DBS Superleggera. A true thoroughbred that marks the return of not one, but two illustrious names. With DBS, Aston Martin is reviving an iconic nameplate that first appeared on in 1967, while Touring’s famous mark – Superleggera – will once again adorn the bonnet of an Aston Martin. A collaboration that originally paved the way to the DB4, 5 and 6 Mark 1, DBS Superleggera pays homage to the historic super lightweight construction technology of the famous Italian coachbuilder.
In the new DBS Superleggera, Aston Martin has a Super GT that’s a breed apart. One that takes the fight to the world’s best on its own terms. Clad using immaculately sculpted carbon fibre body panels this latest model is blessed with muscular, highly individual styling. A look that’s perfectly matched by epic performance courtesy of Aston Martin’s 5.2-litre twin-turbo V12, tuned to produce tremendous power and immense torque for breath-taking response and extraordinary in-gear performance.
As the British marque’s magnificent new Super GT flagship, DBS Superleggera replaces the esteemed Vanquish S. That’s a tough act to follow, but one it was born to do. With 725PS, 900Nm of torque, a top speed of 211mph and blistering acceleration that dispatches 0-62mph in just 3.4 seconds and 0-100mph in 6.4 seconds, DBS Superleggera is a car dedicated to delivering an unforgettable driving experience and class-leading in-gear acceleration, with 50-100mph achieved in fourth gear in a mere 4.2 seconds.
While being resolutely modern in design and engineering, DBS Superleggera proudly evokes the towering reputations of Aston Martin’s hardest hitting and best-loved flagships from the past. Combining generous proportions with aggression and athleticism, DBS Superleggera expresses itself with an explicit design language. One that combines compelling curves with advanced aerodynamics for a sleek shape that both cheats the wind and clamps the car to the road.
Evolving innovative aerodynamic concepts first seen on the DB11 - such as the curlicue and Aeroblade - and then taking things further with an F1-inspired double-diffuser, DBS Superleggera generates 180kg of downforce at VMAX: the highest figure ever for a series production Aston Martin. This significant increase comes with no additional drag penalty.
The heart of DBS Superleggera is Aston Martin’s 5.2-litre twin-turbo V12 engine. Set low and as far back in the chassis as possible to optimise the centre-of-gravity and weight distribution, this high-performance engine develops 725PS at 6500rpm and 900Nm from 1800-5000rpm. Detailed tuning of the V12 together with a new exhaust strategy with active valves and quad tail pipes ensures DBS Superleggera has a commanding and powerful sound character, particularly in the more aggressive dynamic modes, while retaining a level of refinement and civility that compliments its role as the consummate Super GT.
DBS Superleggera deploys its prodigious power and torque to the rear wheels via a new rear-mounted ZF eight-speed automatic transmission. Featuring a mechanical limited-slip differential and torque vectoring for precise, predictable and exploitable handling and a lower final drive for explosive in-gear acceleration, DBS Superleggera combines the responses of a supercar with the refinement of a GT, with the capability of a maximum speed of 211mph.
The chassis is an evolution of the latest generation lightweight bonded aluminium structure first seen on the DB11, with forged double wishbones at the front and a sophisticated multi-link system at the rear. Latest generation adaptive damping is fitted as standard, with sensors detecting the prevailing driving conditions, as well as the demands the driver is making of the car. Both the powertrain and chassis have a choice of three dynamic modes – GT, Sport and Sport Plus - which can be selected by the driver to intensify or relax DBS Superleggera’s responses according to the needs of the driver.
DBS Superleggera features a generous level of standard equipment, including keyless entry, tyre pressure monitoring system and a 360-degree camera with Parking Distance Display and Park Assist. The audio system has DAB plus Bluetooth audio and phone streaming, iPod, iPhone and USB playback. There is also an integrated satellite navigation system and wi-fi hub. All the in-car infotainment systems use a central LCD screen, controlled via a central dial.
As befits its flagship status, DBS Superleggera features a high level of craftsmanship with extensive scope for personalisation via a generous choice of options. Supple, aromatic leather and Alcantara upholstery comes as standard, as do the Sports Plus performance seats and steering wheel. There is a choice of two alloy wheel designs: the standard ‘Y’ Spoke Forged Wheel and the Lightweight Twin Spoke Forged wheel. Both are 21” in diameter and fitted with Pirelli tyres developed specifically for DBS Superleggera. There is also a choice of striking Designer Specifications, with specially chosen colour and trim combinations selected by the Aston Martin Design Team to accentuate certain aspects of DBS Superleggera’s character.
Aston Martin President & Chief Executive Officer, Dr Andy Palmer said: “DBS Superleggera not only marks the return of a great Aston Martin name, but signals our return to the very pinnacle of the Super GT sector. Handsome beyond measure, its lightweight carbon composite and aluminium body is sculpted into a shape with tremendous presence and charisma. Thanks to the remarkable torque available from its twin-turbo V12, DBS Superleggera also packs a breath-taking punch, yet its dynamics have been carefully honed to engage drivers of all ability levels. Immaculately styled, obsessively engineered and outrageously potent, the new DBS Superleggera is every inch the Aston Martin flagship”.
Priced from £225,000 in the UK, EUR 274,995 in Germany and $304,995 in the USA, deliveries of DBS Superleggera are scheduled to begin in Q3 2018.
WHEELS AND TYRES
As befits its position as the flagship of Aston Martin’s series production range, the new DBS Superleggera is a truly stunning piece of design. Designed in-house at Aston Martin’s Gaydon HQ, under the guidance of Executive Vice President & Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichman, DBS Superleggera captures the spirit of its great Super GT ancestors, combining the inherent elegance for which Aston Martin is renowned with raw potency and pure aggression. The result is a distinctive and imposing machine blessed with tremendous physical presence, but also a shape of unusual purity, balance and immaculate detailing.
Continuing Aston Martin’s pursuit of highly individual designs for each of its models, DBS Superleggera combines perfect proportions and painstaking surfacing. Its magnificent physique - flawlessly sculpted utilising lightweight carbon fibre panels - is compelling, while carefully considered details create areas of intrigue while clearly showcasing the aerodynamic functionality that sets this supreme Super GT from its rivals.
The bold front grille is influenced by one of the most repeated shapes found in nature - the honeycomb - while the bonnet’s elongated power bulges and flared nostril bonnet vents create a dynamic sense of speed, while emulating its spiritual predecessor. With drawn-in flanks sculpted to accentuate the muscularity of the broad front shoulders and powerful rear haunches, DBS Superleggera boasts a dramatically honed physique that mirrors the extreme muscular nature of its performance.
The front splitter and airdam work in unison, accelerating airflow underneath the front of the car to deliver true downforce and assist cooling by feeding air to the front brakes. The new deeper side strake draws more air from the front wheel arch to reduce lift and aid high-speed stability. Behind the front wheels, the so-called ‘open stirrup’ and ‘curlicue’ – inspired by the Aston Martin Vulcan and Vantage GTE race car - allow air to escape and flow cleanly along the car’s flanks. At the rear, the combination of a Double Diffuser and enhanced Aeroblade ll cleverly ducts airflow to generate additional drag-free downforce - the highest ever achieved by a series production Aston Martin with 180kg at VMAX.
The interior makes an equally bold statement: clear, intuitive ergonomics and flowing lines combined with bold use of materials. Brilliantly supportive Sports Plus seats hold you firmly in place but readily deliver exceptional long-distance comfort, while the faceted Sports Plus steering wheel is tactile perfection. A hooded Sports binnacle shrouds the recessed instruments to further enhance the driver-focussed cockpit feel.
Fixed, full-length paddle shifters facilitate up and downshifts without the driver having to reposition their hands on the steering wheel during cornering, with the shift actuation honed for a direct and positive feel. The centre console features the familiar array of ‘PRND’ transmission buttons in the upper section, with smooth touch-sensitive HVAC controls located in the lower portion. Operation of the infotainment system is via a centrally-mounted control dial.
Executive Vice President & Chief Creative Officer, Marek Reichman said: “With DBS Superleggera we had the perfect opportunity to celebrate Aston Martin’s unrivalled Super GT pedigree. We wanted to create a car that combined cutting edge aerodynamics with the classic muscularity and presence for which our most potent series production models are renowned. The result is a shape of true purity and exceptional efficiency - one that generates a significant increase in downforce without any drag penalty. Explicit but not exaggerated, it exudes a sense of immense potency”.
Portraying the modern interpretation of the Superleggera’s principles, DBS Superleggera is built around a bonded aluminium underframe. An evolution of the all-new architecture pioneered by the DB11, DBS Superleggera’s inherent strength and weight efficiency is bolstered by the use of carbon fibre body panels across the exterior body. The result is an immensely strong and rigid structure, but one that is also 72kg lighter than the DB11, with a dry kerb weight of 1693kg.
The new DBS Superleggera utilises an ultra-high-performance development of Aston Martin’s in-house designed 5.2-litre V12 twin-turbo engine. Generating peak outputs of 725PS at 6500rpm and a colossal 900Nm of torque from just 1800rpm all the way to 5000rpm, this all-alloy, quad overhead cam V12 has been specifically tuned to deliver maximum performance within the rev window in which most road driving typically occurs.
This vast slab of torque results in monumental in-gear acceleration that positions DBS Superleggera amongst the world’s fastest series production cars and at the very pinnacle of Super GT performance. Shunning highly-strung, high rev delivery for effortless urgency and crushing overtaking ability, the style in which DBS Superleggera delivers its performance is truly formidable and utterly irresistible. For example, DBS Superleggera dispatches 50-100mph (80-160kph) in fourth gear in a mere 4.2 seconds.
900Nm of torque is fed via a carbon-fibre prop shaft to a new ZF 8-speed automatic transmission mounted at the back of the car. Strengthened to cope with the V12’s massive torque output, this transmission also has a shorter final drive for increased responsiveness and in-gear acceleration. Specially developed adaptive software gauges the conditions the car is operating in, along with the driver’s demands, to ensure the car is in exactly the right gear at the right time.
Ensuring DBS Superleggera’s engine note lives up to its bruising looks and blistering performance, careful attention has been paid to its sound character. The introduction of a quad exhaust system has given the opportunity to increase the level and purity of firing orders, which combined with the greater gas flow generated by its more powerful engine gives DBS Superleggera its uniquely commanding aural character. Recalibrated exhaust valves give greater separation between each powertrain mode, with pops and bangs on the overrun a feature of Sport and Sport Plus modes. Static noise quality has been enhanced by optimising the turbo wastegate strategy, while the car retains more subdued GT levels of refinement during low load and small throttle openings.
Aston Martin Chief Technical Officer, Max Szwaj, said: “The term Super GT is a relatively new one, but the very special breed of car it describes has long been part of Aston Martin’s DNA. DBS Superleggera honours that tradition in spectacular style and very much on its own terms, largely thanks to its ultra-high torque V12, which we have tuned to deliver maximum performance in the most accessible rev range. This heavyweight performance is complimented by the use of lightweight materials and construction techniques, which save weight without sacrificing structural integrity. Faster, lighter, more potent and more sophisticated, DBS Superleggera is a formidable and fabulous machine.”
The dynamic target for the new DBS Superleggera was to create an aggressive, muscular Super GT that was engaging and exciting for drivers of all abilities. To achieve this the primary focus was on harnessing the substantial increase in power and torque, delivering a chassis that allows the most skilled drivers to exploit the power and torque when conditions permit, but not intimidate those with less experience. Led by Chief of Vehicle Attribute Engineering Matt Becker, Aston Martin’s dynamics team have pushed hard to create just that.
The suspension uses a forged double wishbone design at the front and a multi-link system at the rear. Adaptive damping features as standard, with sensors on the car detecting the prevailing driving conditions, as well as the demands the driver is making of the car. DBS Superleggera rides 5mm lower than the DB11 and features bespoke geometry settings, with increased front and rear cambers and new bush geometry to improve the combined traction and lateral load performance.
Reflecting its role as a Super GT, DBS Superleggera boasts a remarkable breadth of dynamic character. This is facilitated and controlled by three dynamic modes - GT, Sport and Sport Plus - which have been tuned to offer the greatest level of mode differentiation of any current Aston Martin production car. The Adaptive Damping software has been developed to exploit this and is tuned to deliver a greater level of sensitivity to driver inputs as well as reducing the overall reaction time of the Adaptive Suspension System.
Detail changes have been made to the engine mounts, with tighter control of longitudinal and lateral movement to better manage the V12 engine’s mass to improve initial steering response, transient response through a series of corners and greater on-limit stability. These new mounts keep vertical stiffness and damping characteristics close to those of the DB11, in order to preserve ride comfort. The EPAS (electric power steering) software has been further developed to suit the enhanced response characteristics of DBS Superleggera, with a greater level of surface feedback reaching the driver for a better sense of connection.
In order to put its prodigious power and torque into the tarmac, DBS Superleggera combines a mechanical limited-slip differential with Dynamic Stability Control and Dynamic Torque Vectoring (DTV), which is deployed by braking individual wheels to significantly improve the car’s cornering capabilities. Thanks to the increased thermal capacity of DBS Superleggera’s Carbon Ceramic brakes, DTV can be used to greater effect, taking discreet but precise control of the car’s dynamic behaviour. Of course, being a true driver’s car, the DSC system can be relaxed or switched-off altogether when conditions permit.
Straight line performance is mighty, with a maximum speed of 211mph, 62mph from rest in just 3.4s and 100mph in 6.4s. 900Nm of torque makes in-gear acceleration both remarkable and effortless, with 50-75mph in 4th gear taking just 2.0 seconds and to 100mph a further 2.2.
Aerodynamics also play a significant role in how DBS Superleggera feels and behaves. The product of the most comprehensive wind tunnel test programme of any Aston Martin to-date, extensive aerodynamic Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), aerothermal and performance simulations were combined with track testing by the vehicle dynamics team. The high levels of downforce have been honed to deliver exceptional levels of grip, providing agility, high speed cornering and confidence-inspiring stability and elevated speeds.
The braking system features latest generation CCB carbon discs measuring 410mm at the front, and 360mm at the rear, gripped by six-piston and four pistons front and rear respectively. The master cylinder and booster are optimised for a firmer brake pedal with shorter travel.
The wheels are 21” as standard with a choice of two wheel styles: ‘Y’ spoke forged alloys as standard and Lightweight Twin Spoke Forged alloy wheels with a structurally optimised design that minimises mass and spoke section while retaining maximum strength. The tyres are bespoke ‘A7’ Pirelli P-Zeros (265/35 on 9.5J rims at the front, 305/30 on 11.5J rims at the rear) which have a specific construction and compound developed to suit the high torque and driving dynamics of the 211mph DBS Superleggera. Also fitted with Pirelli’s noise absorbing foam technology to reduce tyre noise, these wider, lower profile tyres maintain a level of noise suppression and refinement required for a Super GT.
Chief of Vehicle Attribute Engineering, Matt Becker said: “The new DBS Superleggera is a hugely potent car. Every time I drive it I’m blown away by its raw performance - 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. Much like we’ve tuned the engine to deliver the meat of its performance at real world revs, we’ve tuned the handling to engage and reward drivers of all ability levels”.
Styled by Aston Martin’s in-house designer William Towns, DBS was a dramatic departure from the DB6 it was conceived to complement as a flagship model for the brand. Powered from launch by Aston Martin’s celebrated Tadek Marek-designed inline-six engine (in both regular and more powerful Vantage specifications) the fastback four-seater DBS was produced alongside the ageing DB6 for three years, until the older car was finally phased out in 1970.
Two years into production, the six-cylinder DBS was joined by the DBS V8, which was powered by Aston Martin’s all-new, all-alloy 5.3-litre V8 engine. Featuring distinctive alloy wheels in place of the original car’s wire wheels and ventilated disc brakes to cope with the increased performance, DBS V8 was hailed as the world’s fastest four-seater production car. In total, just over 1000 DBS examples were built between 1967 and 1972, including both V6 and V8-powered editions.
After a 35-year hiatus the DBS name was revived in 2007, when the all-new DBS was unveiled at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. A development of the DB9, DBS went on-sale the following year, replacing the first generation Vanquish S.
Featuring more aggressive styling and weight-saving carbon fibre bodywork the new DBS was powered by Aston Martin’s 6.0-litre, 510bhp V12 engine. It boasted formidable 190+mph performance, Aston Martin’s new Adaptive Damping Suspension and carbon ceramic brakes. Initially launched with a six-speed manual transmission, later versions of DBS were available with a choice of manual or ‘Touchtronic 2’ automatic transmission. In 2009 Aston Martin introduced DBS Volante - the first open-top DBS ever. Mechanically identical to the Coupe it proved an immediate hit with Aston Martin customers. Production of the second-generation DBS and DBS Volante ceased in 2012.
Adding to the mystique that surrounds the name, both first and second generation DBSs have appeared in James Bond movies: the original being used by George Lazenby in the 1969 film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service; DBS in 2006’s Casino Royale and 2008‘s Quantum of Solace alongside Daniel Craig.
Now, with the introduction of the all-new DBS Superleggera, one of Aston Martin’s most charismatic and highest performing models is making a welcome return.