The above picture - where you can spot behind the gate a gorgeous silver lightning DBS waiting for me - is the only one I can offer you from the Lommel Proving Ground where I was yesterday.
That was a little break before some intense work at Inspirational Stores !
The gigantic Lommel facilities (300ha), right near the Dutch border in Northern Belgium, belong to Ford and are used to fine tune their cars and prototypes. Camera and camera-phone are therefore strictly prohibited and I had to leave my iPhones at the security desk at the entrance. Before entering the facilities, I even had to sign a paper certifying I wouldn't talk about anything I would see during the day !
The DBS truly impressed me by how "easy" it is to drive, despite the 510 horsepower. The car, very docile and tractable, will speed up to above 300km/h but will also rev up from 50 in 6th gear without problem. And above all, it's an extremely forgiving car : the grip is fantastic and its carbon-ceramics brakes are simply phenomenal, giving a tremendous sense of security. Brutally slamming the brakes to decelerate from 170 to 0 was no drama for the DBS which remained perfectly stable.
The DBS' DSC system - Dynamic Stability Control - is another great piece of technology : it proved on a wetty surface how tremendously it enhances safety and how far away it pushes back the limits of the car. Switching it on and off, I very practically realized how super efficient it is ! With such assistance, you quickly gain confidence.
Full-on emergency stop from 170km/h, turning sharp and braking on a soaking wet surface, accelerating all the way up to 260km/h on a 3 kilometer-long speedway, all of that, and a great deal more, was part of the Aston Martin’s one-on-one Performance Driving Course I undertook yesterday, to my utmost pleasure.
A truly memorable day, I had never driven that fast and dit that many things is such perfectly safe conditions, with such a powerful car ! My personal instructor, a Brit, who had been working with Aston for the last 15 years or so, was very nice and professional. He was my Aston ambassador for the day, a job he fulfilled perfectly !