New Aston Martin DBS Superleggera: Vanquish replacement revealed

The all-new 716bhp Aston Martin DBS Superleggera flagship has arrived, and it has the Ferrari 812 Superfast in its sights

Aston Martin’s revival under its new leadership has been nothing short of remarkable. A stream of new models and concepts have all helped towards profitability – a rare word in Aston’s long and illustrious history. And this new range-topping model pays homage to that history in its name: DBS Superleggera. 

The DBS name first appeared in 1967, while the name Superleggera hints at the lightweight construction. However, this is a car bang up to date and a car that Aston boss Andy Palmer describes as ‘a brute in a suit.’ 

New Aston Martin DBS Superleggera prototype review

It uses the new DB11 as its base, along with a version of that car’s twin-turbo 5.2-litre V12. As a Super GT, it has a very different brief, though. It’s 70kg lighter than a V12 DB11 and uses shorter gearing for better performance. The quad exhaust has been tuned for more noise in the car’s most usable torque band – it’s 10db louder – and it is, according to Aston Martin’s engineering director Matt Becker, “More engaging and exciting than DB11.”

In terms of numbers, the Superleggera’s V12 produces 716bhp and 900Nm of torque, while the top speed is 211mph with 0-62mph passing by in just 3.4 seconds and 0-100mph in 6.4 seconds. Oh, and you’ll have to pay £225,000 to get one. 

All that power is fed to the rear wheels via an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission with a lightweight carbon fibre prop shaft. And to prove that the Superleggera is a more focussed car than the DB11, the same drive modes as the Vantage are on hand: GT, Sport and Sport + with each tweaking the power delivery, suspension, handling aids, gearbox and steering to make the car progressively shaper and faster. 

This is much more than a breathed on DB11, though. The full-height grille and body lines that Aston Martin design director Miles Nurnberger says look like rippling muscles give the DBS a look all its own, while the exposed carbon fibre hints at the weight saving the car’s name suggests. At the back there’s a full width rear light with a new light graphic. 

Further developments of Aston’s clever aerodynamics such as the curlicue and Aeroblade, plus an F1-style diffuser create more downforce than the DB11, but with the same amount of drag. 

Becker says that ride comfort is still very important to the car, but with more of the feel of a Super GT, so bespoke tuning for the forged double wishbones at the front and a sophisticated multi-link system at the rear provide more agility than in the DB11 with a ‘more aggressive front end’. Standard 21-inch wheels hide carbon ceramic brakes. 

Inside the interior is very much like the DB11, with Aston improving materials and finish with each car it makes and offering more and more personalisation options, under the guidance of Aston’s design team. You can even have one of a limited run of 50 watches from Aston’s timing partner Tag Heuer to match your car if you so wish. 

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If you do happen to make it to the front of the queue, you should be able to get delivery of your new DBS Superleggera towards the end of this year.

What do you think of the new Aston Martin DBS Superleggera? Let us know below...


Steve Fowler has been editor-in-chief of Auto Express since 2011 and is responsible for all editorial content across the website and magazine. He has previously edited What Car?, Autocar and What Hi-Fi? and has been writing about cars for the best part of 30 years. 


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