With its fantastic V12 engine and beautifully finished cabin, driving a DBS is always special. The Carbon Edition doesn’t get any mechanical upgrades, so it’s no better to drive, but there is extra visual impact thanks to all the carbon trim, plus the optional Flame Orange paint job. The DBS was pricey in the first place, though, and this Carbon Edition adds £5,770 to the total. It’s still a fabulous car, though.
It's been over five years since the Aston Martin DBS announced its arrival with an explosive barrel roll in the James Bond film Casino Royale. Now, to maintain interest in the coupe, a range of special editions has started to appear. We drove the Carbon Black in June 2010, but the Carbon Edition has now taken its place.
At £186,582 for the Coupe or £196,581 for the Volante, it’s the most expensive Aston ever, not counting the ultra-exclusive £1.2million One-77, of course. So can it justify the huge price?
It’s a relatively familiar shape these days, but the DBS is still a stunning piece of car design. Aggressive and elegant at the same time, it oozes class and still turns heads wherever it goes. The Carbon Edition can be ordered in two new colours: the eye-catching Flame Orange shown in our pictures, or a less extroverted Ceramic Grey. Every example gets seven paint coats and a 25-hour hand polish to give it a breathtaking depth of colour and shine.
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A carbon fibre finish is added to the wing mirrors, front spoiler, diffuser and rear light clusters, while there are carbon brake discs and orange calipers behind the 20-inch, 10-spoke alloys. The carbon fibre theme continues inside, with the centre console covered in carbon weave and carbon scuff plates on the door sills. The quilted leather roof lining is opulent in the extreme, but it helps to make the interior feel special.
Functionality has also been improved– with the infuriating old pop-up Volvo sat-nav gone in favour of much clearer Garmin software.
Astons are built to be driven, not looked at, and the Carbon Edition uses the same 510bhp 6.0-litre V12 as the standard car, with a six-speed semi-auto box.
With 510bhp and a 4.3-second 0-62mph time, the DBS is nowhere near as fast as the £71,950 Nissan GT-R – which does 0-62mph in 2.8 seconds – or as powerful as Ferrari’s £212,066 612bhp 599 GTB.
But on icy roads around Aston Martin’s Gaydon HQ, it still demanded respect. Once the engine gets into its stride above 4,000rpm, there’s an intense rush of acceleration. Well weighted steering, strong brakes and a great noise all add up to a memorable driving experience, but the car still feels more suited to long-distance cruising than attacking corners at full pelt.
The DBS offers an intoxicating mix of power and luxury, and the Carbon Edition adds exclusivity. The problem is price – at this level, there are more capable alternatives to the ageing Aston.