Aston Martin has unleashed a new 211mph flagship grand tourer that packs the breath-taking punch of James Bond, the man who drove its predecessors.
The new lean and mean £225,000 DBS Superleggera accelerates from rest to 62mph in just 3.4 seconds and takes its inspiration from Aston Martin’s beefy long-distance cruising models that across almost fifty years have been driven on the big screen by British secret agent 007.
Bosses also insisted they wanted to create a very fast car that ‘didn’t terrify less experienced drivers’.
Aston-ishing: This is the new flagship super grand tourer from Aston Martin, called the DBS Superleggera
The new DBS annexes the name Superleggera – Italian for super-light – in homage to the innovative lightweight construction methods pioneered by Italian coachbuilder Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera.
Significantly, weighing in at just over 1.6 tonnes, it is also 72kg lighter than the Aston Martin DB11.
Powered by a mighty 5.2 litre twin-turbo V12 petrol engine developing 715bhp – the power of seven Ford Fiestas – and linked to an eight-speed automatic gearbox, the new DBS Superleggera will also sprint from rest to 100mph in just 6.4 seconds.
The new car was unveiled at a special event at the Roundhouse, in London’s Camden Town.
Aston Martin is reviving the DBS nameplate that was first used between 1967 and 1972, before being brought back after a gap of 35 years in 2007 to run until 2012.
The luxury sports car firm based at Gaydon, in Warwickshire, noted: ’Both first and second generation DBSs have appeared in James Bond movies.
Superleggera means super-light in Italian and is a reference to the lightweight construction of the ultra-quick vehicle
How is it so light? It uses the latest generation lightweight bonded aluminium structure first seen on the DB11
The DBS name is one etched into the history of Aston Martin, starting in the late 1960s and featuring in 1969 Bond film ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’
‘The original was used by George Lazenby in the 1969 film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service; and the later DBS’s in 2006’s ‘Casino Royale’ and 2008‘s ‘Quantum of Solace’ alongside Daniel Craig.’
The new flagship DBS Superlegerra ‘evokes the spirit of Aston Martin’s hardest hitting and best-loved flagships from the past,’ said the firm.
It replaces the Vanquish S at the top of the Aston Martin pile.
With its predatory stance, distinctive honeycomb front grille, and aggressive use of advanced aerodynamics, it is claimed to ‘combine the responses of a supercar with the refinement of a GT’.
The new DBS annexes the name Superleggera in homage to the innovative lightweight construction methods pioneered by Italian coachbuilder Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera
The new lean and mean £225,000 DBS Superleggera accelerates from rest to 62mph in just 3.4 seconds and on to a top speed of 211mph
Standard interior features includes supple aromatic leather and Alcantara upholstery, Sports Plus performance seats and steering wheel
It is an evolution of the latest generation lightweight bonded aluminium structure first seen on the DB11.
There is a choice of three dynamic modes – GT, Sport and Sport Plus – which can be selected by the driver to intensify or relax DBS driving responses.
Standard equipment includes 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.
Standard trim includes supple aromatic leather and Alcantara upholstery, Sports Plus performance seats and steering wheel, plus a choice of two 21-inch alloy wheel designs: a ‘Y’ Spoke or a Lightweight Twin Spoke forged wheel – fitted with specially developed Pirelli P Zero tyres.
Powered by this mighty 5.2 litre twin-turbo V12 petrol engine developing 715bhp that’s linked to an eight-speed automatic gearbox, the new DBS Superleggera will sprint from rest to 100mph in just 6.4 seconds
Full-length paddle-shifters allow the driver to manually override the automatic gearbox without the driver having to reposition hands on the steering wheel during cornering
Aston Menacing: The oversized honeycomb grille gives the front of the car an aggressive look. Round the back, four oval exhaust outlets should guarantee that it is as impressive on the ears as it is on the eyes
The sports-plus seats offer firm support and comfort for long distance drives.
In automatic mode, specially developed software guiding the the 8-speed gearbox gauges driving conditions and the driver’s input to ensure the car is in exactly the right gear at the right time.
Full-length paddle-shifters allow the driver to manually override the automatic gearbox without the driver having to reposition hands on the steering wheel during cornering.
The burble and roar from the quad exhaust pipe is also finely tuned to ensure pops and bangs during enthusiastic driving and more subdued GT levels of refinement during more relaxed driving.
Aston Martin is reviving the DBS nameplate that was first used between 1967 and 1972, before being brought back after a gap of 35 years in 2007 to run until 2012
The car was launched at a glitzy event in Camden Town in London to an invite-only selection of guests
Aston Martin designers and bosses have said it might look like an handful but the DBS Superleggera has been designed to be easy to drive for everyone
Aston’s engineering and performance boss Matt Becker said: ‘It 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 turbo-charged V12 can deliver.’
But he stressed: ‘While we wanted to create a very fast car, it was crucial that it didn’t terrify less experienced drivers.
‘We’ve tuned the handling to engage and reward drivers of all ability levels.’
Aston Martin president and chief executive officer Dr Andy Palmer added: ‘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.
‘DBS Superleggera also packs a breath-taking punch, yet its dynamics have been carefully honed to engage drivers of all ability levels. It is every inch the Aston Martin flagship.’
The Aston Martin DBS Superleggera weighs in at just over 1.6 tonnes, which is 72kg lighter than the Aston Martin DB11
The all-new Aston replaces the Vanquish S at the top of the Aston Martin range of long-distance cruising machines
Deliveries will commence later this year and is part of Aston Martin’s Second Century Plan to launch seven new supercars in seven years
History of the Aston Martin DBS
The DBS V8 pictured with models Jenny Lowe (left) and Carol Craig sitting on the bonnet at the 1970 Earl’s Court Motor Show
The DBS nameplate was first used in 1967 on a six cylinder V6 vehicle created by Aston martin’s in-house designer William Towns.
It was designed to be a dramatic departure from the DB6 it replaced, although the 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 powered by Aston Martin’s all-new 5.3-litre V8 engine hailed as ‘the world’s fastest four-seater production car’.
Just over 1,000 DBS cars were built between 1967 and 1972, including both V6 and V8-powered editions.
After a gap of 35-year the DBS name was revived in 2007, when the all-new DBS – a development of the DB9 – was unveiled at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in the USA before going on sale the following year and replacing the first generation Vanquish S.
Powered by a 6.0-litre, 510bhp V12 engine linked to a six-speed manual gear-box, it had a top speed in excess of 190mph. Later DBS versions had a choice of manual or automatic transmission. In 2009 Aston Martin introduced the DBS Volante – the first ever open-top DBS. Production of both the second-generation DBS and DBS Volante ceased in 2012.
CARS & MOTORING: ON TEST