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Aston Martin on Roids

James Bond's last ride has finally made it to Queensland. Described as a DB9 on steroids, the DBS was unveiled at the Sunshine Aston Martin dealership at Southport, Queensland's sole outlet for the brand, last week.

Four DBS vehicles have been sold and the dealership's next allocation is not expected until late next year.

The DBS is the car which made a fleeting but record-breaking appearance in the last 007 film, Casino Royale in 2006.

The production version made its global debut at the famed Concours d'Elegance at Pebble Beach in California last year.

In the movie the car made a cameo appearance — on screen for a matter of seconds — but it made an impact and entered The Guinness Book of World Records by rolling seven times in the air before it crashed.

The road car is one rung down from the DBR9 sports car, a rocket ship which won the GT1 class at the Le Mans 24-hour last year at the hands of Australian David Brabham, Rickard Rydell and Darren Turner.

For $520,000 fully optioned including all on-road costs you get the most technological Aston ever built, full of space-age materials and lashings of carbon fibre.

Under the V-shaped bonnet, which can be lifted with your little finger, hides a 6-litre V12 that screams to 6500rpm and maxes out at 380kW of power and 570Nm of torque.

Acceleration is not for the weak-kneed as it tackles the 0-100km/h measurement in a supercar-qualifying 4.3 seconds.

There is carbon throughout the car, including the front wing lip, the rear diffuser, the wing mirror joins and door surrounds that amount to a considerable slimming of overall weight.

A complex Adaptive Damping System uses two valves to adjust the dampers to five different settings.

The DBS is shod with specially developed Pirelli P-Zero 20-inch rubber.

Huge brakes made of a carbon/ceramic composite are 12.5kg lighter than conventional materials.

Up to 300 have been earmarked for global production.

Sunshine Aston Martin sales manager Chris von Oppeln says the super sports coupe has attracted a wide demographic group.

“The demographics on the Gold Coast vary from property developers, medical people, earth-movers, horse breeders and those from the mining industry,” he said.

The next challenge for the Southport Aston Martin dealership is the arrival, possibly in late 2009 or early 2010, of the Rapide four-door super saloon.

“We have had an enormous amount of interest in the Rapide,” von Oppeln said.

“It will bring in people who have not previously considered an Aston.”

A convertible version, the DBS Volante, was captured in development testing in Europe earlier this year.

Footnote: The first Aston Martin DBS was born in 1967 and two years later starred in the Bond movie On Her Majesty's Secret Service, driven by Aussie George Lazenby.



Aston Martin DBS

Body: 2-seat coupe made from bonded aluminium VH structure

Engine: all-alloy quad overhead cam 48-valve 6-litre V12

Layout: front mid-mounted engine, rear-wheel-drive

Power: 380kW @ 6500rpm

Torque: 570Nm @ 5750rpm

0-100km/h: 4.3secs

Max speed: 302km/h

Transmission: rear-mid-mounted 6-speed manual

Wheels: 8.5x20-inch (front), 11x20-inch (rear)

Tyres: Pirelli P Zero 245/35 (front), 295/30 (rear)

Steering: rack and pinion with servotronic speed-sensitive power assist, 3 turns lock-to-lock

Suspension: independent double wishbone (front), independent double wishbone (rear)

Dimensions (mm): 4721 (l), 1905 (w), 1280 (h), 2740 (wheelbase)

Brakes: 398mm ventilated carbon ceramic discs with six-piston calipers (front), 360mm ventilated carbon ceramic discs with four-piston calipers (rear)

Price: $466,600 (list price), $520,000 (optioned and on road)


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