Superleggera

Imagine being made the custodian of 533 kW and 900 Nm of metal twisting torque. Those are frightening yet exhilarating figures even for an experienced driver of sports vehicles – it almost sounds like a fantasy but I can assure you that these events did indeed take place. I was recently handed the golden key – one of a very few to a man’s deepest desires – unlocking the heart of a 5.2 litre twin turbo V12. The Aston Martin DBS Superleggera is the new Chief at the British brands stable, and steps in to fill a vacancy left left by the very rare Vanquish S (apparently only a mere 1000 odd units ever saw the light of day). However, we weren’t too grief-stricken by the culling of the Vantage S as its replacement is no slouch in delivering on its duties. 

Superleggera, DBS Superleggera

Aston Martin DBS
6th – 7th August 2018
Photo: Drew Gibson

The DBS Superleggera embodies a great deal of versatility for a brute loaded with 12 cans of firepower and a pair of turbochargers to induce some heavy breathing. It wears its grand tourer suit the way Bond himself would, and will move around comfortably in stealth mode without arousing any suspicion of what lurks beneath that elongated muscular hood. This however, is not a full reflection of the Superlegerra’s character because at the drop of a dime, it can instantly take on the nature of a road devouring savage. The contrast is frightening! To help facilitate this duality are the different drive settings; with one button stealth mode is disabled allowing the angry animal’s quad exhausts to express themselves with no inhibitions. Unlike the many examples on the market, the different suspension settings in this Aston Martin aren’t gimmicky features promise to alter the driving dynamics but only liven the throttle. There’s an instant and noticeable shift in body language here when switching from comfort to any of the sports settings – steering response becomes confident and sharp, while the suspension goes from comfortable GT mode to rigid and firmly planted. In its most extreme settings the DBS Superleggera means business and anyone doubting that may be in for a rude awakening. When poking the beast while in the Sport+ setting, it eats up the bitumen and will cover vast amounts of ground like a rabid beast – a level of brutality I’ve never witnessed in any other vehicle. 900 Nm is not to be take lightly. The zero to one hundred sprint is taken care of in 3.4 seconds, but it’s really at the latter end of the speedometer that this dog brings the fight. A claimed top speed of 340km/h has been engineered in by its creators, and I learned just how feasible this benchmark is when I spent some time with the Aston off public roadways. 

Superleggera, DBS Superleggera

Aston Martin DBS
6th – 7th August 2018
Photo: Drew Gibson

When you put all of its testosterone fuelled traits aside, the Superleggera is as elite as its nameplate suggests. At this high-end of the market it’s all about the minute details. For instance, the long coupè-style doors will swing out at a slightly upward angle when opened. This is to reduce the amount of space required to open them as opposed to swinging out horizontally. You’re also able to open these sizeable but light panels to precisely the distance you want them, and they will stop and remain there. Conventional versions of this technology stop only in two different stages.

Superleggera, DBS Superleggera

Aston Martin DBS
6th – 7th August 2018
Photo: Drew Gibson

On the contrary, the Aston’s interior failed to illicit the same gobsmacked reaction as its V12 power-plant did on first impression. By now, one would think that the brand would have invested in their own tech hardware for their newer crop of vehicles, but this isn’t quite the case. They’re still making use of Mercedes-Benz components even in this highly esteemed member of the family. However, I have it on good authority that it’s only a matter of time before we experience a fully in-house sourced interior in upcoming Aston Martin models. I guess it’s now a waiting game.

Superleggera, DBS Superleggera

Aston Martin DBS
6th – 7th August 2018
Photo: Drew Gibson

 

 

 

 

 

The Calm before the Storm with the DBS Superleggera
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