In production: August 2007 – to date
Chassis numbers: E00001 – continues
Aston Martin successfully launched the first production car from its new facility at Gaydon, the groundbreaking DB9, in May 2006. It also revealed at the same time that James Bond would again be driving one of its cars in the forthcoming film, ‘Casino Royale’. He would have a new Aston Martin model, the DBS. In true Bond style few specific details were provided about the car although Aston Martin did describe it as falling somewhere between the DB9, and the even more powerful DBR9 race car. What the factory also said was that the:
“DBS is not of the understated elegance of the DB9 or the youthful agility of the V8 Vantage. It is explosive power in a black tie and has its own unique character which will equal that of James Bond.”
The pictures accompanying the press release showed a more muscular and purposeful looking car than the DB9 on which it was based.
Full details of the DBS in its production form were eventually released in August 2007, just prior to the public unveiling of an example at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance where Aston Martin was the featured marque. Like the DB9, the car was to be built at Gaydon, with the engines being assembled in the company’s Cologne facility. The first cars were in the hands of their owners in the early spring of 2008.
The external detailing of the car reflected its power and dynamic capabilities and gave it the appearance of something more than a mere road car. Distinct from the DB9, revised and enlarged air inlets were necessary to deliver more cooling capacity to the engine. The car also sported a new design polished alloy grille as well as additional vents in the enlarged power bulge on the carbon-fibre bonnet. These vents were entirely functional, improving engine performance and efficiency and also communicating the increased power output of the up rated V12 engine. Compared to the DB9, the DBS had a widened front and rear track to improve handling and this gave the car a more muscular character. To accommodate the additional width, the surfaces of the wings were sculpted and re-shaped with harder lines. The lowered ride height was accentuated by the enhanced side sills which were profiled to improve the car’s aerodynamic performance and reduce drag. A more prominent boot spoiler contributed to the car’s aerodynamic efficiency as did its carbon fibre splitter and new front bumper design. The latter two worked to channel air around the car’s wider bodywork. In order to prevent the carbon weave protruding through the paint finish, Aston Martin used a patented ‘surface veil’ technology applying a 200 micron thick layer of epoxy glue to the carbon fibre, before the application of seven layers of paint producing a class A level of finish.
At the heart of the DBS is its 5.9 litre V12 engine with some power increasing enhancements over the DB9, coupled to a rear mounted, six speed manual gearbox. Changes to the engine included a by-pass air intake port that opens above 5500 revs to allow more air into the engine, and re-profiled air inlet ports that further improved airflow into the combustion chamber. With a 10.9:1 compression ratio, the DBS delivered maximum power of 510bhp at 6500rpm and maximum torque of 420lb/ft at 5750 rpm. The 3.7:1 final-drive ratio ensured that the additional power was useable, in particular enhancing in-gear acceleration. All these factors combine to give the car a 0-100km/h (0-62mph) time of 4.3 seconds and a maximum speed of 191mph. From December 2008, the DBS was also available with Touchtronic 2 transmission.
The DBS was based upon the VH architecture as was the DB9, with weight being kept to a minimum. To take advantage of the rigid platform, the DBS employed a new and sophisticated Adaptive Damping System which used two separate valves to set the dampers to five different positions, allowing instant adjustment of the car’s ride and handling characteristics. The dampers could be ‘softer’, with a corresponding improvement in ride quality, or ‘firm’ providing improved body control for more spirited driving.
Additionally, the car has a revised Dynamic Stability Control system, designed to maintain maximum traction and, for the first time, featured Carbon Ceramic Matrix brakes. The latter contributed to shorter stopping distances and improved resistance to fade. They were also considerably lighter than conventional systems.
The interior of the car incorporated more lightweight materials in an effort to improve performance. The weight of the DBS is 1695 kg compared to the 1760 kg of the manual DB9. Contributing to the overall weight savings were newly designed carbon-fibre/Kevlar seats, a new steering wheel profile, aluminium gear knob and console design. Even the Phantom Grey carpet was woven from lighter weight fibres weighing 600g per square metre as opposed to 900g per square metre of the standard material. Initially the DBS was only available as a two seater but from November 2008, optional rear seats became available.
The DBSs seen in the James Bond film, ‘Casino Royale’, were essentially restyled DB9 prototypes; two finished ‘hero’ cars, ‘three’ action cars and the DB9 manual gearbox prototype for practice. As well as helping to introduce the new model, the script of the film saw a DBS being launched into the air following a high speed manoeuvre to avoid James Bond’s love interest, Vesper, from being run over. In executing the stunt, the film crew established a new Guinness World Record for the most cannon rolls in a car, achieving an astonishing seven complete turns.
The DBS was also used in the next James Bond film, ‘A Quantum of Solace’. Remarkably, instead of sacrificing development hacks, Aston Martin provided 10 identical brand new ‘Quantum Silver’ production cars for the filming, four as special effects cars and six ‘hero’ cars.
New and popular colours introduced on the DBS were Casino Royale as seen on the DBS in the Bond film, Lightning Silver as seen on the Pebble Beach launch car, and Storm Black.
DBS Carbon Black
In production February 2010 - onwards
Shortly before Christmas 2009, AML announced a pair of similar special (but not limited) editions based of the V12 Vantage and DBS Coupe. The Carbon Black models featured bespoke metallic paint especially formulated with a subtle metallic twist to create a deep rich patina.
Inside, owners were greeted with swathes of Obsidian Black leather highlighted with a contrasting coarse silver stitching. Lightweight seats formed from Carbon Fibre and Kevlar saving 17 kg over the standard seat also feature together with Piano black facia trim, centre stack and centre console, anodised black tread plates and unique sill plaques build on the carbon theme. The DBS boasted the Bang & Olufsen Beosound audio system as standard.
In production October 2010. Chassis numbers from E02497
Aston Martin commemorated Dr Ulrich Bez’s 10th year as Chief Executive of the company by unveiling, at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, the DBS UB-2010 edition, limited to a run of 40 examples, 20 coupes and 20 Volantes. By using the then new Works Service Tailored service, DBS UB-2010 was specified personally by Dr.Bez and featured a unique ‘Azurite Black’ paint finish, a rich black paint with strong blue overtones, metallic bronze leather with woven leather seat inserts and a ‘Cryptic Titan’ facia finish. Each car had ‘UB-2010’ sill plaques signed by Dr. Bez together with a final inspection plate after he had signed-off all the 40 cars personally.
- Azurite Black paint finish with metallic bronze leather with woven leather seat inserts
- Cryptic Titan facia, a smooth tinted chrome effect lacquer on a base bronze paint
- Touchtronic 2 transmission (manual on request only)
- 20 inch 10 spoke diamond turned wheels with Azurite Black paint finish
- Blue brake calipers
- Carbon fibre rear light infills and door mirror heads
- Magnum silver mesh pack
- 2+2 seating
- Leather headlining (coupe only)
- Bitter Chocolate carpet with metallic bronze edge binding
- Alcantara steering wheel (coupe only)
- Sill and engine bay plaques signed by Dr. Ulrich Bez
- Front seat headrests embroidered with Dr Ulrich Bez signature
- Metallic Bronze leather luggage set
The coupe version of the UB-2010 was priced with a 12% premium over the standard Touchtronic 2 equipped car.