2009 Aston Martin DBS: A Different Prerequisite
Written by Kimatni D. Rawlins
A masterpiece has been created. But not by the descendents of Picasso or the artisans of Italian coachbuilder Pinnifarina. It’s more closely associated with British novelist and Bond creator Ian Fleming and his agent 007. So just as audiences around the globe were enamored with Sean Connery and the Aston Martin DB5 in 1964’s Goldfinger, the same was true with Daniel Craig in Casino Royale as he stalked villains in Aston Martin’s exemplary DBS. Sophisticated, magnificent and authoritative are just a few adjectives descriptive enough to capture the true essence of this performance coupe which is now Aston Martin’s halo vehicle. It’s so hot and heated that even The Devil May Care.
The 2009 DBS has been declassified until recently when a few top agents were dispatched to Dallas, Texas to experience the luxury sports car’s wrath. You may ask why such an elaborate vehicle was positioned in F-150 and Silverado territory. To step out of the shadows of every other exotic found in Miami, Los Angeles and New York. As well, the “Lone Star” state has some terrific roads for opening up the DBS’ massive hand-built 6.0-liter V12 with 510-horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. Yet, when Automotive Rhythms experienced the vehicle two weeks later in LA, the DBS shut down the city and any thoughts of domination by a non Aston Martin believer. We even had pop singer Usher looking disoriented as the valet rolled up our Silver DBS at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons. Maybe now Aston Martin has a new customer for what I call a “different prerequisite.”
My perception on the new prerequisite? Ferraris are vehicles suited more for racetracks and Lamborghinis are too Star Trek. The DBS infuses race technologies from the DBR9 (runs on the American Le Mans circuit) with opulence and driver conveniences such as Bluetooth for hands free cellular conversations, a hard disk drive for music storage, satellite navigation, satellite radio and integrated iPod connectivity to a 700-watt system, if you choose not to listen to the DBS’ sweet engine song. Behind the wheel, the vehicle’s power is very easy to manage. Its mid-mounted 6-speed manual is smooth and transfers engine horses fluidly. As well, the DBS is equally balanced with a 50/50 weight distribution. And with a 0-62 mph time of 4.3 seconds and top speed of 191 mph, the DBS is intoxicating. Carbon Ceramic Matrix (CCM) brakes, a first for a production Aston Martin, brings the vehicle to quick stops, though we found brake squeal prominent.
The DBS’ timeless interior is embellished with soft leather, carbon fiber door trim, black fascia trim and aluminum control switches. Even the key is futuristic; something Bond would use for one of his many great escapes. The “Emotion Control Unit,” is a rectangular key made of stainless steel and sapphire. Insert the device into the dash, depress the clutch while gripping the alloy gear shift lever and the vehicle roars louder than the monster Grendel that Beowulf the Warrior conquered. Take off in first gear and the screams from the DBS’ exhaust can be heard from afar. At 3000 rpm in any gear, the sport-tuned twin exhaust is on its best behavior. That’s due to two “flipper ports” that open up allowing for the mighty growls. Relax a bit to regain composure and check the time on the Swiss-made Jaeger-LeCoultre clock to make sure you’re on schedule to meet wifey for evening dinner. No rush, cruise slow like ships so the city can witness your style!
Speaking of style, the DBS’ vista from either near or far is magnificent. Like a seascape panorama, you can simply gaze at the DBS for hours at a time. Now with its own design studio in Gaydon, UK, Aston Martin has the freedom and resources to manifest some of the best vehicle sculptures ever created. The DBS’ physique is temperamental -- showcasing both aggressive and seductive poses. Aluminum, magnesium alloy and carbon fiber mesh together for a lightweight and agile body. The elongated bonnet (hood) features nostril like air intakes for capturing fresh breaths of air for the naturally-aspirated V12, cannon like HID headlamps are slickly integrated as teardrops within the fenders, while the hand-crafted grille and air dam seem to smirk indefinitely. Depress the door handle on one end, and like a seesaw the other end balances itself so you can open the super light carbon fiber “swan wing” doors at an upward angle.
Aston Martin’s covenant to its proprietors is one of the highest caliber. So much so that many of its dealers have created exclusive quarters just for its patrons. In Van Nuys, California, sales manager Joe Van De Veere issued details of its “Club Aston,” which features a living room, bar, library and vault where owners pick up their vehicle. They are at liberty to host parties and meetings in the dealership’s specialty quarters. This is because Aston Martin operates its dealerships as lifestyle boutiques. So you can pick up Aston Martin luggage, ties, cuff links, “Aston Martini” shakers and much more. Owners can also visit the factory in the UK to see craftsmen at work hand-building their vehicle as well as learn how to drive their car at Aston Martin’s Performance Driving School.
Only a few hundred examples of the DBS will be available in the States for $265,000, which includes a $3,000 gas guzzler tax. Except for few minor nuisances, the DBS is unblemished. They include the Bluetooth system which was not clear to my callers, the very low front end which made it difficult to enter steep angled driveways, and the aforementioned squeal of the CCM brakes. Expect a DBS Roadster later on. They say You Only Live Twice. Once when you’re born and once again when you drive an Aston Martin.