I am looking at purchasing a DBS and would love to hear from any owners here. Do you believe the experience matches the investment? A few of my colleagues are saying that for the money there are better options. I have always been in love with the A.M. brand and to me the DBS is as much art as driving experience. Advice welcome.
Although when choosing cars in that price bracket "better" is usually defined by individual tastes, personally I would say that there are not much better options currently available. I've thought about this question for some time actually, here is what I could come up with.
599- With the Tipo 140 engine, this GT is not really proper competition for the Aston, nor is it a proper GT car. The engine revs higher, holding torque longer than Aston's Cosworth V12, but I'm sure that the Ferrari lacks in the department of low down torque for day to day driving. There have been a lot of overheating issues with the 140 on public roads, sometimes leading to fire. The 599's feel and handling is nervier, partially because it was designed to be more track oriented than the DBS, partially due to the variation in torque the engine experiences. Service costs are much higher than those of the DBS, so despite the base price similarity, the 599 will turn out to be much more expensive in the long run. The 599 is a great car if you have a track nearby, and will plan to use it only slightly on roads, but otherwise for me the DBS wins against the 599.
612- Much more livable with, personally the best GT currently produced by Ferrari. The Tipo 133 is a engine more suited for the road environment. Still, this car was made earlier than the DBS, and has smaller displacement + higher revs (more torque please). The lighter DBS is a better performer too. The 612 is a rarer car, manual is an option, probably a better 4 seater than the DB9/S but is quite outdated to compete here.
SLS- Very good performer, and the naturally aspirated M159 V8 provides great torque. It is one of the few upscale GTs lighter than the DBS, and hence is quicker. However, not quite as charismatic as a DBS, and does not come with a manual (CRITICAL).
SL63-63 AMG- Are quite heavy weight + not a fan of forced induction.
Continental GT/ Supersports
Heavy cars using AWD and no manual. Although the latter is a good straight line performer, it will never be quite as nimble as the RWD DBS. Never liked the original, will never like the modifications. They have to start with an absolutely new chassis to build anything to compete with the feel sporting GT's. It is a great luxury GT though (as I have been told), and would beat the DBS in the category, however DBS clearly wins as the driver's car, no matter how much torque/power they will add to the platform.
As you can see, the DBS beats all alternatives for me. I would consider the 612, the SLS and the V12 Vantage before making the purchase.
However, it would be better to wait 2-3 years before buying any Aston, as the company will release a lineup of lighter and more powerful cars, specifically the VH500. I expect the prices on the DBS will be falling dramatically (as it is a lighter more powerful DB9), and the VH500 will not move upmarket (while receiving the new VH architecture and engine modifications) making the premium for the DBS obsolete.