Being Bond
evo India|April 2019

AV12 is rarer than an honest politician. A V12 with two turbochargers breathing on it? Hold on tight!

Sirish Chandran & Adam Towler

BOND. BEAUTIFUL CARS. SPECTACULAR women. Guns. Toys. Legs. Villains in lairs across high mountain passes. Continent-crushing power. Mad money. To my mind, and I suspect yours too, it’s everything that Aston Martin stands for. Tragedy too. Bond’s ladies rarely last till the credits. And neither did Aston Martin. Well, almost. As I was taken round the factory I lost count of the number of times the company downed shutters, the number of owners, the ebbs and flows and fits and starts. They’re not even sure who owned the company before David Brown bought it after WW2 and slapped his name on the badge as well as the nomenclature (DB, get it?). Yet, through it all, there’s been one constant. Cars, just like the women Bond chases, that are painfully gorgeous to look at. I mean the new Vantage, without a doubt, has the best arse in the business. The special-edition Zagatos — nobody makes a more stunning shooting brake and nobody does needles shooting out of the taillamps. The DB11 and that nose — it’s as iconic as anything in the automotive universe. And at the pinnacle of what Aston does today, at least until the Adrian Newey-designed Valkyrie screams to its 11,100rpm redline, sits this car; almost brutal, a thrusting British bulldog, a statement of power, dripping in details that scream money, a power plant that can pull down the mountain Bond’s nemesis is holed up on.

This is the DBS Superleggera and is next in line as Aston Martin renews its focus on India, a focus that involves sports cars and not just biding its time till the DBX SUV comes along and does for Aston what the Urus has done for Lamborghini. The DBS will be only the third V12 you can splurge mad money over, after the Aventador and 812 Superfast, and the only one with a V12 blown by two turbochargers. The result? Well, I’m not quite sure what turns me on the most. The thunderous 715bhp of power, the seismic 900Nm of torque, or the beastly beauty. I rarely linger over the styling but it’s impossible not to just stare at the DBS. It’s freaking awesome. There’s nothing like it. The Aventador, you can’t imagine Bond driving something so cartoonishly over the top. The DBS; this is Bond’s car. Conservative colours on the outside, shockingly red on the inside. And it doesn’t need any of Q’s toys. There’s 900Nm of torque at just 1800rpm. With a car like this, you don’t bother with airplanes and the terrible unpleasantness of modern air travel. Brim it up, set the heading for Europe and demolish Autobahns and mountain passes. This is the car that defines modern Grand Touring and its presence is entirely in tune with just such a trans-Europe express lifestyle, blending themes of aggression and luxury: a vast acreage of bonnet pinched tightly over an indulgently profligate 12-cylinder engine, cab set aft and framed by powerful haunches. It’s not a track car, and it’s wasted on something as humdrum as the daily commute. No, this is a car for the big journey, to cosset across the open plains and thrill on the interesting sections of the route before that surreal final destination.

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