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Aston Martin models, news & reviews
By Ben Oliver
29 October 2008 00:01
Not even James Bond has driven the Aston Martin DBS Touchtronic yet. Quantum of Solace is just about to open but Daniel Craig must content himself with the standard manual DBS. We’ve already driven his likely next car: the DBS Touchtronic with an automatic gearbox, a new Bang and Olufsen sound system and gorgeous new optional wheels. Read our full review here...
We thought so, at first. The combination of a six-speed manual and a 510bhp, 6.0-litre V12 makes the DBS a Proper Bloke’s Car™ even if the engine/clutch/gearbox interaction is so sweet as to make it a doddle to drive in traffic or on a track. But launching the DBS with the manual only at first helped to distance it from the predominantly auto-boxed DB9 on which it’s closely based. Now, nearly a year into production, Aston is offering an auto and expects up to 75% of DBS buyers to choose it.
The latter. Aston says it looked at using the Sportshift box from the V8 Vantage, but found that – though good – it still couldn’t match the smoothness of the magnificent ZF six-speed torque-convertor auto used in the DB9 and a bunch of other high-end cars from Jaguars to the Rolls-Royce Phantom. Aston then asked ZF how fast and hard it could make the 'box shift in manual mode. The answer turned out to be even more racecar-like than Aston thought its customers would tolerate, so it went for a shift speed around 20% faster than a standard DB9 and reckons it has the best of both worlds.
>> Click 'Next' below to read more of our first drive of the Aston Martin DBS Touchtronic
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Aston Martin DBS Touchtronic (2008) CAR review
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a t o m i c
RE: Aston Martin DBS Touchtronic (2008) CAR review
The 'hand built in England' tag's going to look a bit sick when the cars are being built by Magna on a Mercedes powertrain...
03 November 2008 17:13
I wonder if AM Works Service could put the ZF transmission into a used Vanquish, I think that'd be my ideal big Aston Martin (and now you know why I'm 'meh, whatever' about the One-77. Sorry Marek and co, Fast n' Furious meets DB9 isn't doing it for me).
It always makes me laugh that nobody ever mentions that the ZF auto has also been sitting in Ford Falcons since the BF update - if you think it does a great job in an Aston Martin, it works miracles in that car. But no paddleshift...now there's a project. Anyone seen Aston or Jag shift paddles on eBay over there in the UK? ;)
29 October 2008 23:54
The DBS is even better in the flesh than these photos. 'Presence' was invented for the luxury end of the automotive biz and this DBS certainly has it by the truckload. Whereas the DB9 has that fast Gentlemans GT look the DBS laces upper crust style with some get-down-and-dirty track trickery with bonnet louvres and the rear venturis. It's a bit of a strange mix mixing a suit jacket with a bomber jacket but its exactly what the market and car is aimed at so sit on the book marked 'design principles'. Aston are doing everything right at the moment but if there's a fault it's the packaging. The AMV8 and DB9 iterations all have very tight, almost claustrophobic, cabins which is one British cultural hangover I've noticed in Jaguars and needs improving (so I can buy one in a few years hint hint!)
29 October 2008 14:31
You're bunch of lucky buggers, aren't you? 'having spent some time with that slick, satisfying manual recently, we missed it...' Yes, I also prefer Dom Pérignon 1985 to the 1990 vintage, thanks very much. Anyway, back to topic: having taken another look at the One 77 (and still not liking it very much) I have to say I find it curious how an Astons price relates to its beauty: the V8 Vantage is just indecently pretty, as is the DB9, but the DBS I already find a bit gauche - blame it on those scoops, spoilers and the dreadful rear lights. It might be a better car than its cheaper siblings, but it only looks half as good (note to Marek Reichman: less is more). Oh, and I'm surprised you like the manual so much - I'd heard from many different sources that it's a bit notchy and stiff (is it the same Graziano unit as used in the V8 Vantage?).
29 October 2008 11:20
Click 'take Batty to a comparison test' and I'll let you know!
29 October 2008 05:41
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