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Aston Martin’s DBS Superleggera Continues a Lightweight Legacy

The British marque’s new flagship GT pays tribute to a collaboration with coachbuilder Touring in the 1960s.

The Aston Martin DBS Superleggera is a 211 mph shot across the bows of cars like the Ferrari 812 Superfast, Lamborghini Aventador, and Bentley Continental GT. As the replacement for the outgoing Vanquish S, the DBS Superleggera serves as Aston’s flagship grand tourer, not to mention being a veritable calling card for the British automaker’s engineering prowess.

It’s also a nod to the company’s storied past, as the name “Superleggera” (which means “super light” in Italian) was first used in the early 1960s on special lightweight cars developed in cooperation with famed coach builder Carrozzeria Touring.

From the outside looking in, the DBS Superleggera has a heavily sculpted body that’s made completely out of lightweight carbon fiber. The long and flowing hood, not to mention the taut rear haunches, stay true to the Aston Martin design ethos—it’s an aggressive design but elegantly executed.

The front grille and brake ducts are much larger than the ones gracing the front of Aston’s DB11 sports car, however. The reason for this resides in the engine bay, where you’ll find a twin-turbocharged 5.2-liter V-12 coupled to a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission. This engine delivers a total of 715 hp and 664 ft lbs of torque to the rear wheels. According to Aston Martin, this mighty power train helps propel the DBS Superleggera from zero to 62 mph in 3.4 seconds and onward to a top speed of 211 mph.

The Aston Martin DBS Superleggera.

The DBS Superleggera’s heavily sculpted body is made completely out of lightweight carbon fiber.  Photo: Courtesy Aston Martin.

Helping to keep all this power under control are numerous aerodynamic aids, including a Formula 1–inspired double diffuser located at the rear of the car. At top speed, the DBS Superleggera generates more than 390 pounds of downforce, ensuring the car stays firmly planted to the road surface. Torque vectoring and a mechanical limited-slip differential are also fitted to provide razor-sharp handling that works with the driver to fully exploit the car’s prodigious performance.

While the engine and curvaceous bodywork are certainly showstoppers, the heart of this new Aston Martin is a lightweight bonded aluminum chassis, first introduced on the current DB11. The suspension consists of forged double wishbones at the front, with an advanced multi-link system located at the rear. Adaptive damping and a choice of three drive modes—GT, Sport, and Sport Plus—add extra flexibility and, to use the marque’s delightfully understated terminology, allow the driver to “intensify or relax” the car’s behavior.

The Aston Martin DBS Superleggera.

Aston Martin’s Sports Plus performance seats offer are as eye-catching as they are comfortable.  Photo: Courtesy Aston Martin.

The leather-lined cabin is fully modernized and comes standard with a surround-view camera and park assist, onboard Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth audio and phone streaming, along with Aston’s Sports Plus performance seats and steering wheel. For customers who want to further personalize their car, the Designer Specifications package includes a wide range of specialized color and trim options, all developed specifically for the DBS Superleggera by the automaker’s design team.

In the U.S. the Aston Martin DBS Superleggera will be priced starting at $304,995, with deliveries set to begin later this year.

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