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2009 Aston Martin DBS Volante: Too Fast For America


You learn quickly the vernacular of the $286,500 2009 Aston Martin DBS Volante.

First, you don’t call the Volante a convertible--it’s a Volante, a cloth-top car that’s reasonably quiet when shut, and because it has a soft lid, one with some useful trunk space that an erstwhile hardtop would’ve vaporized. (Also this is a nominal 2+2, and while not even children would find the backseat space viable there’s room enough in this car for overnight luggage which isn’t the case with many a super-sports GT.)

Second, though it’s equipped with a manual-automatic Touchtronic gearbox (an ordinary six-speed manual is also available), unless you’re stuck in traffic it’s far more pleasurably driven as a paddle shift manual than, say, Audi’s S-tronic, as the shifts are actually smoother when manually called for than in automatic mode. This is because they happen more quickly when under the driver’s control and because you’ve shifted, rather than allowed a computer algorithm to decide when to change gears, you can precisely anticipate when that instant will arrive when the tremendous muscle of the car’s 6.0-liter, 510-hp V-12 will pause, the bootheel of g-forces on your chest will lift for half a heartbeat, and then you’re mashed back into the driver’s seat, resuming the boost-phase mode of the DBS’s haul toward a nearly 200-mph top speed.

Third, should you happen to want to drive the DBS like a sane person, that is to say, calmly and coolly and within the constraints of suburban and even rural constabulary mores—you can do so, even as the V-12 under the hood and the metallic paddles that control the gearbox pretty much beg you to quit forcing the DBS to crawl around town on errands and instead mash the gas and let the car realize its full potential.

Fourth, I've driven the V8 Vantage, which is also extraordinary, and also exceptionally fast. But the DBS is yet more car--the growl is laced with a menace, an even stronger purity of purpose. Its potential simply cannot be realized on any highway, state or Federal, in the United States.


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Comments (11)
  1. This article sucks. I clicked on it because of the title and the body has nothing to do with the title. Is this author one of those stuck up Brits who thinks they have superior car knowledge?
     
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  2. Agreed - Craptastic writing.
    We don't care about the writer's run-in with the law, and we don't care much about what media one's music is recorded in sound best on the stereo. And what's the point of telling us that you've driven the V8 Vantage when you don't go anywhere with it - not a single comparison!
    Tell us what makes the DBS different from the DB9 and the V8 Vantage.
    Tell us how it feels to drive. Tell us about the workmanship and the reasons it costs so much.
    Tell us if you feel it's worth the price of admission/upgrade.
    Just don't whine to us about being pulled over for speeding (and you WERE speeding) instead of a Chevy.
     
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  3. I get lost half way through reading the article, not sure if the car has a decent backseat or it is only good enough for luggages and small child, and also the what is the point in mentioning that he has driven a V8 Vantage? is it supposed to give him more creditability? I had driven a F50 once, does that make me a Ferrari expert? Blah, blah, blah, the New 458 Italia is such, such, such and such and forth, I have driven a F50....LOL
    so is it too fast for America? still do not have an answer.
     
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  4. i just printed this article out went to the toilet and wiped my bum with it... sorry michael frank its nothing personal =]
     
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  5. I would like to wipe your bum guy. With a little jelly, it could be quite a snack. Add some crackers and some farber beans, it'd be a meal.
     
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  6. Agree with everyone. Does MA not filter this crap before posting it? It is a terribly written article.
     
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  7. Disregard last comment. I don't like jelly.
     
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  8. Thank you all so much for your kind thoughts.... Here's a rebuttal of sorts.
    1. Why bring up the Vantage?
     
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  9. Howdy! I'm the toilet wipe you so graciously comment about in the above. Pleased to meet all of you. Some clarification: 1. The reason for bringing up the V8 Vantage (which unfortunately got cut off in the article - our geeks are addressing that, so sorry) reads in the original as follows: "Fourth, I've driven the V8 Vantage, which is also extraordinary, and also exceptionally fast. But the DBS is yet more car--the growl is laced with a menace, an even stronger purity of purpose. Its potential simply cannot be realized on any highway, state or Federal, in the United States." Point is simple: Test the DBS even at 6/10ths on public roads you're risking death or injury. Second, the speeding incident was sure to piss you off. Duh! Pitty? I have a great gig; I'm not asking for pity. Nope, it's there to let readers know that a car like this goes well beyond cop bait. It's cop chum, and they're the sharks. The road where I was nailed is typically fine at 65; cops don't even blink. But drive a car like the DBS and you're begging for a ticket, even on a road where, ordinarily, to speed traffic along, they'd PREFER you do 10 over.
    As for the rest? I cannot justify the price. The craftsmanship is exquisite, the engine is fantastic, the build quality, beyond reproach, but only Aston knows if the price is justifiable. If they have a steady stream of buyers, they can justify the price. And by the way, if you have to ask that question, you can't afford the car anyway.
     
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  10. Duh! quite dont get it, though I cannot afford one these vehicles I got to many bills anyway. Your article Mike was not well described. Hope you learn from this!!
     
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  11. it’s a Volante, a cloth-top car that’s reasonably quiet when shut, and because it has a soft lid, one with some useful trunk space that an erstwhile hardtop would’ve vaporized. (Also this is a nominal 2+2, and while not even children would find the backseat space viable there’s room enough in this car for overnight luggage which isn’t the case with many a super-sports GT.)
     
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