An evening with Aston – Autoweek

13 Feb 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on An evening with Aston – Autoweek
Aston Martin DBS

An evening with Aston

The Aston Martin DBS Carbon Edition is a limited edition of the Aston Martin DBS. Photo by David Arnouts.

The rear badge of the Aston Martin DBS Carbon Edition. Photo by David Arnouts.

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Even in the business of driving and reviewing cars across a huge range of prices and power levels, when you get the keys to a $290,000 hand-built 510-hp supercar, there are some expectations involved.

Your boss wants a good story but pleads with you to bring the car back in one piece. The car’s insurer concurs, as an agent anxiously rocks back and forth, curled up in the fetal position in the corner of his office waiting for #8220;that call.#8221;

For myself, I expected little more than a warm summer night in the 2012 Aston Martin DBS Carbon Edition, tooling around metro Detroit#8212;maybe a nice dinner out. But in any case, a welcome vacation from sitting at home.

That and maybe hordes of women helplessly throwing themselves at me (the car) at every corner, despite my fiancйe’s objections.

She and I took the DBS out for dinner and a cruise, mostly to play rich for a night. Of course, I had to choose an outdoor dining facility in downtown Plymouth, Mich. so that I could keep an eye on the car.

Pulling into the parking lot required more care than when driving, say, a Ford Escape. The Aston requires some geometry and trigonometry to get the entry angle for any kind of an incline or decline just right and avoid scraping the front end. I managed to park the car without damage or face-palm moments.

I honestly couldn’t tell you what we had for dinner. But I can tell you that we couldn’t wait for dinner to be over. It was a challenge not to devour our food Dyson-like and jump back in the car for a drive.

But we composed ourselves and I suppressed my excitement until it was time to go.

On the street, even when you can see the car, most often it is the sound that really gets you first, contrary to what an acoustician would say. The angry growl of this V12 cannot be mistaken for the noise that trickles from a more common engine. The low, hollow rumble is distinctly crisp and unusual enough to be distinguishable as special, even to the most uninformed pedestrian.

Even from the inside, the sound can be all-encompassing when you so desire. It’s easy to lose yourself in the Aston.

After dinner, I happened to come upon a bright orange#8212;Arancio, to be exact#8212;Lamborghini LP560-4 Gallardo parked conspicuously in front of another outdoor-dining facility. I immediately pulled in behind it to get a better look.

As I walked up to inspect the Lamborghini, immersed in my own automotive Nirvana, I was blissfully unaware of the stares.

Once I peeled myself away and returned to the Aston, my fiancй pointed out the crowd of people once again, staring, pointing, taking pictures and commenting on the presence of two very special cars. It turns out that half a million dollars’ worth of exotica parked nose-to-tail on the street#8212;purely by chance#8212;is enough to interrupt quite a few people’s dinner and drinks, albeit for just a moment.

Aston Martin DBS

Back inside the Aston, the interior is what one would expect for the price tag. The seats are comfortable, supportive and clad in leather that has a distinctive high-price feel. It smells like a Coach store.

The back seat however, is comical#8212;strictly a conversation piece. #8220;You can fit people back there?#8221; one observer jokingly asked. So, don’t expect any passengers of the bipedal-Homo Sapien variety to fit in the rear seats.

From behind the Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel you can tailor the drive-style and suspension settings to your liking. Whether you want to try to re-create some childhood racing fantasy or just go for a cruise with power to spare, it’s all there at your fingertips.

For my ailing back, the Sport suspension setting was too aggressive, and I left the ‘Comfort Sport’ selected for 99 percent of my evening. It provided a nice ride and should still allow the average driver to successfully navigate the doldrums of commuter traffic with a smile.

As is the case with many V12s, this engine emits a ton of heat. Just sitting at a red light with the windows down, arms out enjoying the experience, you can feel it toasting your skin and watch the heat vapors rise through the#8212;thankfully#8212;functional hood louvers. But seriously, it’s a monster V12.

They do this sort of thing. As far as running hot, the car never missed a beat and always maintained normal operating temperature on the inside, even while putzing through congested highways and city streets.

It isn’t perfect, though. The main issue is the exhaust bypass valve that keeps the decibels down at low revs. Believe it or not, the car has a reasonably subtle exhaust tone below the 5,000 rpm mark.

That valve needs to be open all the time in this writer’s opinion. Riveted open. Removed entirely.

Do you know how hard it is trying to drive around above 5,000 rpm without breaking every speed limit in town?

The other issue is the Aston’s home-sized price-tag. I’m not saying this car isn’t worth its asking price. But I seriously doubt my bank would let me take a 30-year fixed mortgage out on it. But, it’s only a problem because I can’t currently afford it.

If, on the other hand, you have the means, the 2012 Aston Martin DBS Carbon Edition is definitely a justifiable end.

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Aston Martin DBS
Aston Martin DBS
Aston Martin DBS
Aston Martin DBS
Aston Martin DBS
Aston Martin DBS
Aston Martin DBS
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