As a GT car, the new DBS is flawless.
Grand Tourers (or GT cars) blend the best elements of a sports car with the comfort of a mainstream luxury car. A classic GT car bundles an engine at the front, drive going to the rear wheels, and seating for two with room for small children in the back. Some classic examples include the Ferrari Daytona, Jaguar XJS, and Porsche 928 while modern examples include the Bentley Continental GT, Ferrari GTC4Lusso, and Lexus LC 500. Since GT cars are often used for continent-crossing road trips, having one with lots of horsepower comes in handy to eat through those highway miles in a hurry.
In this regard, the 2020 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante fits perfectly within the GT mold and after spending a week with the car, we believe it picks up where the DB11 left off, offering the same luxurious experience now with supercar levels of power. Aston's latest flagship is comfortable, dynamic, techy where it needs to be, and crucially, it would be our first choice to cross a continent in a hurry. Here's why.
Modern supercars and sports cars have come a long way in offering enough comfort for everyday drivability but they still pale in comparison to GT cars. The Aston Martin DBS rides beautifully over rough surfaces without sacrificing performance. The car includes three modes for the suspension, which can be controlled independently of the drivetrain. We left the suspension in its softest GT Mode for most of the week but on smoother roads, we took advantage of the Sport and Sport Plus Modes to stiffen up the adaptive dampers.
Comfort is a key element of a GT but speed is perhaps even more important. Here, the DBS shines with a 5.2-liter twin-turbocharged V12 producing 715 horsepower. Even by 2020 standards, that is a ton of power yielding a 0-62 mph time of 3.6 seconds, 0-100 mph in 6.7 seconds, and a top speed of 211 mph. That 0-62 time is a bit misleading too, because the DBS struggles to put down its massive power. Once under way, the shove of the V12 comes on like a nuclear missile, allowing the DBS to cross entire continents in a hurry.
A comfortable ride and gobs of power would be completely useless if the interior forced you to hop out every two hours. Aston has given the DBS plush, 12-way adjustable seats with three-position memory, and heating/ventilation. These seats are comfortable enough for multi-hour highway sprints and even without a massage function, we never found them to feel tiresome. For an added touch of drama, Q Exclusive leather ($10,600) and Triaxial Quilting ($3,100) really jazz up the cabin. The back seats, on the other hand, should be reserved for small children or luggage.
The technology in the DBS is not the car's strong suit but an optional Bang & Olufsen BeoSound audio system does provide excellent sound quality. Aston charges $8,400 for the system but it does include a ton of speakers around the cabin including two pop-up tweeters that rise up from the dashboard. We doubt anyone will tire of listening to the hand-built V12's intoxicating exhaust note but when it is time for some tunes, the Bang & Olufsen system does not disappoint.
In GT Mode, the DBS is quiet and refined. We'd almost call it sleepy. It simply gives no indication that there is a 715-hp animal under the hood, ready to pounce. Place the car into Sport Plus Mode and the V12 will make your skin tingle. The steering offers a perfect balance of light-weight feel with precise feedback, which is perfect when it's time to hop off the highway and onto a winding road. The Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante is the perfect GT because it offers ultimate comfort when you want it and precision driving when you crave it. Oh, and the roof goes down so you can soak up some sun. It may cost $328,100 to start but they are called "dream cars" for a reason.