Among sports cars, Aston Martin intends to embody pure class. Even when the manufacturer of Gaydon gives a hint of aggression to one of its models, the result is far from a footballer's car clad with prominent aerodynamic appendages. The wildest Aston Martins, precisely, is this DBS. A kind of DB11 inflated, both in the engine and in the carbon body. Here, the mouth gives the impression of devouring the bitumen with more greed, without losing its delicate groove. And the wider side sills, to accommodate a 10 mm wide track at the front and 200 mm at the rear, remove the somewhat frail appearance of the DB11 from the car.
Inside, we wrap ourselves in the scent of the highest quality leather. Some assemblies can be improved, but the materials appear to be of great nobility. We can rail against the infotainment system, old-fashioned because it was stolen from the older generations of Mercedes-Benz. But the row of buttons that control the automatic gearbox can switch from manual mode (usable with beautiful and large paddles) to automatic mode more quickly and easily than on any other sports car.
Easy on a daily basis, temperamental if you provoke it
In town, the DBS drives with disconcerting ease. The steering is smooth and it is easy to take the measure of the template, much more than with all rear-engine supercars. There is still the problem of width (1.97 m for a length of 4.71 m), handicapping in certain underground car parks. In GT mode, the eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox shifts gears smoothly and appropriately. The suspension is considerate for the lumbar of the passengers and the almost reasonable consumption in driving casting: on road, one can go down to 11 l / 100 km. In the cities on the other hand, no miracle: the average climbs to nearly 20 l / 100 km.
But we easily forgive this appetite. Because the V12 is a piece of choice. Even if it does not have the lyrical flights of an atmospheric Italian V12, its melody is not muffled by the two turbos. 725 hp and 900 Nm of torque, that gives an idea of its strength. The thrust is phenomenal, inexhaustible, the DBS promises a 0 to 100 km / h shot in 3.6 seconds and a top speed of 340 km / h. If the chassis of the DBS, derived from that of the DB11, were able to withstand this cavalry, we would perhaps have an ideal combination of comfort and performance. But rigor is not the strong point of this beautiful British girl.
When you crush the right pedal, it looks like a rodeo. Immediately, the traction control kicks in, cuts the acceleration with a certain brutality to calm the matter down. Even in the dry. Even at speeds above 150 km / h! The electronics don't have the finesse of a McLaren 720 S, capable of controlling acceleration with formidable precision in order to make the most of the grip of the tires and the abundant cavalry. Here, you have to relearn how to accelerate. Always gradually, even in a straight line, even on a perfectly paved road.
DBS is a GT, not a supercar
Very quickly, we give up starting with the knife between our teeth. Because grip, while correct, has nothing to do with that of the sharpest supercars. This DBS may be called "Superleggera", it weighs almost 1.7 tonnes and the 72 kg gained by the carbon body compared to a DB11 does not change much. The suspension, still relatively flexible even in the sportiest mode, makes mass transfers sensitive. The front shifts off when accelerating out of a corner, widening the trajectory as we try to focus on keeping the rear on track. Beyond 200 km / h, the nose begins to lose its precision, despite the splendid gills which try to release the pressure under the arches of the wheels. Cold sweats guaranteed! The DBS is a super GT, far from the real sports cars it is unable to keep pace.
We therefore drive it as James Bond would: in a detached way when he is going to throw himself into the mouth of the wolf. We use the paddles on the steering wheel, to enjoy the musicality of the V12, accompanied by some cracklings in the exhaust when lifting the foot in Sport mode. This DBS embodies British class like no other model in its class. And she is able to show herself very pleasant at reasonable paces, which is not necessarily the case with sharper competitors. Its efficiency ? We end up laughing: the villains of James Bond drive Range Rover, not McLaren. It is still possible to sow them. Sweating just a little, for the camera and the posterity. Faced with the relaxed rhythm that we adopt naturally, the carbon-ceramic brakes appear irrelevant. Even counterproductive since they squeak cold in town.
For € 283,544 excluding options, the DBS is therefore offering a explosive cocktail of class and brutality. But is the difference compared to a DB11 V12 sold "only" 210,464 € worth it? Because the extra power (the DB11 tops out at 608 hp) is hardly usable and the contribution of the carbon-ceramic brakes and the carbon body adds little to the driving of this GT. Yes but here it is: alongside the DB5 (read our article on James Bond's Aston Martin DB5), the DBS will star in the upcoming 007 film, Die Can Wait. And this moment of glory is priceless!
- Unique elegance
- Exceptional engine
- Comfort saved
- Exquisite materials
- Inefficient chassis
- Penalizing width
- Additional cost compared to DB11
- Practical aspects
- Road behavior2/5
- Practical aspects3/5
- Price / equipment3/5
- Presentation quality5/5