• Feb 4th 2009 at 11:58AM
  • 20
Click above for high-res image gallery of the Quantum of Solace DBS

Your English-manor-garden variety Aston Martin DBS has 510 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque. The 6.0-liter V12 that powers it will pull the coupe to 60 in 4.3 seconds. It costs $305,000, and it is a special car. But we drove one that was even more special. We drove one of the Aston Martins that was in Quantum of Solace, driven by the man who plays The Man. We didn't even have to break into some supermax-like vault-within-a-vault to get to it. Aston Martin delivered it to us for a day of spy play, yet that didn't make the experience any less thrilling. Follow the jump for the story.

Photos copyright ©2009 Drew Phillips / Weblogs, Inc.

This movie DBS is slightly different from the "average" – if we can use such a descriptor for this car – DBS. It has carbon fiber bucket seats that are adjustable fore-and-aft, but don't recline. Swathed in a lightly padded mantle of leather, they are unexpectedly comfortable. This being a Euro-spec car, the odometer is measured in kilometers, but the electronic speedo displays miles-per-hour. The only other alteration: Quantum of Solace plaques on the rocker panels.

The first thing you should know about the DBS: there is no excess about it – in either direction. It represents the apex of English understatement. We can imagine words like "adequate" and "sufficient" and phrases like "that should do nicely, don't you think?" during the engineering of the car. It is not viciously fast, but it is nowhere near slow. It is brutally beautiful, but we wouldn't call it exactly pretty. It is docile around town, but it's no pussycat.

However, in the aggregate, you discover what is superior about the car: as a package, it is what the reserved Englishman might call "exceptional." In American English, we're talking about marvelous.

The details without and within are phenomenal (just don't mention some of the switchgear). The carbon fiber lips on the front apron denote the aggression of detail. The entire sweep of the rear is like a quiet warning to any other car: "I don't want to hurt you... but I can." The interior leather is so luscious that if the donor bovine could see it, she would pound her chest and say "I did that!" Even the billet aluminum gearshift, which is a health hazard in Southern California – the car really should come with one glove that you could wear on hot days – coos to you, "Hold me..."

On the highway, the DBS is a tidy GT in the European fashion. On the urban cycle, it is blessed with enough manners and aplomb to play Archbishop to a royal coronation. No matter where it goes, it refuses to comport itself with anything other than agile grace.

That is, until you order it to. And then it is ruthless, merciless, but never to excess. Perfect your timing with the pedals, gears, and lever, and while you might not be one of the best killers in the business, the car can make you look and feel like one of the best drivers.

For the time you have put in gaining the reflexes needed to master the DBS, your reward is an anima, a life, breath seeping out just in front of you through vents in the hood. When you stop at a light the heat of internal combustible fury is exhaled in front of you. The effect is heady, and forms a closed loop: the road ahead is waving and curling through the heat, and that vision goes straight to your reptilian brain. Chemical signals deluge your hands and feet, which respond by whipping the DBS to the next light – because you have to see that heat vapor again – and when you do, it goes straight to the reptilian brain, which responds by...

For us, though, the single best thing about the DBS is the exhaust note. In the V8 Vantage, at around 3,500 rpm there's a wail out back like a banshee in the fen. In the DB9, the clamor is also not of this world, but it is more mature. The DBS, however, comes on like a Saxon god, unruffled by any other deity, who roars when goaded magnificently enough to be heard from Land's End to John o' Groats and throughout the seven kingdoms.

As that is occurring out back, strange things are happening to you inside the car as well. You keep bracing yourself in your carbon seat as if you might need to suddenly autocross through an Italian quarry. You check the mirrors with uncommon frequency because of course there could be people after you. And every once in a while, when you come around a corner with grande vitesse and feel the back end shifting out just a bit further than the front, you reach inside your jacket for the loaded Walther P99... that isn't there.

It is for all of these reasons that while this car might have been in the Quantum of Solace, to sit in and pilot it is to discover that the driver's seat is not at all a quantum of solace. What it is, is the quantum of cool.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      kudos on the photography, shot 4 is one of the best pics I have seen of that car.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Great photos.
      The writing tries hard but ends up about 1/3 meh. AB, you guys need Jay Louis or Jonny Lieberman to edit your writers.
      • 6 Years Ago
      One of the most beautiful cars ever made IMO.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Actually Flashpoint, if you'll remember in Casino Royale after the DBS is crashed there is a period of at least a few weeks where Bond and Vesper are chilling as he recovers and then resigns from MI6. Then Vesper dies and Bond decides to go after Mr. White. A few weeks is probably more than enough time for MI6 to find their agent a new DBS I would think.
        • 6 Years Ago
        • 6 Years Ago
        It is posts like these that make me want to get into the business of auto-photography.

        Unfortunately, that doesn't look to be happening anytime soon as I have no cars to photograph...
        • 6 Years Ago
        Quantum of Solace takes place hours after Bond shoots Mr. White in the leg.

        So how the HELL does Bond get a brand new DBS considering his DBS was destroyed when he dodged Vesper?

        Do the Brits regularly hand over the keys of $400,000 sports cars to all their agents?

        - I've never seen anyone address this.

        furthermore, Top Gear showed the DB9 is faster and cheaper than the DBS - kinda doesn't make sense to go for the DBS.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I agree, this car is stunning to look at.

        However, in case your memory is foggy Flashpoint, the DBS is the fastest Aston on the board. You're thinking that the Vanquish is faster in a drag race. However is much quicker on the lap.

        Silly billy gumdrops.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I hope thats the RX8 and not the 7, the 3rd gen seven looked the best.
      • 6 Years Ago
      So whats the difference between the DBS, the DB9, and the Vantage?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Vantage => $150,000

        DB9 => $200,000

        DBS => Priceless
      • 6 Years Ago
      The things i would to get that car.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I told you guys Jonathon is the Stig but no one believed me :)
        • 6 Years Ago
        Do you want Clarkson to kill him? Keep it quiet!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Agree with Jonathan to an extent, the DB9 is more beautiful (I am very lucky in having one :). But the carbon ceramic brakes are mighty appealing as is the 60bhp extra and the revised B&O sound system you get on the DBS. Not £50K's worth though.

      One thing from Quantum of Solace made me laugh out loud though, if you've ever seen the boot of a DBS, you'd realise how absurd it is to think you can get a body in there! The only way Bond could of done that was to chop Mr. Whites arms and legs off!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Check out our extensive range of cars to buy and sell cars. All makes and models, simple and cost effective way to advertise a car in the UK.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Someone had fun writing this, that's for sure :) Sounds like one heck of a nice ride (and I love the photos....yum).
      • 6 Years Ago
      Aston Martin makes such beautiful 2-doors. Although the Rapide looks quite nice alone, why does it look botched in comparison to its Aston brethren?
      • 6 Years Ago
      The DB9 is better looking in everyway possible. I'll take my Aston in size medium.
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