The most beautiful way to house 533kW.
Revered sports car marque Aston Martin has finally unveiled its new apex predator, replacing the ageing Vanquish at the top of the tree. Dubbed the DBS Superleggera, it’s a name that celebrates a union between Gaydon and famed Italian coach builder Touring, with ‘Superleggera’ chosen as a nod to the weight-conscious nature of the new car.
“While being resolutely modern in design and engineering, DBS Superleggera proudly evokes the towering reputations of Aston Martin’s hardest hitting and best-loved flagships from the past. Combining generous proportions with aggression and athleticism, DBS Superleggera expresses itself with an explicit design language. One that combines compelling curves with advanced aerodynamics for a sleek shape that both cheats the wind and clamps the car to the road.” — Aston Martin
Let’s start where it matters: At its heart. Beneath the vented, curvaceous bonnet, you’ll find a reworked V12 biturbo mill from the DB11 upon which the DBS Superleggera is based, but it’s been carefully massaged to produce a staggering 533kW and 900N, representing a 63kW and 200Nm jump over even the hardcore DB11 AMR. Power still goes to the rear wheels exclusively, with a toughened 8-speed ZF gearbox in the middle.
The century sprint is completed in a mere 3.4-seconds, before the car hits V-max at 340km/h. Agility is assured thanks to the forged double-wishbone suspension up front and a multilink setup at the rear, enhanced by things like adaptive dampers, a mechanical limited-slip diff, and brake-based torque vectoring that ensures the 21-inch wheels remain glued to the road as best possible. There are also carbon-ceramic brakes as standard, should you need to halt proceedings swiftly.
While based on the DB11, the DBS Superleggera features unique carbon-fibre bodywork all the way round. There’s been greater emphasis on aerodynamics and ventilation this time round, with an enormous grille up front, more pronounced air-breathers on the front fenders, bonnet vents, and a visible bootlip-spoiler too. The grille goes for a functional honeycomb design too, while illumination is handled by slimmer LED headlights (a cross between the Vantage and the DB11, we think).
The cabin has also been revised thoroughly over the DB11, retaining only the most critical of elements. There are heavily-sculpted and bolstered Sports Plus seats, wrapped in leather and alcantara, as well as a matching Sports Plus steering wheel that’s flat on the bottom and not-quite-flat on the top. As part of its collaboration with Mercedes-Benz, you’ll find the usual COMAND infotainment system sitting dash-top with a rotary dial below, while other tech-kit includes keyless entry and go, a 360º camera system, and Park Assist (which is more useful than you think in a car like the DBS).
The ‘Superleggera’ name wasn’t employed just for props: As mentioned earlier, the bodywork is made almost entirely of carbon fibre, while the various aerodynamic revisions have saved significant weight over simply adding on wings and canards, and they serve other purposes too. The air dam up front pushes air beneath the car and keep the brakes cool, while the vents in the front fenders allow air within the wheel arches to escape smoothly. Further, the visible lip spoiler at the rear serves to improve the downforce generated by the ‘invisible wing,’ and is capable of producing as much as 180kg of downforce at top-speed, working in conjunction with the reprofiled rear diffuser.
Of course, the sheer beauty of the DBS Superleggera is enough to compel most buyers to put their money down on one. This ultra-performance super-GT isn’t cheap though, with the privilege of bringing one home limited only to those willing to part with a minimum of £225,000 (or about $402,000). Word’s out whether Aston Martin will offer this in Australia, but we’ll bring you those updates as and when they come.