Aston Martin DBS Superleggera
What's in a name? Well, quite a bit if we're talking about the DBS moniker. First seeing the light of day back in 1967 the original DBS was a 2 door grand tourer with a thumping V8 engine up front for good measure. It also happens that the original DBS was the last Aston Martin model to be built under David Browns control. Fast forward just over 50 years, via a 2007 rebirth which saw the DBS as James Bond's car of choice in Casino Royale, the DBS is back proper and it's a DBS, unlike its predecessors.
Whilst staying true to its roots the new DBS features the same undiluted recipe. A two-door grand tourer with copious amounts of power up front but this time the DBS see’s a devilish edge. If you’re a true petrolhead the addition of the word ‘Superleggera’ to its title tells you everything that you need to know. Italian for ‘Superlight’ the Superleggera name has graced some of the most capable driving machines ever produced so immediately there is something more to behold out of Aston’s latest offering.
One of the first few cars to be produced fully under the stewardship of new Aston Martin CEO, Andy Palmer, the DBS Superleggera clearly picks up where the new Aston Martin Vantage left off as far as Aston Martins new design philosophy goes. Sporting aggressive new lines, slashes and that mighty new grill, the DBS is certainly a looker. Whilst based on DB11 underpinnings every body panel has seen subtle revisions and this incarnation witnesses all-new head and tail-lights alongside that all-new aggressive looking front apron. The deep bonnet cut-outs add extra edge and also elegantly feature the ‘Superleggera’ badge next to each. The DBS Superleggera is also the first Aston Martin to not feature the winged logo on its rear boot lid and instead see’s the Aston Martin name spelt out in its place.
Whilst these aesthetic changes certainly give this car a more aggressive stance and take the brand forward from a key design point of view, these changes are also functional and results in significant performance gains from an aerodynamic point of view. Designed with substantial underfloor aerodynamic considerations and when coupled to a brand new front splitter, rear wing and completely revised rear diffuser, you have a car which is capable of delivering 180kg of usable downforce, the most of any road-going Aston Martin ever produced. When you take into consideration the DB11’s ability to call upon just 70 kg of downforce, it’s clear to see that mighty performance gains have been made here.
Whilst the newly found downforce figures are impressive, you’ll be pleased to learn that this machine has all of the power necessary to fully utilise its ultimate capabilities. Up front, under that sweeping elongated front bonnet, sits a potent, completely bespoke Aston Martin turbocharged 5.2-litre V12 engine. Whilst this unit is shared with and used in the DB11, the unit in the DBS Superleggera has been fettled to deliver an additional 85 bhp which means in total, this machine has an output of 715 bhp, enough to trouble the likes of Ferrari’s new 812 Superfast.
In units of time and miles per hour, this power translates to a standstill to 62 mph time of 3.4 seconds, thanks to the application of power through the rear wheels and an ultimate top speed of 211 mph. To be able to handle this amount of power and increased downforce levels, the DBS sits on completely bespoke Pirelli P-Zeros of which their thin profile dresses 21-inch wheels.
Complimenting the revised V12 engine are a brand new gearbox, designed to optimise and cope with the newfound 664 lb-ft of torque and a brand new exhaust system which is stated to deliver a 10 dB noise increase over the DB11. All of these additions deliver a further sense of theatre from what is set to become an acclaimed and capable drivers car.
With the DBS Superleggera set to go on sale towards the end of this year and with a muted Volante version coming during 2019, these are exciting times for the British marque.
Returning to health after several years of stagnation and spearheaded by Andy Palmer and his team, this machine is the perfect weapon to relight the fire of the Aston brand in the hearts of petrolheads around the world.