchronize your mobile telephone directory through the car's display screens.
It can also display the last 10 calls received, made and missed.
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 0-60
mph time of 4.1 seconds. System functionality is consistent with that on the
DB9, with 'Park', 'Reverse', 'Neutral' and 'Drive' modes selected via facia
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.
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
center 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.
Bang & Olufsen Audio
The DBS will now also benefit from the installation of a new Bang & Olufsen
BeoSound system - developed specifically for the DBS - as standard equipment.
The BeoSound DBS system produces a total power output of 1000w, delivering the
sound image through a total of 13 channels across 10 speaker locations. Adopting
new speaker grille designs throughout the car and acoustic lenses which rise out
of the facia, the system offers customers an unrivalled audio experience.
Enhanced Option Range
After evaluating customer feedback the
DBS will now also be offered with an optional 2+2 seating configuration, where
the rear storage areas are replaced with two seats. A 2+0 arrangement - where
two storage areas populate the rear environment - remains standard.
introduced to the DBS is the option of a new ten-spoke 20'' forged aluminum
wheel with diamond-turned surface - available in either silver or graphite
finishes. The optional wheel delivers a total unsprung mass reduction of 8kg
versus the standard cast wheel, aiding enhanced handling and improved
acceleration and braking performance.
Aston Martin DBS: Photo Gallery, Review (1/2) and Specifications