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Offline AshSimmonds

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Next we got the old band back together to assault some of the back roads around Hahndorf in the DB9, this car is fitted with the "touchtronic" flappy paddles and debonaire hair control.  The noise from this car was better again, and the bearnaise sauce inspired interior was splendid. 

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I do quite like the reverse tacho on the right - it reminds me of Fiats :D - and the game is to try to get the two dials to meet at the top... :mischief:

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It felt sporty and competent through the relatively poor surfaced twists, but it was difficult to ascertain how the gears felt from the pax seat, I got the feeling it wasn't quite as responsive as it could be - but I think we also may have forgotten to enable sport mode.

The centre console looks a bit empty without a stick.

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Offline AshSimmonds

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  • Drives: GF's shitbox :(
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  • Name: Humble Narrator
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Then finally we were lucky enough to be exposed to premature skin cancer in the DBS roadster - I just love saying it, Volante - I'm probably pronouncing it wrong but every time the word comes to me I imagine I'm ordering a side dish to a steak - yes I'd like a fillet mignon with volante and asparagus stalks.  Mmmmm. :yummy:

And it is a delicious car - like basically all 2+2's the rear seats are quite hilarious, the only way we could reasonably imagine them useful is cruising for midget hookers - alas, we were in wine country.


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You kind of get in expecting the drive to be like naval warfare, it just somehow looks bigger and softer yet pulls off toughness - like a carbon fibre marshmallow.  Thing is though, the steering is pinky-finger light and extremely responsive - there's an ever so slight vagueness at dead centre, but I didn't take notice of any issue when pointing the car a different direction.  

Handling is very neutral, you very quickly gain confidence to really approach a bends without much fear of understeer or inertia - indeed on some of the tighter corners it just felt nice and chuckable, wishing I could hit the TCS/burnout button and "test" the car like the TG boys forever sideways on the airstrip.  Oh well - let's just be thankful that was never attempted.


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The sound is more deep and throaty than Linda Lovelace, a nurturing rumble at cruising - and when the foot goes down or the tacho snags 5k the active exhaust bellows out like Barry White getting bamboo shoots up his fingernails.

The other sound system from B&O seems pretty dam good - we didn't get much of a chance to really test it, but we tried a bit of poofy dance and some sweeping classical at more than comfortable volumes on the slow dirt-track section of The Lanes Winery and the sound was crisp, the range better than my 90's-techno-rave-deafened ears can discern, and the bass was meatier than a buffalo but it didn't cause any rattles or distortion.

The one hang-up I have about the DBS Volante is the paddle-shift, this car needs a stick dammit.  The gearshifts just didn't seem precise - when you are doing the take-off you really want a good solid and clean shift from first to second, but I found it seems to waver up around redline for a while like it's hunting for the next gear, it's quite disconcerting and you feel as though you've lost momentum.  Dropping down a cog or two as you approach a corner you just don't feel as though you might have the right gear, admittedly I've only driven it for less than an hour so it might be a learning process, but I couldn't help thinking it just wasn't suitable for this car.



Offline AshSimmonds

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  • Joined: Feb 2006

  • Drives: GF's shitbox :(
  • Location: Adelayed
  • Name: Humble Narrator
  • www: AshSimmonds.com
Going into all of this I was admittedly completely naive about Astons - I've never researched them, all I really knew was that they were from England, had something to do with Ford, and that machine guns and gadgets and shit were tucked away in every crevice.  Not to mention they are one of very few front-engined cars I consider perve-worthy on the street.

So unless it was on the badge - I had no idea what kind of engine was in it, what the performance specs were, or how much they cost.  Must say I was quite astonished this morning when googling some price lists... :eek:  I didn't really have a figure in my head, but if I had to guess prior to the experience, I would have put them at $180-280k OTR, turns out we're talking double'ish that.  I know how dumb that sounds considering I spend so much time perusing the high-end car market - but I just had never kept any info about AMs locked away until now.

I know it shouldn't matter considering for me the difference between $50k and $50M are academically equal, but I sat there and realised I was pondering about the "chuckability" of a car etc and judging it on it's own merits without any of the backstory - simply as a car.  To later find out it retails in the same bracket as a top-spec Gallardo or F430 Scuderia... woof!  I find it hard to reconcile.

It's a pity we didn't manage to score another go in the V12 Vantage after we'd got comfortable with the cars - I have a feeling it is something really special.



Online OzCarSightings

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Nice write up Ash.


The one hang-up I have about the DBS Volante is the paddle-shift, this car needs a stick dammit.  The gearshifts just didn't seem precise - when you are doing the take-off you really want a good solid and clean shift from first to second, but I found it seems to waver up around redline for a while like it's hunting for the next gear, it's quite disconcerting and you feel as though you've lost momentum.  Dropping down a cog or two as you approach a corner you just don't feel as though you might have the right gear, admittedly I've only driven it for less than an hour so it might be a learning process, but I couldn't help thinking it just wasn't suitable for this car.

Bugger, was hoping it would be manual.

The DBS (hard top) we had last year - http://ozcarsightings.com/aston_martin_photoshoot/index.html - was a manual and has to be one of the best I've driven. The stick itself looks too chunky but in terms of use its brilliant, and the clutch is alot lighter than you'd expect.

P.S. Did you fart in the DBS? Wondering if there will be any lingering smell...



Offline AshSimmonds

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  • Joined: Feb 2006

  • Drives: GF's shitbox :(
  • Location: Adelayed
  • Name: Humble Narrator
  • www: AshSimmonds.com
Bugger, was hoping it would be manual.

Yeah - see if you can manage to get it to do what you want, it's more like chicktronic sadly. :?

The DBS (hard top) we had last year - http://ozcarsightings.com/aston_martin_photoshoot/index.html - was a manual and has to be one of the best I've driven. The stick itself looks too chunky but in terms of use its brilliant, and the clutch is alot lighter than you'd expect.

Like I mentioned with the V8 Vantage - soooooo easy to just get in and used to, I felt right at home in that car quicker than I have in many others - I didn't have much to say about the various things (like clutch weight, gearshifts, steering, visibility, etc) simply because they were all exactly as you'd want and expect.

P.S. Did you fart in the DBS? Wondering if there will be any lingering smell...

Check under the +2 seats, there might be another "+2" for ya :p




Offline AshSimmonds

  • Geekitecht

  • Joined: Feb 2006

  • Drives: GF's shitbox :(
  • Location: Adelayed
  • Name: Humble Narrator
  • www: AshSimmonds.com
Some other random pics from the day - starting with a couple patented self-portraits. :rolleyes: :p


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Tim

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The crew

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Offline AshSimmonds

  • Geekitecht

  • Joined: Feb 2006

  • Drives: GF's shitbox :(
  • Location: Adelayed
  • Name: Humble Narrator
  • www: AshSimmonds.com



Offline AshSimmonds

  • Geekitecht

  • Joined: Feb 2006

  • Drives: GF's shitbox :(
  • Location: Adelayed
  • Name: Humble Narrator
  • www: AshSimmonds.com
Solitaires has a setup at The Lane Vineyard - we dropped in there for a tasting and a fantastic bunch of tapas, and a cool view.

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At the vineyard is a DB9 Volante on display...

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Offline AshSimmonds

  • Geekitecht

  • Joined: Feb 2006

  • Drives: GF's shitbox :(
  • Location: Adelayed
  • Name: Humble Narrator
  • www: AshSimmonds.com



Offline AshSimmonds

  • Geekitecht

  • Joined: Feb 2006

  • Drives: GF's shitbox :(
  • Location: Adelayed
  • Name: Humble Narrator
  • www: AshSimmonds.com



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