In the earlier part of the last decade, the king of the Aston Martin hill was a model called the Vanquish. More muscular than the DB7 it superseded, the Vanquish was offered first with a 450-horsepower V12, and then as the Vanquish S with 514 hp on tap. The flagship model from Newport Pagnell was replaced in 2007 by the DBS, but before it went the way of the proverbial dodo, Aston offered a final run of 40 examples called the Vanquish S Ultimate Edition. And now that its successor is itself due for replacement, sources expect Aston to offer a DBS Ultimate Edition, as well.

What separated the Vanquish S Ultimate Edition from its penultimate basis were a special black paint job, an enhanced interior and – most significantly – a conventional manual gearbox to replace the maligned sequential transmission in the regular model. What the DBS Ultimate Edition might comprise remains to be seen, but sources don't expect a manual gearbox to factor into the mix.

The Ultimate Edition, then, may boil down to something largely similar to the above-pictured Carbon Black edition that, like the Vanquish special, also featured a special black paint job and unique wheels, but little in the way of powertrain or suspension upgrades. Whatever the Ultimate Edition does encompass, though, is expected to cost nearly $300,000 and limited in production to just 100 units, of which only 30 are expected to make it to American dealerships.

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