2012 Aston Martin DBS Volante Exlusive Review

The  2012 Aston Martin DBS Volante experience is not just about driving, handling and performance. Sophisticated packaging ensures breathtaking simplicity and elegance of form. The hood combines outstanding craftsmanship with skilled engineering, ensuring every last detail, inside and out, works swiftly and efficiently. Functionalism has never looked so good. Like the Coupe, the DBS Volante’s performance is supported by Aston Martin’s advanced safety systems. Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) ensures power is delivered smoothly and efficiently, while enhanced braking aids provide exceptional stopping ability, regardless of the conditions. The rigid VH structure, in conjunction with an advanced safety system that includes deployable roll over bars on the Aston Martin DBS Volante, provides an enhanced level of occupant protection.

An Aston Martin is about style and elegance, and nowhere is this more evident than in the DBS’s
cabin, with its supportive seats, deep centre console and rich palette of luxurious finishes. This fusion of high technology and skilful craft is opened to the world once the Aston Martin DBS Volante’s hood is stowed quietly and quickly beneath its metal tonneau cover. The clear, crisp graphics, preciseoperation of the controls and beautiful finish make the interior of the DBS a very special place to be. The centre console is a blend of analogue instruments and digital technology, including an advanced audio system, Apple iPod connector and satellite navigation, regulated by controls fashioned from solid, turned aluminium.

The unique leather saddle is a luxurious accessory. Handmade by a master saddle maker, it combines lightness and durability with elegance and practicality, including compartments for CDs, maps, guidebooks, etc to provide additional secure storage. Specially handcrafted by Jaeger-LeCoultre, this elegant watch is available as an accessory to Aston Martin DBS owners, the AMVOX2 DBS Transponder was the first mechanical timepiece to operate not only as a chronograph but also as the key to an Aston Martin. An engineering masterpiece in miniature, its beauty and functionality stand as testament to the inspiration and expertise of the partnership that created it. Please contact your Aston Martin dealer for details on the full range of Aston Martin DBS Volante options and accessories.

The 2012 Aston Martin DBS Volante was developed as the ultimate expression of Aston Martin’s engineering and technical ability. The need for high-performance stability, handling ability and low kerb weight defined the car’s form and construction. The DBS was the first production Aston Martin to make extensive use of ultra-light carbon-fibre body panels. Its high levels of performance and control are delivered by the combination of inherent light weight, near-perfect weight distribution, a supremely powerful and flexible V12 engine, and a performance-honed six speed transmission, together with carbon ceramic brakes and an adaptive damper controlled suspension system. The 6.0-litre V12 engine is the heart of the DBS. The LMP1 and DBR9 race cars are powered by an enhanced version of this same V12, tuned to produce in excess of 600 bhp. The shared powerplant continues the strong link between Aston Martin’s road and race cars, just as the six-cylinder powerplant used in the DBR1 also powered the DB4, DB5 and DB6 in the 1950s and ’60s.

Like all current Aston Martin sports car powerplants, the engine is hand-assembled at Aston Martin’s dedicated engine facility in Cologne, Germany. The classic 6.0-litre V12 features a number of power-increasing enhancements. These include a ‘by-pass’ engine air intake port that opens above 5500 rpm to allow more air into the engine, and re-profiled air inlet ports that further improve airflow into the combustion chamber. Combined with a compression ratio of 10.9:1, the result of these enhancements is prodigious power and torque: the DBS delivers 380 kW (510 bhp/517 PS) at 6500 rpm. The short final-drive ratio ensures that the additional power is usable, enhancing in-gear acceleration in particular.

A true sports car has to be light and well balanced. A lightweight, rigid structure is the design engineer’s ultimate goal, and achieving the right balance between strength and mass is crucial. Like the DB9 and its sibling DBR9 and DBRS9 race cars, the DBS uses Aston Martin’s class-leading all-alloy VH (Vertical Horizontal) architecture, a lightweight bonded aluminium structure that provides outstanding strength and rigidity. Aston Martin’s engineers have also employed advanced materials and processes to further reduce weight and increase the DBS’s performance and dynamics.

A key feature is the extensive use of carbonfibre body panels, as in the DBR race cars.In the case of the Aston Martin DBS Volante and DBS Coupe, carbon-fibre panels are used for the boot enclosure, boot lid, door opening surrounds, front wings and bonnet, giving a saving of some 30 kg over more conventional materials without any reduction in strength. ‘There are no restrictions on form or shape in using carbon-fibre,’ says Marek Reichman, Aston Martin’s Design Director, ‘and the material allowed us to wrap bodywork around the 20” wheels and maintain the precise relationship between the wheel and the bodywork.’ Each panel has been carefully sculpted to direct the airflow around the car, into the engine and to help cool the braking system; the DBS body work is a harmonious composition of flowing, muscular forms. The carbon-fibre elements are produced using advanced manufacturing techniques developed from the aerospace and motorsport industries.

The new panel-making procedure also delivers an industry-leading surface finish, thanks to a patented ‘Surface Veil’ process. The application of a 200-micron layer of epoxy and glass to the panel delivers a class-A surface that is in line with Aston Martin’s tradition of high-quality finishes. Inside the car, the weave patterns on the exposed carbon-fibre elements have been carefully selected to present the most harmonious surfaces. Light weight, and the distribution of that weight, is essential to the dynamics of any Aston Martin DBS sports car, affecting almost every aspect of its performance. As with the DB9 and DBR race cars, the Aston Martin DBS benefits from the inherent characteristics of the VH platform architecture. The VH underframe consists of pressed, extruded and cast aluminium components, bonded together to create an immensely strong underlying structure, while the DBS’s external body panels are manufactured from lightweight carbon-fibre, composite and aluminium.


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