Aston Martin’s 2013 DBS Coming, with 550 hp

April 30th, 2012

Aston Martin 0ne-77, front

You cannot put 550 hp in a car without paying the closest attention to its other systems—in other words, steering, braking, handling, suspension, weight, etc. That is obvious, and that is why the 662-hp Mustang Shelby GT500 is a bad joke, even at its $55k price.

The horsepower wars are typically American, kind of like trying to pack the most calories into a Big Mac. Adding more bacon and cheese doesn’t make the meat any better.

Aston Martin’s much-revised 2013 DBS is supposedly based (in styling, at least) on the One-77 supercar shown above. That V12 beast has 750 hp, which, you can be sure, will be perfectly applied to the ground.

The more-or-less custom-built One-77 (only 77 cars built, now sold out) began around $1.5 million. The present DBS starts at $275K. You simply cannot achieve anything close to that kind of performance for $55K. Aston Martin hasn’t released prices yet and has said very little on what the 2013 DBS will cost.

2012 Aston Martin DBS Coupe

2012 Aston Martin DBS coupe

We do know that the transmission will likely be upgraded to a new ZF 8-speed, and the manual will probably be dropped. The engine will be tweaked from the present 6-liter V12 to give it a 40-hp boost. The interior is also to be upgraded, possibly along One-77 lines.

Contrary to taking the Ford/Camaro approach, you cannot build cars like this by using mass-market techniques for people who just want to go fast. And you cannot build cars like this without racing experience.

Carroll Shelby was on his way to something great with the GT-40, but he got corrupted with the Mustang. Aston has, it claims, “90 years of success on road and track” which it has “distilled into a high-performance sports car.” I believe ’em.

Carroll started as a sports-car tuner, and that is basically the approach he and Ford have taken with the Mustang. Cars like the DBS are built and rebuilt from the ground up.

Have I offended all you Mustang fans? Good, defend yourselves.

—jgoods

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  1. Randy
    | #1

    Your article is all the more ironic since Shelby was a factory driver for Aston Martin (as well as Maserati and Austin Healy) in is racing days. In many ways, the Mustang brought an end to Carrol’s true racing era, going from being the US importer of the AC sports car (which he named the Cobra) to being a Mustang pimper who created a whole dynasty of overpowered, poor handling American smog monsters. I remember his association with Chrysler (he met Lee Iacoca at Ford) and that produced some of the most embarassing “performance” cars ever made, like a nasty little Dodge Omni and disturbing Shelby Lancer. I don’t think real performance enthusiasts have taken Shelby seriously since the Cobra and GT-40, and he’s been since been reduced to selling his name to put on monstrosities like the new Mustang.

    As for the Aston, what are they thinking? They replaced the graceful, extremely iconic Aston grille with a huge, gaping Japanese bug catcher, which totally ruins the beauty of the car.

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