UL­TI­MATE AS­TON

V12 DBS SU­PER­LEG­GERA! The 533kW Ferrari 812 ri­val

Motor (Australia) - - FRONT END. PACE NOITES - – SN

FIRST THE DB11, then the Van­tage, and now the DBS Su­per­leg­gera. In quick suc­ces­sion, As­ton Martin’s range re­fresh is com­plete. Van­quish is no longer, though the name may re­turn on another model, As­ton’s Ferrari-fight­ing super GT re­viv­ing a cou­ple of badges from the com­pany’s long history. DBS first ap­peared in 1967 and has popped up oc­ca­sion­ally since, most re­cently in 2007-2012, while Su­per­leg­gera is a nod to the famed Ital­ian coach­builder Tour­ing, which ap­plied its light­weight con­struc­tion tech­niques to iconic As­tons like the DB4. At 1693kg dry, the DBS cer­tainly isn’t ‘su­perlight’, but it has shed 72kg com­pared to the DB11 cour­tesy of the car­bon-fi­bre pan­els at­tached to the shared bonded alu­minium ar­chi­tec­ture. The weight is also distributed al­most per­fectly – 51 per cent to the front, 49 per cent to the rear – and is con­trolled by dou­ble-wish­bone front sus­pen­sion and a multi-link rear, in­cor­po­rat­ing As­ton’s three-mode ‘Sky­hook’ adap­tive damp­ing sys­tem. In char­ac­ter, the DBS sits half way be­tween the overt sporti­ness of the Van­tage and the more re­laxed GT na­ture of the DB11. It’s cer­tainly more fo­cused than the lat­ter, with an extra 10mm of front track, huge 265/35 Pirelli P Zero tyres wrapped around 21 by 8.5inch rims and enor­mous 410mm car­bon­ce­ramic ro­tors with six-pis­ton calipers. Things are no less se­ri­ous at the rear end, with 20mm of extra track, 305/30 Pirellis on 21 by 11.5-inch rims and 360mm com­pos­ite ro­tors clamped by four-pis­ton calipers. Such im­pres­sive hard­ware is re­quired be­cause As­ton has re­moved the leash from its 5.2-litre twin-turbo V12. Out­puts in­crease from the 447kW/700Nm of the DB11 to a whop­ping 533kW at 6500rpm and 900Nm from 1800-5000rpm, sent to just the rear wheels through an eight-speed ZF transaxle and me­chan­i­cal lim­ited-slip dif­fer­en­tial. Per­for­mance is vivid, 0-100km/h claimed to take just 3.4sec with 160km/h re­quir­ing only another three. Top speed is 340km/h, at which point the DBS’s mas­sive dou­ble dif­fuser and re­vised Aeroblade aero sys­tem com­bine to pro­duce 180kg of down­force, the most of any se­ries pro­duc­tion As­ton Martin. Hap­pily, As­ton is keen for the DBS to have a more ag­gres­sive per­son­al­ity, an ac­tive ex­haust en­sur­ing its range-top­per is 10dB louder than the DB11. In­side, the two cars are vir­tu­ally iden­ti­cal, a com­bi­na­tion of leather, Al­can­tara and alu­minium, with the in­fo­tain­ment and elec­tronic ar­chi­tec­ture pro­vided by Mercedes. Its styling, by de­sign chief Miles Nurn­berger, is clearly re­lated to the DB11 but has a wider, more chis­elled stance. You’re cer­tainly not go­ing to mis­take that gap­ing grille for any­thing else. As­ton says the Su­per­leg­gera is “a Super GT that’s a breed apart. One that takes the fight to the world’s best on its own terms.” You’ll be able to read how suc­cess­ful As­ton has been in match­ing its Maranello ri­val next is­sue with our re­port from the in­ter­na­tional launch. If you can’t wait un­til then, lo­cal or­der books are now open at $517,000 with the first de­liv­er­ies ex­pected to­wards the end of 2018

BE­LOW Twin-turbo V12 makes an eye-wa­ter­ing 533kW, and its ac­tive ex­haust is 10dB louder than DB11’s

RIGHT Aeroblade rear wing and dou­ble dif­fuser pro­duce an As­ton Martin record 180kg of down­force at 340km/h to keep DBS planted

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