DBS V12 Coupe
DBS V12 Coupe

DBS V12 Coupe

(2007 - 2012)

MY2008, MY2009, MY2010, MY2011, MY2012, & MY2013

The DBS was announced in January 2006, although only a design sketch was shown and the announcement that James Bond would be driving the car in the upcoming film, Casino Royale. In order to avoid damaging spy shots, photographs of the car were released in May 2006 with the film released in November of the same year. Yet their was no sign of the car in the showroom. Perhaps AML just wanted to properly phase out the V12 Vanquish before offering a new 'hero' car. Finally in the summer of 2007,  AML used the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in Monterey, CA to showcase the new car.

DBS V12 Coupe

From what can be seen, externally, the DBS exactly matched the version seen in Casino Royale; much like a DB9 on which it is closely based but with considerably more menace. The V12 engine was been tuned to produce 510 bhp @ 6500 rpm and 420 lb.ft. of torque at 5750 rpm and was coupled to a close ratio 6-speed gearbox. This allowed a top speed of 191 mph and 0-60 dash in 4.3 seconds. At launch, the DBS was only available with a conventional gear stick and three pedals although Touchtronic 2 became available as an option from late 2008. For the first time on an Aston Martin road car, the DBS had vented carbon ceramic brakes: 398 mm diameter with six pot calipers at the front, 360 mm four pot calipers at the back. Another first for an Aston Martin was carbonfibre composite body panels used for the boot enclosure, boot lid, door opening surrounds, front wings and bonnet, together offering a 30kg saving over the aluminium equivalent. On top of the carbon weave, a patented Surface Veil process was applied a 200 micron layer of epoxy and glass to give the ultra smooth finish expected on an Aston Martin. Three special DBS colours were also introduced for the launch cars and early production cars, Lightning Silver, Casino Royale and Storm Black although these were also made available at additional cost on other cars in the range.

Overall, the weight of the two-seat DBS was 65kg lower than the DB9; by specifying the optional Kevlar and carbon-fibre lightweight seats (not available in North America) provided a further weight saving of 20kg. As a feature, the lightweight seats are desirable to some enthusiast although the lack of backrest adjustment is off-putting to others. 

The interior leather was lighter weight semi-aniline and even the standard Phantom Grey carpets were made of a lighter weight fibre. The conventional key was ditched and replaced by a polished sapphire ECU that was inserted into a slot in the starter button. The centre console was changed with a cast metal surround, new graphics and turned aluminium heater knobs.

First view of the production DBS in Europe was at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2007. The DBS was also strongly featured at the Geneva Motor Show in 2008 where a DBR9 Green coupe was positioned on the prestigious turntable. Deliveries to customers had begun a month or so before with a UK launch price of £161,147.

Rumours of a watch used to open and close the DBS became reality when fine watch manufacturer, Jaeger-LeCoultre announced the introduction of the 18 carat pink gold AMVOX2 DBS Transponder. Only available to DBS owners through AM dealers, the watch could be used to both lock and unlock the car when the wearer is in close proximity to the car by pressing on the pressure sensitive sapphire crystal watch glass.

Later in the 2009MY run, AML introduced the Touchtronic 2 transmission from the DB9 as a £2000 option, perhaps in response to demand from the US market where true manual cars, or ‘stick’ as they call them are a rarity. Also made optional were lightweight occasional rear seats making the DBS a 2+2. In addition, the DBS was given the bespoke Bang & Olufsen audio equipment as standard featuring rather unusual tweeters that rise out of the top roll on the dash. Another option was the introduction of a new 10 spoke 20 inch lightweight wheel offering a 2kg per wheel reduction in unsprung mass. Pictures of the later 2009MY car above were taken at the Geneva Salon, a 2+2 Touchtronic 2 example.  Also introduced later in 2009, the DBS was offered for sale as a Volante with the convertible 2+2 coachwork.

Despite all the weight saving introduced on the DBS, it has to be said that the later cars with rear seats, Touchtronic transmission and B+O audio were significantly heavier than the original series of cars. 

For the 2012MY, the DBS received updates in line with those previewed on the Virage, namely, improved Garmin sat-nav and ‘beam blade’ wiper design, incorporating Bosch Aerotwin wiper blades. Touchtronic 2, instead of being a cost option became the standard transmission although in rare cases, manual tranmsission could still be specified as a no-cost option. These last of the line cars are certainly the most desirable especially with the rare manual gearbox and lightweight 2+0 seating configuration.

When production of the DBS finally ended in the Summer of 2012 with the DBS Ultimate editions, an estimated total of 2533 coupes had been built. This number includes all the special editions including the Carbon Black, Carbon Edition, Dragon 88 and UB-2010.

I must point out that AM market this car as a DBS but, for historic classification by the Aston Martin Heritage Trust, this model should be known as the DBS V12 to differentiate it from the 6 cylinder model of the same name introduced in the 1967.

  • Body/Coachwork:
    • Two door 2+0 seater coupe, 2+2 seating optional from November 2008
    • Extruded aluminium bonded monocoque. Aluminium, composite and carbon fibre panels (boot enclosure, boot lid, door opening surrounds, front wings and bonnet)
    • Extruded aluminium door side impact protection beam
    • Xenon high Intensity discharge (HID) front projector headlamps (halogen full beam)
    • Full LED rear lamps and side repeaters
    • Powerfold, heated, memory door mirrors
    • Front and rear parking assist sensors, delete front optional
    • Heated rear screen
  • Interior:
    • Semi Aniline Leather and Alcantara interior with ‘Matrix’ alloy facia
    • Optional Piano Black facia trim
    • Centre console outer finish in Iridium Silver and inner finish in graphite
    • Carbon fibre door trims and door pulls
    • Clear sapphire backlit docking station to take the sapphire Emotion Control Unit (ECU). Glass ECU from March 2009
    • Sports seats with ten way electric adjustment with dual stage seat heaters
    • Optional lightweight carbon-fibre and Kevlar seats with six way adjustment and manual lumber adjustment (not North American market) from June 2009
    • Organic electroluminescent (OEL) in white
    • CFC free automatic climate control, Driver and front passenger dual-stage airbags and front occupant side airbags (Sports seats only)
    • Aston Martin premium audio system with radio, 6 CD autochanger iPod/MP3 functions and 700W with Dolby Pro Logic II. Replaced by Bang & Olufsen BeoSound system with 974W power output in November 2008
    • Integrated Apple iPod connector, 3.5mm auxiliary input socket
    • Hands-free Bluetooth phone system
    • Full colour 30 Gb hard disc drive satellite navigation system
    • Alarm system interacting with the central locking system and PATS immobiliser system
    • Tracking device (UK only).
  • Engine:
    • Front mid-mounted all aluminium alloy 60° V12
    • Quad overhead camshafts with four valves per cylinder
    • Engine number prefix AM08/
    • Bore 89 mm. Stroke 79.5 mm. Capacity 5935cc. Compression ratio 10.9:1
    • Max power 510 bhp @ 6500 rpm
    • Max torque 420 lb/ft @ 5750 rpm
    • Power to weight ratio of 300 bhp/tonne
    • Fuel System & Ignition System: Multi-point sequential electronic fuel injection system.
    • Stainless steel exhaust system with by-pass valve , 2 three-way catalytic converters
  • Transmission:
    • Rear mounted Graziano Six speed manual with integrated shifter bellcrank system (cable operated), hydraulically operated twin plate clutch. Optional by 2012MY
    • Rear mid-mounted ‘Touchtronic 2’ ZF 6HP26 six speed with ‘Shift by wire’ gear shift technology. Magnesium gear selection paddles and PRND buttons on the centre console. Optional from December 2008, standard from 2012MY
    • Alloy torque tube with carbon fibre propeller shaft, rear wheel drive Final Drive, limited slip differential. Ratio 3.70:1 (manual), 3.46:1 with (Touchtronic 2)
  • Steering:
    • ZF Rack and pinion , servotronic speed sensitive power assisted, 3.0 turns, lock-to-lock
    • Column tilt and reach adjustments
  • Wheels and tyres:
    • Unique Aston Martin 20 spoke aluminium alloy wheels, 8.5 x 20 inch front and 11 x 20 inch rear. Graphite finish optional
    • Optional forged aluminium 10 spoke wheel, diamond turned with silver or graphite painted finish available from February 2009
    • Pirelli PZero 245/35 ZR20 front, Pirelli PZero 295/30 ZR20 rear
    • Pirelli PZero Corsa tyres optional from 2010MY
  • Suspension:
    • Front: Forged aluminium independent double wishbone incorporating anti-dive geometry. Coil over aluminium, monotube dampers with anti-roll bar
    • Rear: Forged aluminium independent double wishbone incorporating longitudinal control arms, coil over aluminium monotube dampers with anti-roll bar
    • Adaptive Damping System (ADS) with Track mode,
  • Brakes:
    • Front: Brembo 398mm ventilated carbon ceramic discs with six piston monoblock calipers
    • Rear: Brembo 360mm ventilated carbon ceramic discs with four piston monoblock calipers. Independent handbrake callipers on rear disc
    • Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) with track mode, Anti-lock braking system (ABS), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Emergency Brake Assist (EBA), Traction Control System (TCS)
  • Dimensions:
    • Length: 4720 mm
    • Width: 1905 mm excluding door mirrors, 2060 mm including door mirrors
    • Height: 1280 mm
    • Wheelbase: 2740 mm
    • Front Track: 159 0mm
    • Rear Track: 1580 mm
    • Kerb Weight (unladen mass): 1695 kg (manual), 1740 kg (auto)
    • Fuel Tank Capacity: 80 litres (78 litres usable)
    • Boot Volume 187 litres
    • Power to weight ratio: 250 bhp/t
  • Performance:
    • 2008 (2009MY) £162,500 (manual), £165,500 (Touchtronic 2)
    • 2010 (2011MY) £170,500 (manual), £173,500 (Touchtronic 2)
  • Price at launch:
    • Top Speed: 191mph (manual), 183 mph electronically limited (Touchtronic 2)
    • Acceleration: 0-60 mph, 4.1 seconds
    • CO2 Emissions, 388 g/km (manual), 367 g/km (Touchtronic 2)