Aston Martin DBS successor will mark firm’s 100th anniversary

Article by Anita Panait, on June 11, 2012

Aston Martin will soon unveil a new vehicle that will replace the flagship line of DBS cars. According to Michael van der Sande, Aston Martin’s chief commercial officer, the carmaker will soon make an announcement about the new vehicle, which will start production at the end of the year.

Van der Sande teased that the prototype car that Aston Martin presented at Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este in Italy last month may provide a preview of "something that might be to come." 

According to van der Sande, the new vehicle is in celebration of the company’s 100th anniversary and spells Aston Martin’s new direction in terms of design and technology. Aston Martin will rely on its new models to be able to compete against rivals Lamborghini and Ferrari in luxury sports car sales.

According to van der Sander, the new vehicle is important to Aston Martin because it is among the carmaker’s more mainstream models, which are priced from about GBP80,000 to GBP200,000, says Autonews.

Meanwhile, Aston Martin is planning to prop up its dealership network in China after falling behind other carmakers in the country.

Van der Sander revealed that Aston Martin is seeking to reduce the gap with other luxury sports car brands in China after founding a wholly owned unit in the country in 2011. He added that Aston Martin is planning to double the number of dealers in China in the next six to 12 months, after tripling the number from three to nine in 2011.

Aston Martin periodically builds limited-edition vehicles like the GBP1.38 million One-77 supercar and the GBP330,000 Zagato.

That the Aston Martin DBS is able to display an exceptional performance is mainly owed to the 6.0-liter V12 engine. A modified version of this engine is fitted inside the DBR9 race car and the DBRS9 race car and tweaked in order to deliver at least 600 hp. This is proof that the brand has continued its practice of sharing a powerplant between its race cars and that of its road cars.

The same thing was done with the DBR1 and its six-cylinder engine. During the 1950s and all the way to the 1960s, this same engine was equipped inside various cars like the DB4, the DB5, and even the DB6. While the race car version did have some adjustments done to it, this does not mean that 6.0-liter V12 engine in the DBS did not get the same treatment.

A good example of this is the engine air intake “by-pass” port which opens when the rpm reaches at least 5,500. With this, the engine is able to get access to more air. In addition, Aston Martin also re-profiled the air inlet ports and this enhanced the air flow that goes to the combustion chamber. Add in the 10.9:1 compression ratio and we all know where this combination is leading to.

No wonder the engine is able to deliver 510 bhp (380 kW/517 PS) available at 6,500 rpm. Final-drive ratio meanwhile is at 3.7:1, meaning that any extra power can be immediately used as it enhanced the in-gear acceleration. The performance could be expected if one realizes that when developing the DBS, Aston Martin made sure to keep in mind three important details which are having a low kerb weight, offering exceptional handling ability, and displaying high-performance stability.

As a result, the DBS is the first Aston Martin production model to widely use ultra-light carbon fiber for the body panels. To guarantee the performance level and control, the brand made a good use of a combination of a number of factors. These included a flexible and powerful V12 engine, six-speed transmission tuned for performance, almost perfect weight distribution, light weight, adaptive damper controlled suspension system, and carbon ceramic brakes.

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