Let’s face it, there’s no such thing as an ugly Aston Martin. Virtually every offering the British sportscar purveyor has bowled up in the last couple of decades has been easy on the eye. However, the brand-new DBS Superleggera, which replaces the Vanquish at the top the Aston line-up, is arguably more eye-wateringly beautiful than anything that has preceded it.
Where the Vantage is a focused sportster and the DB11 a consummate grand tourer, the DBS Superleggera was conceived to deliver sledgehammer performance, yet not at the expense of luxury or refinement. Its proportions aren’t too dissimilar to the DB11, and that’s no coincidence as it shares its platform and twin-turbo V12 with the former. That said, the 12-cylinder engine has been massively uprated to thrash out 725hp and a towering 900Nm of torque, which is on tap from 1,800- 5,000rpm.
All this grunt is relayed to the rear wheels by a beefed-up ZF eight-speed automatic. Out in the real world, the DBS Superleggera spears you at the horizon the instant you flatten the throttle, with the 0-100kph sprint dispatched in a scant 3.4sec. Keep the foot planted and the acceleration doesn’t abate until you hit 340kph.
The Aston’s impressive straight-line credentials are backed up by handling dynamics and high-speed stability levels that result from 180kg of downforce (60kg over the front axle and 120kg at the rear). In addition, the exquisite carbon bodywork enables it to shed 72kg from its girth, and hence the Superleggera suffix (‘Superleggera’ is Italian for ‘Superlight’)
A mighty tarmac destroyer it may be, but the DBS Superleggera manages to cosset its occupants in a way that the formidable Ferrari 812 Superfast cannot. The Aston responds crisply to steering and throttle inputs, but never feels as manic as its Italian rival. Ride quality is relatively compliant, noise levels are well judged, and cabin quality is a cut above its DB11 sibling.
Unlike James Bond’s drinks, the DBS Superleggera leaves you stirred, but definitely not shaken.