DBR22 roadster punches Aston Martin design into hyperdrive
Striving hard to catch a longing glance from the well-heeled automotive fanatics at the annual Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, Aston Martin is premiering the all-new DBR22. Designed as an homage to vintage Aston Martin race cars and a 10th anniversary celebration of Aston's customization arm Q, the DBR22 wears coachbuilt carbon bodywork over top a 5.2-liter V12 powertrain and 3D-printed rear subframe. The new roadster with inches-high windscreen will look gorgeous whether on the road or track or inside a gallery custom-crafted by Aston itself.
Aston Martin really has a thing for topless special editions with minimized or deleted windscreens. Two years ago, it prepared the split-cockpit V12 Speedster for a pandemicked 2020 Geneva Motor Show. And that car itself was derived from the even airier 2013 CC100 Speedster one-off.
Like those two previous projects, the DBR22 is inspired by Aston's legendary open-cockpit race cars, including the Le Mans-winning DBR1, the "most important Aston Martin ever produced," and its predecessor, the DB3S. Aston Martin's design team (sadly) stops short of reviving the incomparably plump, bulging fenders of the DB race cars and other '50s-era competitors, smoothing those into a modern but still muscular look with long, arching hood. Compare the DBR22 to a production Aston Martin like the DBS, and you'll notice the subtle but defined extra bulging around the front fenders, flowing back from the more rounded headlamps.
Between the stretched-oval headlamps, the new grille design does away with the usual slats or mesh, flashing a unique carbon fiber structure inspired directly by the DBR1 and DB3S grilles. Up above, the hood splits away into two levels owing to a large horseshoe-shaped vent that dumps heat coming off the hardworking twin-turbo V12.
The DBR22 really shows its personality around a cockpit area that features one of the tiniest possible wind deflectors separating the car's present from its imminent future. While the interior has some classic hints, it's much more modernized and equipment-loaded than any 20th century race car, featuring a mix of leather, carbon fiber, and digital infotainment. Twin nacelles behind the headrests smoothen out the airflow behind driver and passenger.
The DBR22 has an eight-speed paddle-shift transmission working in concert with the aforementioned 5.2-liter twin-turbo V12 for up to 705 hp (519 kW) and 555 lb-ft (753 Nm) of torque. The powertrain has been carefully calibrated for a distinctive torque delivery. The DBR22 can sprint from 0 to 60 mph (96.5 km/h) in 3.4 seconds and accelerate up to a top speed of 198 mph (319 km/h).
Aston has also carefully tuned the DBR22's chassis, developing the rear subframe out of multiple 3D-printed aluminum components for the first time, cutting weight without giving up any stiffness. An increase in front and rear torsional rigidity works with the specially calibrated adaptive dampers to improve precision and pliancy for a tighter, more refined ride.
"We set our design systems to 'hyper-drive', pushing the exploration of formalism further and endeavoring to express a future in the here today," said Marek Reichman, Aston Martin's chief creative officer. "Where could we go with the surfaces, proportion and form. Combining this approach with advanced process, technology, and materials, we’ve effectively modernized our racing bloodline and created a new pedigree. DBR22 is a hot-blooded, purebred Aston Martin sports car full of speed, agility and spirit, and a machine that we think will be the basis of many of tomorrow’s icons."
The DBR22's life officially starts this weekend, when it will be on display at the 2022 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance from Friday through Sunday. Aston describes the debut model as a design concept but also says that it will build an ultra-exclusive production model for Q by Aston Martin customers.
Source: Aston Martin