Credit: Courtesy of Aston Martin

Admit it: When that Mercedes pulled in at the club, you didn’t even look up. But roar up in the Aston Martin DBS, and you might as well be Ian Poulter offering free lessons. The most powerful production Aston in history, this British bombshell was memorably driven—and memorably destroyed—by Daniel Craig’s 007 in Casino Royale. Roughly two hundred copies are headed stateside this year, leading even high-stakes players to ask why the DBS should cost a hundred grand more than a DB9. To which I can only say this: Drive it. Both cars start with the same weight-saving aluminum chassis and V-12 engine block. But where the DB9 is elegant officer’s club, a bit soft around the middle, the DBS is a carbon-fiber commando, with training and weaponry courtesy of Aston’s LeMans-winning GT racers. I put the DBS through unexpectedly fast paces that only one luxury GT rival—the even more costly Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano—could match. Ceramic composite brakes, another first on an Aston, beautifully negate the giddy thrust of 510 horsepower. There’s even a manual shifter available, a six-speed that rows as smoothly as a Cambridge crew. Two rear jump seats, suitable for spoiled toddlers, can replace the standard cargo shelf. Either way, a pair of golf bags in back will keep everyone happier. Just remember to slow down before entering the club’s driveway.


Aston Martin DBS

Price: $266,350

Drive Train: 5.9-liter V-12

Horsepower: 510

Torque: 420 pound-feet

Weight: 3,737 pounds

Zero to 60 mph: 4.2 seconds

Top Speed: 191 mph