Peter Bang and Svend Olufsen were most probably proto-geeks. But for the high-end electronics company that bears their names, vindication comes in the form of beautifully designed and highly detailed (in terms of both looking and listening) objects of desire.
One item fresh out of Denmark is the Tulip, aka BeoLab 11, subwoofer (pictured at left). Instead of an ugly box, it's an anodized-shelled piece of modern art, the kind of sub Martha Stewart might buy.
Then there's the audio system in the limited-run Aston Martin DBS Carbon Black. Called BeoSound DBS, it's an all-enveloping 12-speaker-and-one-subwoofer, 1,000-watt extravaganza of hip-shaking (really) bass and glassy high frequencies. There's so much clarity that it's almost possible to tell the thickness of a saxophonist's reed, or what kind of sticks the drummer uses. Imagine all that at earth-trembling volume. It's an epic sound system.
And it seems to be the ideal partner to an epic car. The Aston's sensual, sophisticated lines seem particularly in tune with B&O design philosophy, part of which stipulates that a product should look good even when it isn't being used.
As the name suggests, this Aston has more carbon fiber than its siblings, so cue CF hood (with four silver-meshed vents), front splitter and rear diffuser, brackets for the side mirrors, and various interior trim elements. The front seats are Recaros, covered in supple black leather with contrasting silver stitching. Charcoal-colored Alcantara lines the ceiling. And whereas the Aston badge logo is usually written on a green background, this model, naturally, uses a black background. Those alloy wheels are just for this version too.
The real crowning glory, though, is the paintwork. It's a metallic black, but put it up against a normal black DBS and the difference is easy to see. There are tiny, shiny specks; get up close and it's like gazing into the vastness of space.
Although this edition is essentially a cosmetic makeover, with its sonorous 6.0-liter, 517-hp V12 (aural competition for the audio system), it can still hit 60 mph from standstill in 4.3 seconds before maxing out at 183 mph. Standard hardware includes a Touchtronic 2 gearbox and carbon ceramic brakes.
One hundred coupes will be built, along with 100 soft-top Volante models. The coupe starts at $283,000 and the Volante is pretty much fully loaded at $295,000. Big numbers, but for a client who might splash out $140,000 for a 103-inch B&O HDTV (the BeoVision 4-103), it's possible. How many of us would love the chance to buy a car for about the price of two TV sets?