The DBS Superleggera is the third new Aston Martin revealed this yr, following the Vantage and DB11 AMR. It is based mostly on the DB11 and serves as a alternative for the Vanquish S. Instead of the previous, naturally-aspirated 6.zero-liter V12 is an upgraded model of the 5.2-liter engine discovered within the DB11 AMR. Within the DBS, the engine makes 715 horsepower and 664 pound-ft of torque, up eighty five horses and a intestine-punching 148 pound-ft over the DB11. The additional energy comes principally from a rise in increase from the 2 turbos.
The opposite massive modifications to the DBS are available the best way of the comparatively light-weight carbon-fiber bodywork. Each panel save for the doorways and roof has been re-sculpted. The brand new panels are carbon fiber, and — with choices akin to carbon-fiber trim and a light-weight exhaust — the DBS weighs about one hundred sixty kilos lower than a DB11. The styling is totally different, too, thanks to an enormous grill and decrease intakes that make up a lot of the entrance fascia. Aston Martin says the additional area is required to chill the V12. It jogs my memory a little bit of the vast-mouth Aston grilles from the ’50s and ’60s.
The straked “curlicue” fender vents, F1-fashion double diffuser, and reworked Aeroblade improve downforce to just about four hundred kilos on the car’s prime velocity of 211 mph with none main drag penalties. The Aeroblade pulls in air from behind the rear home windows, shifting it via the bodywork and over the rear wing. Fairly than utilizing an lively wing like on the DB11, the DBS makes use of a hard and fast Gurney flap. The Aeroblade and Gurney flap give the DBS downforce whereas maintaining the general design comparatively clear. The brand new DBS is good-looking and purposeful, if not precisely lovely.
Sitting behind the wheel, you would be forgiven for considering you have been in one other DB11. The seats are probably the most notable and apparent change within the DBS, providing barely extra bolstering than what you get on the DB11 (although they lack superb-tuned changes). The remainder of the interior merely seems to be like a reskinned DB11. There’s numerous selection on the subject of colours and trim. It is opulent, however in sure guises it is somewhat overcooked — maybe a bit unbecoming of a car sporting the Aston Martin badge.
The switches appear and feel premium, although the contact capacitive controls could be cumbersome. I additionally had an occasional problem getting the drive and suspension buttons on the steering wheel to register inputs. No less than the Mercedes-Benz-derived infotainment system features properly.
Because of the additional energy, the light-weight development, and a shorter 2.39:1 ultimate drive ratio, the DBS is faster than the DB11 AMR, although not considerably so. The DBS hits sixty two mph in three.four seconds and one hundred mph in 6.four seconds. You actually really feel the additional oomph within the engine’s mid and higher range. Peak torque is out there from 1,800 to five,000 rpm.
Acceleration is fierce however not quick. There is a shocking quantity of turbo lag for a car with this a lot energy, even within the Sport Plus mode. Nonetheless, when it comes on, it comes on robust and with objective. Dip into the throttle and the V12 sings, roaring in that candy and silky method solely 12-cylinder engines can handle, although — like different automobiles with lively exhaust — the word is usually a bit on/off, with the exhaust going from quiet to loud immediately round 2,500 rpm. There’s additionally a slight whine from the 2 turbochargers emanating from beneath the hood, although they do not do a lot to muffle the exhaust. As with most automobiles packing a variant of the ZF eight-velocity automated, shifts are fast and clean, even in Sport Plus.
The steering is faster and lighter than you’d anticipate from a car this size, however a minimum of it is tight and exact, which does assist shrink the car and makes it comparatively straightforward to put right into a nook. And whereas we’re speaking about shrinking, regardless of the identify and weight-loss program, you possibly can’t cover the DBS’ formidable dimensions. It is roughly the identical size because the Ferrari 812 Superfast, although it is about four hundred kilos heavier. The lengthy wheelbase — three inches longer than the 812 Superfast — may make it much less nimble in a nook however helps immensely with excessive-velocity stability.
Even so, on an enormous, winding mountain street like these discovered within the Bavarian and Austrian Alps, the DBS actually comes alive. Whereas the suspension is firmer than the DB11, it is on the softer aspect of sporty. The DBS makes use of a cast double wishbone design on the entrance and a multi-hyperlink system on the rear and sits a negligible zero.2 inches decrease than the DB11. Entrance and rear camber have each been elevated in comparison with the DB11 to assist enhance cornering stability. Adaptive damping is standard. Energy is shipped to the wheels by way of a mechanical restricted-slip differential with torque vectoring. Regardless of the enhancements, the car’s rear can nonetheless twitch barely in a nook underneath arduous throttle.
Like several actually nice touring car, the DBS loves absorbing mile after mile. It feels proper at residence on the German Autobahn. You will not confuse it for a Vantage in a nook, however that is OK. The DBS is not actually meant for monitor obligation. It isn’t that it is dangerous by means of turns, it is that you simply’re all the time conscious of the mass you are shifting.
Towards the top of the day, the drive took us up Rossfeldpanoramastrasse, a scenic switchbacked street that crossed forwards and backwards between Germany and Austria. I pulled off to take some photos and provides myself a little bit of a niche in visitors. When the street winds out and you’ve got room to breathe, the DBS feels unstoppable. Hold the revs up, and the V12 delivers. The turbos, torque and gearing stored the DBS pumping whereas climbing the mountain. One notably lengthy straight despatched the exhaust cracking and the digital speedometer leaping by double digits. Carbon-ceramic brakes and sticky tires assist scrub velocity with confidence. It could be massive, however I might have spent days carving up and down the Alps within the DBS.
All I’ve ever needed is a mountain and a V12. @therealautoblog pic.twitter.com/1aiSv1ZxZD
— Reese Counts (@rmcounts) July 24, 2018
That is the place the DBS Superleggera shines. If you need a monitor-oriented Aston, keep on with the Vantage. It is smaller and nimbler. The DBS is supposed for greater issues, like blasting throughout Europe in a single day. It feels free and easy on the freeway, consuming away mile after mile after mile.
The most important difficulty the DBS Superleggera has to cope with is the DB11 AMR. The previous begins at $304,995, a hefty $sixty four,000 greater than the latter. Hell, our White Stone tester rang in at $344,612, greater than $one hundred,000 up on a DB11 AMR. Sure, the DBS extra highly effective and handles higher, although each automobiles supply much more functionality than can be utilized on any public street. However hey, the delineation between the previous DB9 and Vanquish was all the time murky, and there was all the time a case for each.
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