Aston Martin: The ‘Ultimate’ Special Edition DBS

May 9, 2012

The current Aston Martin DB9/DBS shape is one of those automotive-landscape entities that has, undoubtedly, garnered deserved praise for its elegantly stunning and aggressively handsome design flourishes ever since its 2004 debut. It will, without fail, go down as one of the most beautiful sports/GT-cars ever made.

Just last night, during my usual evening stroll, I was taken aback by the sight of a lone, granite-grey DB9 parked up all by itself along one of the many quietly-curving, tree-lined streets that make up my old-money/Mansion-infested neighborhood. Point being, the DB9 still manages to stop me dead in my tracks and forces me to drink it all in… again… and again.

So it goes without saying that the eventual successor to the current DB9/DBS will have quite a job on its hands in keeping faithful to the beautiful mark that has been undeniably stamped onto the automotive scene. Said replacement will see the light of day sometime next year (probably) so it’s no surprise that there will be several ‘run-out’ Special Edition versions of the DB9/DBS cocktail forthcoming until then – the ‘Ultimate’ DBS, pictured, is the latest.

Only 100 ‘Ultimate’ DBS variants will be made and the features are, as usual with most run-out special editions, mostly cosmetic. Each Ultimate DBS will be individually numbered and identified by bespoke badging, loads of carbon fibre, shadowy grilles and tail-lamps, diamond-quilted stitching on your leather seats with either silver or red thread and your choice of red, yellow or black-painted calipers to complete the ‘Ultimate’ finishing touches…

Exterior paint colours offered are Carbon Black II, Quantum Silver, or Silver Fox – so basically Black, Grey or Silver. Both Coupe and Volante body styles are offered as well as either Automatic or Manual transmissions…

Hmmm… Silver-Fox DBS Ultimate with red calipers and red stitching being nursed through a Manual gearbox – yes, please.

-Blake J.

The Porsche 911: Which One Is The Ultimate…?

October 31, 2011

If you were given the task of choosing just one Porsche 911 to own and enjoy for the rest of your motoring days, which one would you choose..?

That’s a fairly heavy question, I’ll admit, seeing as how the 911 range spreads across a broad stretch of time drawing in on nearly 50 years. But by simply aiming at the core values of why we love 911’s (handling, lightness, feedback, steering, various precisional attributes, that Flat-6 engine of unparalled awesomeness, etc…) and thereby focusing on those specific models that accentuated these well-honed and beloved 911 characteristics, the whittled-down choices tend to become a bit more clear…

997-series GT3

Starting with the most recent of 911s  and moving backwards in time, I’d easily nominate the 997-series GT3 (’06-’09)…and to some extent, its 996 predecessor. Some would point to the more hardcore RS derivative of the 997 GT3 but despite the hike in power and slightly sharper steering, I’m not sure I’d want (or need) the flashy RS paint schemes (bright orange or green with black accents, only), roll cage and generally bone-crackingly stiff ride to navigate on a daily basis.

The ‘regular’ GT3 has always been more than enough sportscar for your driving needs anyways. Subtle, classy, comfortable and it handles like nothing you’ve ever driven before. Plus, that phenomenal, naturally-aspirated Metzger Flat-6 howls (and shoves) with a deep, metallic tinge that urges you to press farther and further into the car’s plethora of impressive capabilities. Even better with an Akrapovic exhaust fitted (video above). A truly sublime 911.

993-series GT2

Next up, I’d like to nominate the plastic-fender-flared, massively be-winged 993-series GT2 (’95). The last of the Air-Cooled 911s, this homologation special (built to meet motorsport requirements) featured a 3.6L twin-turbo variation of the bullet-proof flat-6 churning out 430 bhp and nearly 400 lbs/ft of torque (upped to 450/430 in the ’98 model).

What makes this particular 911 so dangerously appealing is the fact that it retains a rear-wheel drive layout. The (safe) 4WD layout of the regular Turbo was ditched for the lairy GT2 and as a result, it was dubbed the ‘widowmaker’ within 911/motoring circles for very real and applicable reasons… That much power and torque all driven through the rear wheels within the relatively short wheelbase 911 chassis… Brilliantly insane.

964-series RS

Jump backwards a few years to ’92 and you’d find me drooling all over any 964-series RS model. Basically what we had was a stripped-out, lightweight, lower and more powerful (260 bhp) 911 that was based on Porsche’s Carrera Cup racecar. You had manual windows and seats, no air-conditioning nor rear seats, no stereo or sound damping materials… or power-steering – truly raw.

What you did get was a 911 that was obviously inspired by the legendary 2.7 RS of the early-70’s and updated with sports seats, limited-slip diff, lightened flywheel and other suspension-related goodies that turned the 964 RS into one of the most beguiling road cars Porsche ever produced.

The 959 Supercar

When the technological tour-de-force AWD 959 came about in 1986 (originally built for Group B Rally and homolgated as such) it broke loads of performance records, among them being the world’s fastest production car (that was, until a certain be-winged Italian blew onto the scene one year later). To this very day, the 959 is hailed as genesis for the advancements in the evolution of the 911 and its subsequent supercars.

It came with a twin-turbo 2.9L version of the flat-6 and bragged a 0-60 time of 3.7 seconds along with a top speed of 197 mph. And while I’m not usually one to be attracted to cars that are jam-packed with all of the latest high-tech gadgetry and wizardry, this particular ‘ultimate’ version of the 911 from the impressive minds working in Stuttgart of the era has always been at the forefront of my performance-minded curiosity… despite its dodgy looks.

When new, each car cost approx 150K GBP to purchase, yet Porsche themselves state that each car cost the company upwards of 300K GBP to produce… when you factor in all of the long-term developmental costs and expensive tech, etc… Still though, it remains a dream to one day have-a-go.

Carrera RS 2.7 – 1972

While there are various 911 models throughout the 80’s that whet the ‘ultimate 911’ appetite of this exercise (The mighty Turbo of the 80’s comes to mind), there can be no doubt that the iconic and now-legendary Carrera RS 2.7 of 1972 set a milestone within 911 circles that subsequent models often struggled to match the sheer brilliance and breadth of its intimate idiosyncrasies. Porsche themselves must have thought that they had reached a peak with the 2.7 RS of ’72.

Weighing-in at a paltry 1075 kg, the RS (which stands for RennSport) was no ordinary 911. It was an incredible blend of lightweight manageability, the best steering of any road car available and imbued with a willing sharpness that would often find you hunting out the best driving roads just to feel the pleasure of the forces that build-up within that sublime chassis.

It was strong, reliable, agile, compact, practical (4 seats) and powerful enough (0-60 in 5.8 sec) without being over-bearing. Quite an impressive blend, not to mention that it was also derived from a competitive background. Sleek, sexy, simple and adorned with that complimentary ‘ducktail’ rear spoiler to accentuate its motorsport heritage (and assistance in planting those rear tires into the tarmac), the 2.7 Carrera RS of ’72 forever remains a tantalising favourite of the 911 range.

>>>>>>….Yet, what if you crave something a bit different… perhaps something more personal. Something that ticks all of the essential 911 boxes but marries the past, with the present…? Well, there are companies out there that take that logic and, well, build upon it… for you, specifically.

There’s the American company, Singer, who’s “work involves taking a customer’s existing 911 and performing both restorative work and cutting-edge modifications to update the car’s performance, aesthetics and modern day useability in an attempt to optimize its strengths while preserving the essence and magic os the original” Oh-so tempting…

Then there’s also AutoFarm in the UK who will perform roughly the same set of ideals upon your old-school 911 without compromising or altering the classic looks.

Or, you could just go ahead like Mr. Harris did, and spend a good chunk of your earnings on creating your own ‘ultimate 911’ with the help of various specialists that will assist in building your own bespoke, dream 911…

If it were my wish..? Hmm… I think I’d be sorely tempted to recreate the wonderful, yet terrifically limited (only 55) 2.7 RSR of the early-70’s within the shell of a 964-based RS… which would look something akin to this….

-Blake J.

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