A couple of years ago, I would have said that Aston Martin was the coolest car brand in the world, and a Vanquish was a permanent feature on my list of favorite cars of all time that I’d buy tomorrow if I had the money and a garage the size of an Aircraft Hangar. But now I am not so sure. Part of the problem is that the coolness is beginning to feel contrived and a bit exaggerated, which (of course) isn’t very cool at all. I hate the fact the DBS key is clumsy block of faux glass called an ‘Emotion Control Unit’. That’s trying way, way too hard.And Aston Martin should be beautiful and svelte, but also a bit hard, like a broken-noised street fighter. I am afraid the DBS, despite its wider arches and lower stance, is a bit ‘Pierce Brosnan’ and not enough ‘Daniel “Mr. Potato Head” Caring’ for my liking. I miss the Vanquish sound too. Its true the 6.0 liter V12 barks when you start it, sounding inch of 510bhp; but it does not scare small children any more like the mighty Vanquish; I cant help thinking that 510bhp is only 40bhp more than a standard DB9. Petulant, eh?
But enough complaining, On the road the DBS is a triumph, no matter how you carve it up. I love the way the torque spills out of it lazily, effortlessly; I love the long pedal travel, deep down into the footwell, that allows you to choose precisely how many beans you are going to give it when that next straight opens up. DBS is just too comfortable, too neutral to be our Performance Car of the year. In a way, it sits at the opposite end of the spectrum to the 911GT: 500bhp is 500bhp, but surely there has to be a middle ground somewhere between ‘oh God, please let me survive this lap’ and ‘hmm, what a nice relaxing drive home listening to Radio 4’.