Aston Martin DBS Touchtronic
Can auto box complete flagship Aston package?
The DBS is the ultimate expression of the unique Aston Martin blend of power, style and beauty. The stunning performance, lively rear-wheel-drive layout and gorgeous exhaust note combine to make it a real supercar. Crucially, the Touchtronic box doesn’t ruin the experience, and its smooth shift action and decent manual control mean it’s well suited to this most mighty of Astons.
It’s the pinnacle of the Aston Martin line-up and the car of choice for James Bond. Now, for the first time, the stunning DBS can be ordered with the British firm’s new Touchtronic gearbox.
The automatic transmission is essentially the same as found in 90 per cent of DB9 models, but it has been reworked to suit the sporty nature of the 6.0-litre V12-engined flagship.
And the result is impressive. When driven in automatic mode, the DBS is easy to live with in traffic and copes well with low-speed manoeuvring.
Switch to manual, and it’s an involving experience – the steering wheel-mounted paddles offer excellent control and a lovely throttle blip on each change down. Upshifts are 15 per cent faster than in the standard DB9; if you press the Sport button, they are 25 per cent quicker.
What’s more, the Touchtronic features a shorter final drive ratio than the manual DBS, so despite being 30kg heavier, it rockets from 0-100mph in the same time – 9.4 seconds. Not only that, emissions drop from 388g/km to 367g/km, while combined fuel economy rises from 17.2mpg to 18.2mpg.
The handling is still no match for a Ferrari 599 GTB, though. While there’s lots of grip, the steering doesn’t offer much feel and the adaptive suspension is vague in normal mode, and too stiff in Sport.
But as Aston Martin has just doubled production from 500 to 1,000 cars a year, there doesn’t appear to be a shortage of demand. And even with the £3,000 price premium over the manual variant, it’s no surprise that bosses are predicting the Touchtronic will account for 75 per cent of DBS orders.