Thirty-five years after the original DBS ended production, Aston Martin revived the nameplate with the 2007 DBS V12. Essentially a lighter, 2-seat version of the DB9, this model focused on performance over comfort. Just looking at the two models next to each other, the DBS is clearly the more aggressive vehicle. And with a £50,000 premium over the standard DB9, it made a lot of promises about its performance. Whether or not it was worth all the extra cash is debatable. During its 6 model years, however, over 3,000 owners happily plunked down their hard-earned money for the chance to find out.
Building the DBS
As you have likely inferred from the model name, the Aston Martin DBS V12 has a V12 engine. As it did in the final version of the DB9, this 5.9-litre engine produces 510 horsepower. Torque, however, was down by 37 lb-ft at 420. Buyers were presented with a choice of 6-speed transmissions: either a Graziano manual or the “Touchtronic 2” automatic gearbox developed by ZF.
Performance was clearly the goal of the designers, as evidenced by the focus on keeping the weight down. Carbon fibre now constituted everything from the bonnet to the carpet. That’s right, the carpet was constructed from tiny strands of carbon. Also of note are the aluminium roof and doors, as well as the carbon-ceramic brakes. You would think that a car with all those lightweight elements would barely tickle the scale. You’d be wrong, however. After all was said and done, the DBS V12 weighed just 30kg lighter than the DB9. Hardly seems worth all that effort and expense.
About that Performance
The slightly lighter DB9 wound up slightly quicker specs, as you would expect. There is the 4.3-second blast to 60mph, which is a couple ticks faster than the DB9. The DBS V12’s 191mph top speed is marginally faster as well. What ended up being significantly improved, however, was the car’s track performance. Compared to the DB9’s 1:27.1 lap time around the Top Gear test track, the DBS was over 3 seconds faster. In fact, its 1:23.9 time matched that of the glorious Koenigsegg CC8S. And, at the end of the day, that was why so many people found the DBS so enticing.