Aston Martin DBS Superleggera is 715 HP Flagship

Craig Cole
by Craig Cole

Look out, Vanquish S, a new Aston Martin flagship is coming to town – the DBS Superleggera.

When it launches later this year, the DBS Superleggera will be the alpha model in this English automaker’s esteemed lineup of exotic cars, a modern reincarnation of an iconic nameplate that first appeared in 1967. A super grand-tourer, this machine features a raft of enhancements that make it handle better and run even harder than the already fleet DB11 on which it’s based.

Sharing the same basic bones – an aluminum-intensive structure – as its more run-of-the-mill sibling, this new DBS Superleggera is lighter and significantly more powerful. Bedecked with well-tailored carbon-fiber body panels, this car has shed nearly 160 pounds (72 kg) compared to the DB11, an alteration that results in an overall weight of around 3,733 pounds (1,693 kg).

SEE ALSO: 2019 Aston Martin DB11 AMR Review

Inside and out, this machine’s styling has been amplified with the front gaining a tastefully aggressive honeycomb-textured grille. A new front splitter and dam help accelerate airflow underneath the body to provide additional downforce at speed and help cool its massive brakes. Redesigned curlicue vents on the fenders help exhaust more air from the wheel wells, further aiding aerodynamic performance.

At terminal velocity, which is 211 miles an hour (340 km/h), the DBS Superleggera generates 397 pounds (180 kg) of downforce. This is the most for any series-production Aston Martin and the car achieves it without generating any additional drag.

Pushing this British exotic to that exhilarating top speed is a reworked 5.2-liter twin-turbocharged V12. Smooth yet snarly, this lovable engine packs a punch, cranking out 715 brake-horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque in this application. For enhanced drivability, peak twist is available throughout a broad rev range, 1,800 to 5,000 rpm.

A new ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic transmission sends twist to the rear wheels, one with a greater torque capacity to withstand the engine’s extra muscle. A lower final-drive ratio enables even faster acceleration while a mechanically operated limited-slip differential makes sure this Aston Martin can turn as well as it accelerates.

This drivetrain combination results in truly shocking performance. The DBS Superleggera can accelerate from zero to 60 miles an hour (100 km/h) in just 3.4 seconds; it can reach 100 in a mere 6.4. But perhaps even more impressive than these figures is the car’s passing power. In fourth gear it can rip from 50 miles an hour to 100 in a mere 4.2 seconds!

Further helping this exotic’s V12 sing are new, higher-flowing quad exhaust pipes. Fitted with adjustable valves as in other Aston Martins, they’re tuned to offer greater noise separation in the car’s three driving modes, so the DBS Superleggera can be refined when you need it and raucous when you want extra volume.

Despite its incredible performance and capability, this Aston Martin is designed for drivers of all skill levels. It should offer enough engagement for pro racers to have fun without totally intimidating more novice motorists. Helping deliver on this claim, the DBS Superleggera rides 5 millimeters (0.2 inches) lower than the DB11 and features updated suspension geometry including more camber at both ends. Adaptive dampers are included at no extra charge.

SEE ALSO: 2019 Aston Martin Vantage Review

Bringing everything to a safe, reliable stop are standard carbon-ceramic brakes measuring 410 millimeters up front (16.1 inches) and 360 millimeters (14.2 inches) at the rear. Pads are clamped by six-piston calipers up front, while four-pot units service the backs.

The DBS Superleggera rolls on standard 21-inch staggered-width wheels, with two designs being offered. They’re wrapped in bespoke Pirelli tires, which were designed especially for this car and feature noise-abating foam inside, to help keep noise levels in check.

Deliveries of Aston Martin’s reborn DBS Superleggera are slated to begin in the fourth-quarter of the year. Base price should be around $305,000 in the U.S.

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Craig Cole
Craig Cole

Born and raised in metro Detroit, Craig was steeped in mechanics from childhood. He feels as much at home with a wrench or welding gun in his hand as he does behind the wheel or in front of a camera. Putting his Bachelor's Degree in Journalism to good use, he's always pumping out videos, reviews, and features for When the workday is over, he can be found out driving his fully restored 1936 Ford V8 sedan. Craig has covered the automotive industry full time for more than 10 years and is a member of the Automotive Press Association (APA) and Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).

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 1 comment
  • Lionel Arnold Lionel Arnold on Jun 27, 2018

    Aside from the flowing design accented by the beautiful paint scheme, the upholstery on this thing is enough to make a dead cow proud.