Can a car be thrilling to drive, yet sedate enough to cross a continent in? The answer is ‘yes’, if you’re talking about an Aston Martin. Call us biased, but we like it for the sublime combination of speed, elegance and lavish comfort. A certain fictional British spy seems to agree, given that the car brand has appeared in 12 of his films to date.
Meet the new DBS Superleggera, the third Aston Martin revealed this year. Based on the DB11 and replacing the Vanquish S, the car once again revives the 1967 DBS name. Previously resurrected in 2007, this iteration is faster, and designed to lure buyers away from the likes of the Ferrari 812 Superfast. Bred for luxury and for the ability to go long distances, it comes with a comfy cabin and supple suspension that works like a puck in a game of air hockey. Meaning, there’s no bump the Superleggera can’t iron out.
Compared to the DB11 and Vanquish, it is a lot more sophisticated. A carbon fibre body has shaved off a significant amount of weight (read: superleggera translates to “super light”). 72kg, to be exact. The design, while aggressive and punchy, strives for simplicity. Broader and lower in stance, its aero and dynamic refinements have given us one of the best looking Aston Martins in modern times.
Beneath its pretty face is a temperament that’s eager to please. The Superleggera features a hand-built 5.2-litre V12 twin-turbo engine. Floor the pedal and watch the speedometer hit 100 km/h in a mere 3.4 seconds. Keep it going and you’ll be burning concrete at 340 km/h.
The car brims with the kind of intensity you’d normally get from a traditional internal combustion engine. It’s got 715 horsepower and enough torque — 900Nm, mind you — to tow an Airbus. That’s up 85 horses and 200Nm from what the DB11 can offer. Steering is equally impressive — the twists and turns of South Africa’s Sani Pass would be a piece of cake — and the eight-speed automatic gearbox is quick to react. That all makes for a drive that’s buoyantly reassuring, whether you drive like a lunatic or not.
Yours for $1,250,000, before COE and taxes
ENGINE: 5,204cc, V12 8-valve bi-turbocharged
POWER: 715 horsepower
TORQUE: 900Nm at 1,800-5,000rpm
0-100KM/H: 3.4 seconds
TOP SPEED: 340 km/h
TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic