Touchtronic 2 auto is just as quick as the manualEnlarge Photo
One year after making its first public appearance at the 2007 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, Aston Martin has confirmed details of a number of enhancements for the company’s flagship DBS, including the introduction of a ‘Touchtronic 2’ automatic transmission.
The car will also be available for the first time with a previously reported Bang & Olufsen audio system, the availability of 2+2 seating and a new lightweight wheel option.
The major introduction, however, is the new gearbox, which will be sold alongside the current six-speed manual. Derived from the same ZF transaxle unit that was developed for the DB9, the system has been substantially re-engineered to accommodate the uprated performance of the DBS.
It features a final drive ratio shortened from 3.15:1 to 3.46:1, aiding quicker acceleration times and an improved performance feel. Additionally, changes to the gearbox calibration aid more aggressive gear shifts and greater usability, while retaining the performance potential of the manual gear box - the 0-100km/h time remains unchanged at 4.3 seconds.
Drivers can switch gears manually using a pair of leather-trimmed magnesium alloy paddles mounted on the steering column, and the system also includes a ‘Sport’ mode that is activated by a button on the centre console. The Sport mode includes its own unique throttle map, has quicker shift times, and upshifts at higher engine speeds.
Other enhancements to the DBS include the aforementioned Bang & Olufsen BeoSound, availability of 2+2 seating and the introduction of a new 10-spoke 20in forged aluminium wheel design. The optional wheel delivers a total unsprung mass reduction of 8kg versus the standard cast wheel, aiding enhanced handling and improved acceleration and braking performance. It is available in either silver or graphite finishes.
The car’s 6.0L V12 engine carries over unchanged, producing 512hp (380kW). The option of the Touchtronic 2 gearbox will cost an additional £3,000 (approximately $5,400) over the price of a manual DBS, which starts at £162,500 in the UK. Pricing and availability for other markets are yet to be announced.