Volkswagen Golf W12


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2009 Aston Martin DBS “Agent 007 is on the Mission”


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Base price: $274,350
Price as tested: $278,370
Vehicle layout: Front-engine, RWD, 2-pass, 2-door, coupe
Engine: 5.9L/510-hp/420-lb-ft DOHC 48-valve V-12
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Curb weight(dist f/r): 3949 lb (52/48%)
Wheelbase: 107.9 in
Length x width x height: 185.9 x 75.0 x 50.4 in
0-60 mph: 4.2 sec
Quarter mile, sec/mph: 12.6/112.3
Braking, 60-0 mph: 106 feet
Cornering: 0.96 g
MT figure eight: 24.8 sec/0.78 g avg
EPA city/hwy fuel econ: 12/18 mpg
CO2 emissions:1.37 lb/mi

It’s not unusual for Her Majesty’s Secret Servant to employ the same car in more than one movie. The iconic DB5 appeared in “Goldfinger” and “Thunderball,” so why not let 007 have another go at Aston’s freshened flagship, the DBS, for “Quantum of Solace?” For 2009, the DBS offers the optional availability of a six-speed automatic transaxle, 2+2 seating, a new 20-inch wheel package, and a Bang & Olufsen audio system.
The DBS shares its layout and architecture with the DB9, but is much sportier and differentiated enough to earn its own name. Available in coupe form only, its sinuous body is crafted of aluminum and carbon fiber. There’s no change underhood: 510 horsepower still boils out the same 5.9-liter V-12 the model was launched with in late 2007
This is our first track test of a DBS, and it has the goods to honor the badge on its bonnet. With a 0-to-60 time of 4.2 seconds, grip at 0.96 g, a 60-to-0 stopping distance of 106 feet, it’s the quickest, stickiest, and shortest-stopping Aston Martin we’ve ever tested. And it feels so good doing it. The engine whirs and warbles as only a V-12 can. There’s a ton of grip and good body control, yet the ride harshness isn’t over the top.
The new trans isn’t as responsive as the best dual-autoclutch units, but lets you be in command. In manual mode, there are no downshifts even when you floor it, and it will hold gears to redline (which unfortunately isn’t marked on the tach).

Aston Martin’s DBS walks a smart line between GT and sports car and is an eminently desirable piece. The new color, by the way, is named Quantum Silver, after the movie of a similar name.