|Aston Martin DBS V12|
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Aston Martin will unveiled one of the most eagerly anticipated cars of the year when the new DBS is revealed at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance on August 16th, where the company took a starring role as the featured marque. Aston Martin Chief Executive Officer, Dr Ulrich Bez, said: "The DBS is the ultimate expression of Aston Martin's engineering and technical ability. It offers pure performance without compromise. The DBS delivers the complete driving experience and bridges the gap between our road and track cars - the DB9 and DBR9."
Equally at home on a twisting mountain circuit as on the open road, the DBS is a true thoroughbred. The Aston Martin DBS is a 6.0-litre V12 powered, race-bred, two-seater shaped by the aerodynamic demands of high performance, with an exquisite interior that marries beautifully hand-finished materials with the very latest in performance technology. A combination of elegant design, innovative manufacturing processes, race-derived materials and components and Aston Martin's unrivalled hand-build expertise makes the DBS a luxury sports car without equal. Every line, crease and curve conveys the enormous potential of the DBS, a seductive blend of refinement and raw power, provided by the hand-built V12 producing 380kW (510bhp/517PS), a top speed of 191mph (302km/h) and a 0-62mph (0-100km/h) time of 4.3 seconds.
The DBS is manufactured using the finest materials, with a combination of hand-finishing and pioneering high-technology processes. From the exceptional quality of the design and finish to the advanced production techniques employed to save weight and create strength, the DBS is both a technological masterpiece and a powerful visual and tactile experience, inside and out.
The DBS is the culmination of the DB bloodline, a synthesis of race-bred technology and road-going practicality that can be traced back to the iconic DB2, DB3S and DB4GT, and is continued today with the DBR9 and DBRS9 race cars. The DBS's powerful, flowing form fuses the visual language of the DBR9 GT1 race car with the innate elegance of the DB series. Lower and tauter than other Aston Martin production models, the DBS has subtly flared wheel arches accommodating standard 20" diameter wheels and tyres. These provide excellent stability and grip, while giving the car a muscular and athletic stance that evokes the DBR9 and DBRS9. The design process involved continuous revision and honing of the DBS's surfaces, ensuring that the shapes and forms represent perfectly the car's inherent power, while never diluting the fundamental proportions that are the essence of every Aston Martin.
The external detailing reflects the power and dynamic abilities of the DBS, with revised inlets and enlarged grilles that deliver more air into the engine and increase its cooling capacity. Subtle design details include a new five-bar design for the polished alloy main grille, as well as two additional vents in the enlarged power bulge on the carbon-fibre bonnet. These vents are entirely functional, improving engine performance and efficiency, yet also communicating the increased power output of the uprated V12 engine.
The need for high-performance stability, handling ability and low kerb weight defined the DBS's form and construction. Accordingly, the DBS becomes the first production Aston Martin to make extensive use of ultra-light carbon-fibre body panels. 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 new carbon ceramic brakes and an adaptive damper controlled suspension system.
At the heart of the DBS is a 6.0-litre V12 engine. The DBR9 and DBRS9 race cars are powered by an enhanced version of this same V12, tuned to produce in excess of 600bhp. The shared powerplant continues the strong link between Aston Martin's road and race cars, just as the six-cylinder engine used in the DBR1 also powered the DB4, DB5 and DB6 in the 1950s and 60s.
As with all current Aston Martins, 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 5500rpm 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 380kW (510bhp/517PS) at 6500rpm. The 3.71:1 final-drive ratio ensures that the additional power is usable, enhancing in-gear acceleration in particular.
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.
Carbon-fibre panels are used for the boot enclosure, boot lid, door opening surrounds, front wings and bonnet, giving a saving of some 30kg 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 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-best 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.
As with the DB9 and DBR race cars, the Aston Martin DBS benefits from the inherent characteristics of the VH architecture. The VH underframe consists of pressed, extruded and cast aluminium components, bonded together to create an immensely strong underlying structure.
This structure means that weight is kept to a minimum, with the front-mid mounted engine and rear-mid mounted transaxle ensuring a near perfect weight distribution: 85% of the car's weight is positioned within its wheelbase. The DBS's polar moment of inertia is therefore very low, producing a car with natural agility, a strong, stable platform for the V12's high power output and an exhilarating driving experience.
To take full advantage of its extremely precise and rigid platform, the DBS employs a new and sophisticated Adaptive Damping System (ADS) which uses two separate valves to set the dampers to five different positions, allowing instant adjustment of the car's ride and handling characteristics. The ADS automatically alters the suspension settings to ensure the driver has high levels of control at all times, with the ability to respond instantly to different driving conditions. The dampers can be 'softer', with a corresponding improvement in ride quality, or 'firm', providing improved body control for more spirited driving.
The car's braking system features another innovation, the first time Carbon Ceramic Matrix (CCM) brakes have been used on a road-going Aston Martin. The end result is shorter stopping distances with excellent resistance to fade in even the most demanding driving conditions. CCM brakes are also some 12.5kg lighter than a conventional system, reducing the weight of the car overall and, in particular, the unsprung weight and rotational masses, further enhancing the performance of the suspension.
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