Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Aston revives both the DBS and Superleggera names for its new 715bhp 2+2 ‘super GT’. Words and photos by Stuart Gallagher.
Ready for another new Aston Martin? Of course you are, so here’s the new DBS Superleggera, the replacement for the Vanquish S that sits between the Vantage and the DB11. (Although there’s also a new Vanquish on its way, too…)
“The rear subframe is stiffer, the ride 5mm lower, the suspension geometry bespoke and the cambers increased”
In Aston speak the DBS Superleggera is a super GT and mixes the grand-touring attributes of the DB11 with the supercar performance of the Vantage. With 715bhp, a 211mph top speed and an aluminium and carbonfibre construction it sounds more like a supercar to us.
As with the car it replaces, and the DBS of 2008-2012, the new DBS faces some strong rivals in Bentley’s new Continental GT, Ferrari’s ferocious 812 Superfast and Mercedes-AMG’s imperious S63 (or S65 if you must have 12 cylinders). The sales numbers may be small, but customers will demand the ultimate from their grand-touring supercar.
ENGINE & GEARBOX
There are no hardware changes to the DB11’s 5.2-litre twin-turbo V12, but a thorough remapping of the ECU, and a new induction system and exhaust, have allowed Aston to ex tract an additional 115bhp and 148lb ft from it. ‘We always knew the performance was in the engine when we designed it for the DB11. For DBS we’ve called on some of its reserves,’ explained Aston’s Mar tin’s chief engineer Matt Becker.
That performance is quite phenomenal: 715bhp produced at 6500rpm, 664lb ft from 1800rpm through to 5000rpm, a 0-62mph time of 3.4sec and a 6.4sec 0-100mph time. There’s a new eight-speed ZF auto, with the shorter final drive taken from the Vantage, while a mechanical limited-slip diff and torque vectoring are also standard.
DESIGN & AERODYNAMICS
The DBS’s body shares only its glasshouse and doors with the DB11. It’s sleeker, lower and wider, and the design incorporates the aerodynamic and cooling requirements of the engineering department, with Marek Reichman creating the most successful design yet in terms of conveying the company’s current styling direction – to our eyes at least.
Aeroblade II, which channels air into the car’s body via ducts in the C-pillars and out ahead of the rear spoiler, enhances the aerodynamic balance first seen on the DB11 and contributes towards 180k g of downforce at the car’s 211mph V-max. The front grille and splitter provide cooling air to the engine and brakes, as well as channelling air to the double diffuser fixed to the rear of the car.
CHASSIS & BRAKES
When developing the DBS, Aston wanted to blend the DB11’s GT comfort with the responsiveness and supercar focus of the Vantage. Therefore the rear subframe is stiffer, the ride is 5mm lower, the suspension geometry is bespoke, and the front and rear cambers have been increased and new bush geometry introduced to improve traction.
Adaptive dampers offer three modes – GT, Sport and Sport Plus – while the engine mounts are stiffer and the electric steering has been recalibrated to generate improved feedback. The 410mm (front) and 360mm (rear) carbon-ceramic brakes are taken from the Vantage but feature DBS-specific six-and four-piston calipers. The compound of the 21-inch Pirelli P Zero tyres (265/35 front, 305/30 rear) is also bespoke.
Just as its exterior continues to evolve Aston Mar tin’s design language, so too the interior of the DBS Superleggera provides a different offering to the Vantage and DB11, even if it is a subtle one.
There are new sports seats (called Sports Plus seats) and a new steering wheel, as well as a new instrument cluster.
Leather and Alcantara are the default materials, with piano black trim standard, although, of course, the interior can be personalised to your exact requirements, right down to the colour of the seatbelts and whether you have Triaxial or Geode quilting on your seats.
You can also specify that some of the leather surfaces are replaced with carbonfibre, too.
TECHNICAL DATA FILE SPECIFICATIONS 2019 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera
Engine V12, 5204cc, twin-turbo
Max Power 715bhp @ 6500rpm / DIN nett (metric)
Max Torque 664lb ft @ 1800-5000rpm / DIN nett (metric)
Weight 1693kg (dry)
Power-to-weight 429bhp/ton (dry)
Top speed 211mph
Basic price £225,000
On sale Autumn 2018
Above left: 410mm carbon-ceramic brakes (360mm at the rear) are borrowed from the Vantage. Above right: cabin is highly customizable