When legends retire, they often try to go out with a bang. That’s exactly what Aston Martin intends to do with the DBS 770 Ultimate. It’s a case of a bittersweet ending for one of the most iconic high-performance luxury vehicles of all time. On the one hand, it’s not only the most powerful DBS, but it’s the most powerful production Aston Martin ever created. On the other hand, it’s the last DBS any of us will ever see as things stand.
The DBS has been around for decades, with the first edition appearing in 1967 as Aston Martin looked for something to replace the DB6. The company intended to launch the DBS with a purpose-built V8 engine, but delays meant the original vehicles got the same four-liter, six-cylinder, motor they were putting into the DB6 at the time. In 1969 it followed in the footsteps of the iconic DB5 by appearing in a James Bond movie — cropping up in George Lazenby’s only outing “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.” In 1969, it finally got the V8 it was supposed to launch with, and the performance benefits that come with it. The 5.3-liter V8 was enough to make the DBS the fastest four-seater production car on earth, with a top speed of 160 mph via Aston Martin).
There have only been three generations of the DBS
Despite its close to 60-year history, and its iconic status, there have only actually been three generations of DBS so far. Although there were major engine differences and changes to the trim, the run from 1967 to 1972 is considered the “first generation” of the legendary automobile. Things went very quiet for a very long time before fans were finally treated to a hulking V-12 version in 2012. Like its predecessor, the second-gen DBS spent some time in the hands of the world’s most famous fictional secret agent, taking a starring role in both “Casino Royale” and “Quantum of Solace.” Its hand-built V12 offered over 500 horsepower, and its light lightweight construction made it an absolute pleasure to drive.
A second V-12 generation, and the third generation overall, made an appearance in 2018 — boasting 715 horsepower and the ability to go from 0 to 60 in 3.2 seconds. As you may have guessed, the third-generation DBS cropped up in a Bond movie. But appearing in “No Time to Die” wasn’t even enough, Aston Martin even launched a special “Bond” edition of the DBS limited to 25 vehicles. Now the third generation, and possibly the DBS on the whole, is coming to an end. So Aston Martin has opted to do something a bit special.
Meet the most powerful Aston Martin ever
Aston Martin has announced it is seeing off this generation of the DBS, and possibly the entire line in general, with a special edition called the DBS 770 Ultimate. The 770 Ultimate’s name comes from its (metric) horsepower. Although that’s slightly lower (around 759 in “freedom units,”) the 770 Ultimate is still comfortably the most powerful production car Aston Martin has ever built. It’ll go from 0-60 in 3.2 seconds, and hit a maximum speed of 211 mph. Turbo boost pressure has been increased by 7% and the engine can also produce an impressive 900Nm of torque, so shouldn’t have a lot of trouble actually getting that power onto the road. That power will be traveling through a ZF 8-speed automatic transmission, which Aston Martin says has received a “unique transmission calibration to enhance shift speeds and driver interaction.”
Aston Martin Chief Technology Officer, Roberto Fedeli, summed up the feeling behind the DBS 770 Ultimate, saying: “When an iconic model generation reaches the end of production it is important to mark the occasion with something special. In the case of the DBS 770 Ultimate, we have spared nothing in ensuring the final version of our current series production flagship is the best ever in every respect. Not only is it the fastest and most powerful DBS in our history, thanks to a comprehensive suite of improvements to the transmission, steering, suspension, and underbody structure; it is also the best to drive.”
The changes have gone beyond the engine bay.
Beyond the engine, Aston Martin says the vehicle has been “Extensively re-engineered for enhanced performance, driver engagement and visual drama” Visually, there have been big changes too including a new front splitter and the addition of a horse-shoe vent. A total of 300 coupes are being made, with 199 “Volante” versions available for those who believe a bit of wind in their hair is worth a minor performance hit. The rear diffuser has also been deepened. As with many high-performance vehicles, the aesthetics aren’t just there for aesthetic purposes. Aston Martin has incorporated many of the changes in an attempt to improve aerodynamic performance and redirect airflow in an attempt to keep the vehicle’s massive V12 engine cool. A carbon fiber sill element has been added to lower the car’s profile towards the rear wheels, which like the front are 21″ in diameter and available in three styles. Inside you’ll either find Sport Plus seats “trimmed in full semi-aniline leather” or Aston Martin’s performance seat depending on the owner’s preference. There’s also some carbon fiber on display, along with ” A bespoke trim split.”
Aston Martin hasn’t released a price for the 770 Ultimate yet, but that doesn’t really matter. The run is limited to 499, and they’ve all sold already. The lucky buyers can expect delivery from Q3 this year. Aston Martin has confirmed it marks the end of this DBS generation, but given the shift towards more energy-efficient, environmentally friendly, vehicles it’s also likely the end of the DBS as we know it. It’s almost certainly the last time we’ll see a V8 or a V12 in one.