Aston Martin has a new Super Grand Touring flagship, and it looks like an absolute blinder. The DBS Superleggera is a long, low, carbon-clad, luxury corner carver built around a 715-hp, 5.2-liter twin-turbo V12 engine. It also makes more downforce than any other series production Aston Martin, ever – no spoiler required.
While 1,693 kg (3,732 lb) dry might not sound as super-light as the name implies, remember, this isn't a track special or a stripped-back sportster. GT is all about bringing all-day luxury to complement extreme performance. And if a company goes out of its way to make every single piece of bodywork carbon fiber, then, frankly, we think they've earned a Superleggera badge.
Yes, it's a twin turbo, so the engine noise will be somewhat muted compared to some of its naturally aspirated stablemates. Such is the price you need to pay when you want to squeeze 715 horses (533 kW) out of this V12 engine. And torque? How about 664 lb-ft (900 Nm) that will rally to the call of your muddy right boot anywhere between 1,800 and 5,000 rpm?
This thing should be an absolute monster to drive, with an 8-speed ZF paddle shift auto sending power to the rear wheels through a mechanical limited-slip diff. Going from 0-62 mph (100 km/h) is a 3.4 second proposition, and if you keep your foot down you'll hit 100 mph (161 km/h) in a further three seconds on your way to a top speed of 211 mph (340 km/h).
The chassis, an evolution of the one underpinning the DB11, features active adaptive damping to read the road and your current driving style and adjust the suspension accordingly for the proper balance between comfort and handling in the given moment.
Brakes should be more than up to the job as well, with 410 mm carbon ceramics at the front and 360 mm versions at the rear wheels. And they have plenty of electronics assisting them in their task, from automatic emergency braking, to electronic brake distribution, ABS and hydraulic brake assist.
When it comes to applying forward torque, there's traction control, positive torque control, stability control and dynamic torque vectoring through the brakes to help keep things in line – or as out of line as you'd like depending on which driving mode you've selected.
Visually, the DBS Superleggera is dominated by its vast, honeycomb-inspired front grill. Flared nostrils on the hood and slotted vents slashing back behind the sexy 21-inch front wheels announce it as something seriously performance-focused, and the rear aspect is classy and sportsy, but a touch on the anonymous side to our eye. Inspiration and an overall shape has been taken from the track special Vulcan, but the design has had a liberal touch of the luxury brush and come out more substantial and refined.
Aerodynamics has been a big focus here. This car has spent more time in the wind tunnel than any other Aston Martin to date. Downforce was a key goal, and the DBS Superleggera is able to produce some 180 kg (397 lb) of it using a front splitter and airdam, those front wheel vents, and a double diffuser at the rear.
Yes, there's no rear wing. Instead, you get the Aeroblade II, a system that pulls air into vents behind the side windows, then fires it out in an upwards direction in front of a small lip at the rear. It makes the whole arrangement look much more grown-up than a bigger spoiler might, while still resulting in bulk downforce.
The interior looks lovely in leather and Alcantara, with cubic detail stitching and embroidered logos on the ventilated sports seats. The press release takes care to note that the leather is "supple and aromatic," which makes us wonder what the guy that wrote it gets up to after hours.
There's a 10-inch touch screen, as well as a handy touch pad, iPhone integration, DAB radio, Bang & Olufsen Beosound audio, integrated sat-nav and a 360-degree camera to help stop you from dinging it up when you park.
Please don't ding it up. It costs US$304,995 in the US, £225,000 in ol' Blighty and €274,995 in Germany, with deliveries beginning in the second half of this year.
Will James Bond drive one? Do people still care? Does that sort of thing make cars cool any more? Who knows. The first-gen DBS got a run in On Her Majesty's Secret Service, and the second-gen made it into Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. It seems a fair bet Daniel Craig or equivalent will barrel-roll one down a hill at some point, so if "007 approved" is on your checklist for your next car, you can probably pencil in a tick.
There's a weird, arty video for the car below.
Source: Aston Martin
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