Aston Martin's new flagship, the DBS, has hit the Nurburgring for high speed handling tests. The honed DB9, which runs a V12 engine upgraded to 530bhp, makes its debut in the new Bond movie Casino Royale, out this November. The production car will be unveiled at the Detroit auto show in January 2007, with sales due to start in the spring.
Pumped up body
It's a DB9 with a difference. Aston designer Marek Reichman penned a muscular bodykit for the DBS, forged from lightweight carbonfibre. The front wings and bulging bonnet are new, as is that aerodynamic chin spoiler which forces extra air into an enlarged oil cooler. The lowered sills are etched with deep grooves, while the rear diffuser works in conjunction with a reprofiled boot – complete with a wing that nods to the DB6 – to keep the tail suckered to the ground. Those huge alloys, some 20-inches in diameter, are also bespoke.
Under the skin
The thunderous 6.0-litre V12 has been upgraded for secret service duty. In the DB9 it kicks out 450bhp; peak power is likely to reach around 530bhp for the DBS. Power is sent to the rear axle via a six-speed Graziano manual. The rear track is widened by 40mm to handle the extra power, while ceramic brakes make their Aston debut to rein in the additional performance. Expect the DB9's 4.7sec 0-60mph sprint to be cut, thanks to the extra power and decreased weight. Aston could save up to 200kg, by using even more lightweight materials and stripping out kit such as the occasional rear seats. Expect the carbonfibre theme to continue inside the cabin. The price for the ultimate DB9? Expect to pay at least £160,000.