The Aston Martin DBS V12 is a high performance GT sports car from the UK manufacturer Aston Martin. Aston has used the DBS name once before on their 1967-72 grand tourer coupe. The modern car replaces the 2004 Aston Martin Vanquish S as the flagship of the marque. It was officially unveiled at the 2007 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance on 2007-08-16 and delivery began on 2008 Q1.
The DBS V12 was first seen in the 2006 James Bond film Casino Royale, the first film in which Bond was played by Daniel Craig, as a result of a product placement deal with Aston Martin's parent company at the time, Ford. The car would go on to appear in Quantum of Solace (2008), as well as the video-games Blood Stone (2010), 007 Legends (2012) and the DLC Best of Bond Car (2018).
The DBS is equipped with 5935 cc V12 engine with four valves per cylinder. The same engine is also used in the DBR9 and DBRS9 racing cars albeit with extensive modifications. The engine of the DBS produces 510 horsepower (380 kW) at 6500 rpm and 570 N·m (420 lb·ft) of torque @ 5750 rpm with a compression ratio of 10.9:1. The engine also includes an active bypass valve which above 5500 rpm opens and lets more air into the engine resulting in increased performance and propels the car from 0-62 mph in 4.3 seconds and has a maximum speed of 191 mph (307 km/h) and 183 mph (295 km/h) with TOUCHTRONIC 2’ transmission. In 2007, the British motoring show Top Gear sent the DBS around their famous test track and recorded a lap time of 1:23.9; 3.2 seconds faster than its predecessor the Vanquish S, and a second faster than the comparable Bentley Continental Supersports.
Aston Martin uses the same VH (vertical horizontal) structure as with the DB9, which provides strength and rigidity to the whole car. Thanks to the structure, 85% of the weight of the car is kept between the wheelbase, which results in increased handling, responsiveness and feel during tight cornering.
Aston Martin has also developed an Adaptive Damping System, or ADS, which alters the suspension in order for the car to cope with the driver's desires and road/weather conditions. When turned on, the ADS automatically alters the suspension settings to ensure the driver has high levels of control at all times. Apart from the suspension getting stiffer, throttle and braking response is increased and steering is sharpened. The DBS is fitted with Pirelli P-Zero tyres developed especially for the car, along with lightweight, aluminium 20" wheels. To keep the weight as low as possible, Aston Martin has made extensive use of carbon fibre throughout the whole car. The bonnet, the boot, the front wings and the door opening surrounds are all made of carbon fibre. The carpets are also made by special thin layers made from carbon fibre. The roof and the doors are made of aluminium. The result is a 30 kg (66 lb) weight reduction from a regular DB9. The car is also fitted with a carbon fibre splitter at the front wings to increase handling and a carbon fibre rear diffuser to increase high-speed stability.
The brake discs are carbon ceramic, which shaves a significant 12.5 kg (28 lb) from the unsprung weight. At the front, there are 398 mm (15.7 in) ventilated and drilled brakes with 6-piston alloy monobloc callipers. At the back, there are 360 mm (14.2 in) ventilated and drilled brakes with 4-piston alloy monobloc callipers.
The interior of a DBS is a blend of carbon fibre, alcantara leather, wood, stainless steel and aluminium surfaces. The seats are made from semi-aniline and Alcantara leather and both bear the DBS signature with an optional 2+2 seating configuration. The door panels are carbon fibre and the fascia is, as standard, matrix alloy and iridium silver centre console or, as an optional extra, piano black fascia and centre console. To achieve even greater weight savings, the carpet has a special lightweight weave. The car is started by means of the "Emotion Control Unit", which was initially developed especially for the DBS but as of 2008 is available for the DB9 and V8 Vantage as well. The key is made from stainless steel and glass and is inserted into a special hole in the dashboard.
Bang & Olufsen has developed a 1000 watt sound system for the DBS which consists of 13 speakers located in 10 different locations throughout the cabin with an integrated Apple iPod connector.
James Bond's DBS V12
Aston Martin delivered two working ‘hero’ cars to the film. As well as the two ‘hero’ cars, Aston Martin had to prepare three former development DB9’s for use as DBS look-a-like stunt cars. Also a white prototype DB9 manual was supplied to the film crew so that the stunt drivers had something to practice with.
Due to the low centre of gravity of the vehicle, an 18-inch (450 mm) ramp had to be implemented on the road tarmac at Millbrook Proving Grounds and Adam Kirley, the stunt driver who performed the stunt, had to use an air cannon located behind the driver's seat to propel the car into a roll at the precise moment of impact. At a speed exceeding 70 mph (113 km/h), the car rotated seven times while being filmed, and was confirmed by the Guinness Book of Records on 5 November 2006 as a new world record.
Quantum of Solace was the last in Ford Motor's three-film deal that began with 2002's Die Another Day. Although Ford sold over 90% of the Aston Martin company in 2007, the Aston Martin DBS V12 returned for the film's pre-title car chase around Lake Garda; Dan Bradley was hired as second unit director because of his work on the second and third Bourne films, so the film would continue the gritty action style begun in Casino Royale. He had intended to use Ford GTs for the opening chase, but it was replaced by the Alfa Romeo 159. After location filming in Italy, further close-ups of Craig, the cars and the truck were shot at Pinewood against a bluescreen. Originally three Alfa Romeos were in the sequence: but Forster felt the scene was running too long and re-edited the scene so it only looked like two Romeos were chasing Bond.
Ten cars where supplied by Aston Martin. Six 'hero' cars ,needed for close-ups and promotional work, all survived filming unharmed with four more cars used for special effects and stunts. One of them was purchased by a fan.
In its first video game appearance the DBS was used by Bond to capture Mr. White at his estate. Used in the car chase of the opening credits and in a flashback to Casino Royale was used by Bond to save himself from being poisoned. It is damaged (off screen) during Bond's pursuit of Le Chiffre. Finally the last flashback was when Bond used it to track down Mr. White.
The DBS appeared in the video game, Blood Stone along with the DB5. Bond uses it to stop a suicide bomber from exploding at the Acropolis. It was used when Bond and Nicole purse Pomerov's train. Finally it was used when Bond chases Nicole.
The DBS made it's third video game appearance in 007 Legends. It is first seen in the Goldfinger mission when Bond tries to use it to escape Goldfinger's headquarters only for him to be held at gunpoint in the car by Mr. Ling. He manages to get rid of Mr. Ling by ejecting his seat and sending him flying out of the car. It appeared at the end of the On Her Majesty's Secret Service mission with Bond and Tracy driving it before she is killed. It appeared again in the Die Another Day mission driven by Bond and Jinx in the chase with Zao and pursing Gustav Graves' plane.
The DBS also appears in the James Bond's DLC of Forza Horizon 4 : Best of Bond Car.
- "Aston Martin DBS to star in new James Bond film", Aston Martin. Retrieved on 11 December 2007.
- Borys Kit. "Bradley tapped to aid Bond stunts", The Hollywood Reporter, 4 September 2007. Retrieved on 10 January 2008.
- Dan Bradley interview. Bourne Stunt Simulator. Retrieved on 16 January 2008.
- Moore, Malcolm. "James Bond filming suspended after third accident leaves stuntman in coma", The Daily Telegraph, 28 April 2008. Retrieved on 28 April 2008.
- Bill Desowitz. "A Quantum of VFX for James Bond", VFX World, 3 December 2008. Retrieved on 4 December 2008.
- Bill Dawes. "Back into Bondage", fxguide, 16 November 2008. Retrieved on 22 November 2008.
- John Naughton. "Spy Harder", GQ, November 2008, pp. 278–335.
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