Aston Martin DBS Carbon Edition
Aston Martin continues to slice its manufacturing up into a series of highly specialised niches, ensuring that every possible taste and whim is catered for. From a solid core underpinned by a hugely flexible chassis, you can have your Aston in a dizzying variety of sizes and specifications, a kind of automotive tailoring service. As a result, the current range is broad but nicely balanced, with everything from out-and-out sports car to powerful grand tourer, book-ended by the Cygnet city car and the £1.2m One-77.
Now we have the new DBS Carbon Edition, the latest - and priciest - version of the evergreen sporting GT. As the name suggests, the new model is characterised by an increased reliance on ultra-light, ultra-strong carbon fibre.
Unlike its (very) big sibling, the One-77, the DBS's chassis is aluminium, rather than a vast great carbon tub (a bespoke item that accounts for a sizeable chunk of the supercar's sticker price). Instead, the DBS uses carbon sparingly, inside and out, on elements like the wing mirror, dashboard, rear light cluster and front splitter.
It's a tricky balancing act. Although carbon fibre has a certain sci-fi techno quality, just like metal gratings, neon tubes and stainless steel, as a result it also carries with it a faint whiff of naffness. Some car makers - who shall remain nameless - even scatter bits of fake carbon fibre around their cabins in an attempt to up their sporting appearance.
Even worse, perhaps, are the specialist tuners who will turn your Aston, Bentley, Ferrari, etc, etc, into a mobile showcase of carbon fibre's worst excesses, all the while charging you a small fortune. Miraculous it may be, but CF is not exactly the aesthete's choice.
But use it right, and you get something like the DBS Carbon edition. It helps that the car starts out as fundamentally well-sorted, visually and dynamically, as any sports car on the market. The real world weight savings are minimal, but such is the car's verve, composure and drivability that it frankly matters not.
In conclusion, the Carbon Edition is everything an Aston Martin should be, finished to perfection, comfortable and cosseting, yet also capable of delivering enormous power when the occasion demands.