Aston’s superb lightweight
The return of not one, but two, illustrious names, DBS and Superleggera, continue Aston Martin’s revival under its new leadership and combine to provide yet another model to drive the company’s profitability. Euan Johns discovers what all the fuss is about.
Aston Martin is reviving an iconic nameplate that first appeared in 1967; DBS, perhaps synonymous with a certain secret agent, and touring’s famous mark of Superleggera. The Superleggera suffix is Italian for ‘superlight’ and will once again adorn an Aston Martin’s bonnet. This is the fastest and most powerful the company has yet produced, with the 211mph super GT well and truly positioned in the Ferrari 812 Superfast’s slipstream.
A collaboration that originally paved the way for the DB4, 5 and 6 Mark 1, DBS Superleggera pays homage to the historic super lightweight construction technology of the famous Italian coachbuilder. Effectively replacing the Vanquish S model, the name being saved for the marque’s McLaren 720S-rivalling, mid-engine supercar due in three years.
The new DBS Superleggera is not a lightweight by any stretch of the imagination in performance or looks. The Super GT is a breed apart that takes the fight to the world’s best on its own terms. Clad Batman-like using sculpted carbon fibre body panels, this latest model is blessed with a highly individual styling that adds to a more muscular look. The appearance is complemented by epic performance courtesy of the 5.2-litre twin-turbo V12 that’s tuned to produce power and huge torque for a breathtaking response.
This is the British marque’s modern Super GT flagship with blistering acceleration that offers 0–62mph in 3.4 seconds and 0–100mph in 6.4 seconds. A heart-thumping driving experience is enhanced by class-leading in-gear acceleration with 50–100mph achieved in fourth gear in a mere 4.2 seconds.
The modern design is unique, beguiling and bold and departs just enough from the understated refinement of previous models to be different. The advanced engineering evokes Aston’s best-loved flagship models of the past with generous proportions combined with an aggression – it’s a real head turner. Compelling curves with advanced aerodynamics make for a sleek shape that cheats the wind and clamps the car to the road. Some innovative aerodynamic concepts first seen on the DB11, such as the curlicue and Aeroblade, are taken further with an F1-inspired double-diffuser. The downforce generated (180kg against the DB11’s 70kg) is the highest figure ever for a series production Aston Martin and as an added bonus the increase comes with no additional drag. At the car’s heart beats the 5.2-litre twin-turbo V12 engine: the same as the DB11. It’s set low and as far back in the chassis as possible to optimise the centre-of-gravity and weight distribution. The front grille is more prominent and new headlights and tail lights distinguish it further from the DB11: all part of the plan to distance itself more from other cars in its range. It is the first vehicle not to have the winged logo on the boot – the name being spelt out instead.
DBS Superleggera packs a breathtaking punch, yet its dynamics have been carefully honed to engage drivers of all ability levels. Immaculately styled, obsessively engineered and outrageously potent, the new DBS Superleggera is every inch the Aston Martin flagship.
Andy Palmer, Aston Martin president and chief executive officer
All this design and techie wizardry adds up to a potent package, a “brute in a suit” according to Aston CEO Andy Palmer. The noise from this beast is certainly louder and more expressive than the DB11, all emanating from the reworked quad exhaust system.
The DBS Superleggera is priced from £225,000 in the UK and $304,995 in the USA with a Volante version set to arrive in early 2019. The target? Well, prancing horse owners will want to take a hard look at this beauty, and existing Vanquish possessors will surely want to have one. If you’re not in those ownership categories and want a vehicle to add a bit of spice, take a look.
For those managing to find themselves at the front of the queue, then delivery should be in time to impress the relatives at Christmas.
essence infoWebsite: astonmartin.com