Aston Martin DBS gets new gearbox

Published: 30 September 2008

Life at Aston Martin is about to get busy. At the Paris motor show this week the company will unveil an automatic version of its DBS supercar – along with a few other tweaks – before the next 18 months sees launches of the DBS Volante, Rapide, Vantage V12 RS and One-77.

The Aston Martin DBS has finally got an automatic?

Finally? It’s barely been 12 months since the DBS was launched, but a self-shifter does seem to suit the personality of the big Brit. Dubbed ‘Touchtronic 2’, the ZF transaxle unit is based on the six-speed automatic found in the DB9, but beefed-up to cope with the extra power and performance of the DBS – in case you need a refresh, the DBS has a 510bhp 6.0-litre V12.

Leather-trimmed magnesium alloy paddles replace the gearstick and to make sure the DBS Touchtronic can match the manual (both hit 62mph in 4.3 seconds), the final drive ratio has been shortened while Aston is also claiming to have recalibrated the ‘box, leading to more aggressive gear shifts.

A ‘Sport’ button on the centre console ups the ferocity of changes even more, while shifts in automatic mode occur at higher rpm. The Sport mode also means a sharper throttle response.

What about these other DBS tweaks?

Although DBS customers are buying the most sporting Aston currently available, they still apparently want the chance to carry three passengers. So while a rear storage area remains standard, a 2+2 seating arrangement is now a £2495 option.

New ten-spoke 20-inch forged aluminium are also now on the options list. They feature a diamond-turned surface, with either a silver (£1995) or graphite (£2495) finish and Aston is claiming they reduce unsprung mass on each corner by 2kg.

Anything else?

Yes. The first fruits of Aston’s tie-up with Bang and Olufsen are starting to appear, so the DBS is now available with a new BeoSound system. Total output is a huge 1000w, delivered through ten speakers, including a few which rise out of the top of the dashboard. The system comes as standard on the DBS, so prices for the manual rise from £160k to £162,500, while the Touchtronic starts at £165k.

Would you spec your Aston Martin DBS with Touchtronic and rear seats, or stick with the manual and just one passenger? Click 'Add your comment' below and have your say

By Ben Pulman

CAR's editor-at-large, co-ordinator, tallboy