Though it will soon be replaced by the 2014 Vanquish when it begins delivery in the first quarter of 2013, the 2013 Aston Martin DBS is, for now, the brand's flagship production model.
To send it off, a special DBS Ultimate Edition model is offered, with a choice of Coupe or Roadster body styles, silver or black exterior paint, and a range of appearance and equipment upgrades--as well as a mighty $290,000 price tag.
The Aston Martin DBS's look is unmistakable--unless you mistake it for the DB9 or Vantage. With characteristic modern Aston features like the oblong grille, swept-back headlights integrated into the front fenders, long-hood coupe proportions, and muscular haunches, the DBS looks its part. For those looking for even more exclusivity, there's the Carbon Edition, which tweaks the look and feel of the car with--you guessed it--loads of additional carbon fiber. The DBS Carbon Edition is also available in a choice of three exclusive colors, including Carbon Black, Flame Orange, and Ceramic Grey.
Under the long, sleek hood is a 6.0-liter V-12 engine rated at 510 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. While those aren't especially impressive figures from a large-displacement V-12 engine, the thrust felt in the driver's seat is exciting and enjoyable. Weighing in at about 3,800 pounds, the DBS isn't exactly light on its feet, and it won't be called nimble, but it does an impressive job of dispensing with fast sweeping turns--just as you'd want from a refined GT.
Fuel economy from the big V-12 is about what you might expect: 12 mpg city and 18 mpg highway in its best setup, with the six-speed automatic transmission. With the six-speed manual, that dips to 11 mpg city and 17 mpg highway. Not that you're likely to put 20,000 miles per year on a car like the DBS.
You might want to, however, considering the look and feel of the DBS's cabin. Wrapped in hand-sewn leather, the DBS projects every aspect of bespoke, old-world charm--seen through a modern lens, of course. The seats are comfortable, entry and exit are reasonably easy for a low-slung coupe, and you can configure just about any option you'd want or need.
At a starting price of about $275,000, the DBS isn't for everyone--or even everyone in the 1%. But for those with the means, it's one of the most elegant two-door cars on the market. For now.