When it comes to defining the ultimate production Aston Martin, the DBS nameplate has always played a key role in distinguishing these special cars from the rest of the fold. The DBS moniker also means more performance, which is whats exactly in store for the newest chapter of DBS.
Dubbed the DBS Superleggera, this DB11 based monster replaces the old Vanquish S and also resurrects the "Superleggera" moniker which has not been seen on a production Aston Martin for several decades. Aston Martin stylists added a larger hexagonal shaped front grille, as well as a tweaked lower bumper which is noticeably bolder than the slightly more dainty setup in the standard DB11. Other touches include deeper side strakes, power bulges, and Vulcan-esque vents behind the front wheels. The rear fascia also gets in on the aerodynamic theme, and incorporates a new double diffuser, beefier vents, and the latest application of Aston's all new Aeroblade spoiler that channels air to the rear trunk lid to help boost down force to the rear tires. All of these tweaks help produce 180 kg of down force at 211 mph, which is the most ever seen on a production Aston.
The end result is a visual stunner that looks sleek and elegant, but retains its mature business first demeanor. The DBS Superleggera is also a step up over the old Vanquish which was a very pretty offering in its own right when it first entered production. We expect a convertible variant to look even prettier, especially with its carbon fiber bodywork glistening in a perfectly angled sunny day.
The interior of the DBS is a sea of soft leather, carbon fiber, and accent stitching which is reminiscent of a high end German luxury sedan. That latter item is not too far off, since the infotainment system is in fact borrowed from a German sedan, with industrial partner Mercedes kindly lending its unit to Aston. Passengers navigate through the infotainment system with a touch pad and a control wheel mounted below it. To make space for this system, Aston engineers replaced the gear selector with buttons that are mounted below the air vents. As expected, customization is a key theme with buyers being able to tailor the cabin to their specific needs just like in other Aston offerings. This includes relatively obscure items like the seat belts, and even the accent stitching. No word if Q features will make their way into the options sheet, but we expect this bespoke option to eventually appear after the model is formally launched.
Performance for the DBS Superleggera comes from an evolution of the 5.2 liter twin-turbocharged V12 which makes a beastly 715 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque. This is a huge leap over the outgoing Vanquish, and is a sizable increase over the standard DB11. All-wheel drive is not available here, but power is routed to the rear wheels through an eight speed automatic that is mounted rear ward to help improve handling and weight distribution. The immediate effect of these upgrades is seen in the 0 to 60 sprint, with Aston claiming the DBS can do it in a blistering 3.4 seconds, before the car reaches its 211 mph top speed. Handling also sees its fair share of upgrades, with the Superleggera benefiting from stiffer springs and revised hardware. While we wish for a traditional manual gearbox like in the last DBS, Aston is clearly acknowledging that the market for it is not strong enough, especially among younger buyers.
Befitting its role as a flagship super GT, the DBS Superleggera arrives in showrooms with an equally lofty price tag. Base models start at $304,995 with options easily pushing it past the $400,000 barrier. This pricing is on par with its key rivals the Lamborghini Aventador S and the Ferrari 812 Superfast, which are formidable performance machines that offer technology that the Aston doesn't have including all-wheel drive in the case of the Lambo .
With these lofty benchmarks to surpass, it will be interesting to see if the 2019 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera and its unique blend of cool styling and equally bold performance credentials can allow it to carve a sizable slice of the super GT market for itself, while also allowing Aston Martin to further expand its resurgence at the same time.