Don’t mind the badging because it’s no lightweight, but this Aston Martin DBS Superleggera banks on huge power and huge presence to score big on the want scale
The name of our latest review subject is quite suggestive – Superleggera means super light. I’m not sure whether the Brits tripped up between imperial and metric terms, or maybe it’s a Brexit adjustment, but this thing weighs 1.7 tonnes. I guess that’s light when you’re used to making things out of granite and old bridges.
So the new Aston Martin DBS Superleggera is no Lotus, but then again it doesn’t ever pretend to be anything other than a massively capable and massive Grand Tourer. Except for that enthusiastic badging so they can make some fawning connection to the past, Aston Martin’s communications people use only a single mention of the word supercar in their official press material, and everywhere else the DBS Superleggera is carefully referred to as a Super GT, just so you can’t get them on a technicality.
This is a big car that likes big roads, but it’s big on presence too – the Aston is a remarkable looking thing, with intimidating, gaping front air-vents, matte and gloss black detailing, and a slender profile so the proportions are spot on.
The interior is busy, in short, however it’s also well put together and oozes that crafted feel you get in cars of this value. That’s because there’s so much decoration inside an Aston DBS Superleggera that you don’t know where to look first, from the various stitching methods to the brushed and polished metal switchgear, and the many, many different shapes composing this cabin. The only thing is that it feels like a nicely specced standard DB11, as opposed to something rather more special. And since we’re on the subject, the huge A-pillars also impair outward visibility although that’s something you have to get used with every other car in the segment too.
The squareish steering wheel feels as thick and weighted as it looks, with soft, padded leather numbing road feel. There is none of the immediacy, or nervousness, of a Ferrari or McLaren, and it’s more reminiscent of the Mercedes-AMG GT steering feel, because of course it’s a GT. Except for that one time when it’s a supercar…
With a twin-turbocharged 5.2-litre V12 engine you’d expect a ridiculous gush of power in every gear, and you get exactly that. The immediacy and the throttle response is lacking here, but only when you add something like a Ferrari 812 Superfast into the mix. Otherwise Aston’s force-fed V12 is a mega powerplant, with a great sound that’s unusual for a turbocharged engine and all the usual exhaust barks and pops present and accounted for.
In full automatic mode the ZF eight-speed transmission can’t quite keep up, but when you take charge of the gear changes with the paddle shifters it’s quite a rapid combination. Under hard acceleration the car squirms and fishtails off the line even with all the electronics working in the background. In ideal conditions, you’ll see zero to 100km/h come up in 3.4 seconds and top speed is 340km/h, which is the least of what you’d expect from 715 horsepower and 900Nm of torque.
Considering this is Aston Martin’s most hardcore DB11-based model, the DBS Superleggera sports a supple ride quality that would be pretty impressive if this was a supercar. For a GT though, it’s what you’d expect, and the carbon ceramic brakes also offer smooth and consistent feel and performance. The front discs are massive, measuring 410mm across, and the rears are 360mm
Overall the Aston Martin DBS Superleggera is a remarkable GT, well suited to long-distance cruising or those weekend boulevard blasts from valet to valet. With presence to match, in an already exclusive segment this Aston is also a bit of a chic choice, because come on, haven’t you had enough of all your Bentleys and Ferraris yet? As a boredom buster, then, it works.
2020 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera
5.2-litre twin-turbocharged V12 | eight-speed automatic transmission, rear-wheel drive | 715 horsepower at 6,500rpm and 900Nm of torque from 1,800rpm | zero to 100km/h in 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 340km/h | AED 1.4 million