Using Aston Martin’s kerb weights, the DB9 has a power-to-weight ratio of 256bhp per tonne, while the DBS has over 300bhp per tonne, which means it carries the mark of an extremely serious performance car.
So read nothing into the fact that its 191mph top speed is just 4mph higher than that claimed for the DB9, for that is purely a function of its additional downforce. Concentrate instead on the fact that despite the traction disadvantages of its front-engined, rear-drive configuration, the DBS flings itself to 100mph in 8.7sec, passing 60mph in 4.2sec on the way.
The Aston continues to delight when you look past such bald numbers. Despite its apparently sky-high torque peak, in fact there’s solid urge available from as little as 2500rpm that just gently builds in urgency until peak power is reached 4000rpm further around the dial. Better still, the V12 has never sounded better in its nine years powering Astons. Rich and sonorous in the mid-range, its voice evolves to an urgent, piercing howl as it nears its 6900rpm cut-off; every decibel is what you’d hope for in a 21st-century Aston Martin.
Power is rated 510bhp at 6500rpm. Peak torque remains unchanged at 420lb ft, but it comes in at 5750rpm rather than 5000rpm. Then again, carbon panels and ceramic brakes have dropped the kerb weight of the DBS by a claimed 65kg relative to the DB9, so there is less work for that torque to do.