Buying Guide

2012 Aston Martin DBS

MSRP $275,461 Base (Auto) Coupe


11 City / 17 Hwy

Horse Power:

510 @ 6500


420 @ 5750

The DBS sits atop the Aston Martin heap, although you’d be hard pressed to tell that just by looking at it. Aesthetically, the DBS wears the same face, shape, and character lines as the Virage and the DB9. You can distinguish the DBS from lesser Astons by its deeper front spoiler; extra-wide, guppy-style intake for the oil cooler; large rear spoiler; flared wheel arches; and wider rear track. Unless the cars are parked next to one another, the differences are pretty subtle, except in price: nearly $70,000 separates the DBS from the Virage. Like that car, the DBS can be had either as a coupe or a Volante (convertible) and as a two-seater or a two-plus-two. Weighing less and packing 20 more hp than a Virage, the DBS is estimated to go from 0 to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds en route to a top speed of more than 190 mph. Despite legitimate performance credentials, the DBS is often overshadowed by the more emotional Ferraris and Lamborghinis. Those who buy a DBS won’t be disappointed, however. It features carbon-ceramic brake rotors, carbon-fiber body panels, and a six-speed manual transmission. A ZF six-speed automatic is optional. The sure-to-impress Bang & Olufsen audio system is standard and, on the Volante, can sense whether the top is up or down and adjust its sound level accordingly. The Carbon Edition model, which goes on sale in early 2012, adds ten-spoke, gloss black wheels; has an even more plush cabin swathed in leather and trimmed in carbon fiber; and comes in three colors — flame orange, ceramic gray, and carbon black metallic.

Drive: Rear-wheel
Trim Levels: DBS, DBS Carbon Edition
Body styles: Coupe, convertible, 2- or 2+2-passenger
Engine: 5.9L V-12, 510 hp, 420 lb-ft
Transmissions: 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic
Passenger volume: 78.0 cu ft
Cargo space: 6.6 cu ft

A navigation system codeveloped with Garmin retires the dated graphics of the older system, but it still pales in comparison to what you can get in many $25,000 family sedans. Buyers can now opt for red, gray, or yellow brake calipers (black is standard), and there are new windshield wiper blades.

ABS, front and side air bags, and stability and traction control are standard equipment, as is a tire-pressure monitoring system.

All: 11-12 mpg city/17-18 mpg highway

  • Elegantly butch looks
  • V-12 exhaust note
  • Near-supercar performance
  • Supercar price
  • Clumsy ergonomics
  • V12 Vantage is faster/cheaper

Beautiful, fast, forgotten.

  • Audi R8 GT
  • Bentley Continental GT
  • Ferrari 599GTB
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