The age of extinction is very nearly upon us. This, the latest special edition from Aston Martin, is a chance to celebrate the passing era, a time when dinosaurs well and truly ruled the Earth. Consider the Aston Martin DBS as the T-Rex of the combustion-powered epoch. When it debuted back in 2018 as the DBS Superleggera, it was the undisputed flagship of the Aston Martin range (a position it has subsequently given over to the Valkyrie hypercar and its successor, the Valhalla), a ferocious beast that commanded respect and awe in equal measure.
A lot has changed. Five years is a long time in the motor industry, especially one undergoing budget purges, market shifts, sales upheavals, and a technological revolution. In that time, Aston’s ownership has shifted into the hands of Canadian fashion billionaire Lawrence Stroll, global crises have come, gone and stayed, and the legislative march against combustion engines has continued its steady, implacable advance. 2023 also marks Aston Martin’s 110th year. And the end of the line for the DBS.
Aston Martin DBS 770 Ultimate
The Aston Martin DBS might be antediluvian, but it won’t have any shortage of admirers. It is powered by the company’s massive V12 – constantly uprated and refined but still as ideologically awkward as a wood-burning stove. The DBS Ultimate delivers 770PS (hence the name) and claims to be the most powerful production Aston Martin ever made (the Valkyrie, which puts out over 1,150PS, is a more bespoke, hand-built affair). Just 499 Ultimates will be made – 300 coupés and 199 Volantes – and Aston says the order books have already closed.
The DBS represents the ur-form of the front-engined supercar, with a long bonnet and a sweeping, fluid belt line that rises from the front grill to just above the rear wheel arches. Relatively subtle changes have been made to the charmingly brutish styling, including a large horseshoe-shaped vent in the bonnet. Carbon fibre is everywhere, inside and out, and there are multi-spoke 21in wheels in three different finishes.
Even though there’s stiffer suspension, recalibrated suspension, and more accurate steering, the Ultimate should ride just as well as its predecessors. The supremely comfortable interior is starting to show its age, not difficult in this era of rapidly evolving screens and interfaces. This is offset by a deluge of hand-finished elements, from quilted leather to hand-stitched seats, and Alcantara and carbon-fibre finished surfaces.
Regardless of whether you drive the open or closed DBS, it is one of the all-time great GT cars, a machine that makes an event of every journey. Granted, it is big (and thirsty, and noisy), but no one ever drove an Aston Martin to melt into the crowd. Likewise, the noise made when undertaking the 3.2 second sprint to 62mph will be as far from the silent thrust of the EV as can possibly be imagined. What on earth will this automotive centenarian do next?
AstonMartin.com (opens in new tab)
Jonathan Bell has written for Wallpaper* magazine since 1999, covering everything from architecture and transport design to books, tech and graphic design. He is now the magazine’s Transport and Technology Editor. Jonathan has written and edited 15 books, including Concept Car Design, 21st Century House, and The New Modern House. He is also the host of Wallpaper’s first podcast.
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