Named using two of the Gaydon firm’s previous badges, the DBS Superleggera is set to be a ‘super-GT’ flagship for Aston.
The DBS name returns for the first time since 2012, continuing a nameplate that first debuted on an Aston Martin in 1967. ‘Superleggera’ refers to the Italian coachbuilder, Touring, which applied its lightweight construction methods to early Astons such as the DB4.
As its design would suggest, the DBS shares a platform with the DB11, as well as the bonded aluminium structure, but its body panels are carbon fibre and therefore 72kg lighter than on the DB11.
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All up, the aptly-named Superleggera saves 77kg, down to 1693kg from 1770. Not only is it more ‘leggera’, it’s also more ‘super’.The twin-turbo 5.0-litre V12 – set as low and far back in the engine bay as possible – makes a massive 533kW at 6500rpm, quite a jump from the 447kW made in the DB11, and torque tops out at a huge 900Nm, available all the way from 1800rpm to 5000rpm.
A new ZF 8-speed automatic has a shorter final drive than the DB11. This means a 0-100km/h sprint in a brisk 3.4 seconds, and to 160km/h in 6.4 seconds. It’ll then soldier on to a top speed nudging 340km/h.
Helping this happen is a body that employs some advanced aero, including air passages inside the bodywork.
A huge double-diffuser, inspired by Formula 1, as well as the ‘curlicue’ found behind the front wheels, and the ‘Aeroblade II’ ducts in the bootlid all help the DBS to produce an impressive 180kg at its top speed.
It’s also almost perfectly balanced, with 51 per cent of its weight leaning on the front wheels.
While the specs are impressive across the board, the people who designed and engineered the car offer more subjective perspectives on the DBS.
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Aston’s chief engineer Max Szwaj says the DBS is “faster, lighter, more potent, and more sophisticated. DBS Superleggera is a formidable and fabulous machine.”
Chief dynamics engineer and former Lotus man Matt Becker adds that he’s ‘blown away’ every time he drives the DBS.
“It’s explosively quick if you floor the throttle, but has that relentless, effortless delivery that only a big turbocharged V12 can deliver.
“While we wanted to create a very, very fast car, it was crucial that it didn’t terrify less experienced drivers.
“To this end we’ve honed the dynamics so that it’s agile and connected, but also linear and progressive as you work towards its limits.”
Aston’s local presence says the DBS Superleggera will be priced from $517,000 plus on-roads, and that customer deliveries are set to commence late this year or in early 2019.