ON SALE: JANUARY 2008 / $300,000
The last Vanquish already has rolled off the line at Newport Pagnell with much pomp and ceremony. In doing so, it has handed king-of-the-hill honors to the DBS. You'll be able to tell the DBS from the DB9 by its deeper front spoiler, extra-wide guppy-style intake for the oil cooler, large rear spoiler, twenty-inch wheels, flared wheel arches, and wider rear track. Weighing 400 pounds less and packing 60 hp more than its DB9 sibling, the 510-hp V-12 DBS should be good for a 0-to-60-mph dash of 4.5 seconds and a top speed of 190 mph. The range topper also features ceramic-composite brakes and a paddleshifted six-speed transmission. That should give this latest iteration of the DB9 a much more raw driving experience--less Grand Touring and more hard-core sports thriller. Still, we can't imagine the DBS as a track-day car. That would be like watching Carl Lewis sprinting the 100-yard dash in a Brooks Brothers suit. So, is this a direct replacement for the Vanquish? Not quite. Aston says that there may be room for an even more extreme DB9, and that car could well revive the Vanquish badge. That's consistent with the company's strategy of spinning as many variants as possible off the same basic platform.