The As­ton DB11 has an evil twin

Top Gear (Malaysia) - - The Ten -

Lighter, quicker and 47 per cent more sin­is­ter, the new DBS Su­per­leg­gera is a 715bhp rocket pointed at the Fer­rari 812

For all those whoop­ing and hol­ler­ing that the 600bhp DB11 was too soft and too slow (all three of you), al­low us to in­tro­duce its evil twin – the DBS Su­per­leg­gera. Ef­fec­tively a re­place­ment for the Van­quish S, it re­vives a badge last seen on the car Bond bar­rel-rolled in Casino Royale in 2006, then adds the Su­per­leg­gera suf­fix – a nod to the “in­no­va­tive light­weight con­struc­tion meth­ods pi­o­neered by Ital­ian coach­builder, Tour­ing”.

Yet this is no hol­lowed-out racer. Full car­bon­fi­bre body pan­els help to make it 72kg lighter than the DB11 V12, but with a kerb­weight of 1,800kg, give or take a ro­bust lunch, it’s still firmly a GT… al­beit a su­per one. By sim­ply tweak­ing the ECU and fit­ting a freer-flow­ing (and sig­nif­i­cantly nois­ier) quad-tipped ex­haust sys­tem, 715bhp and 900Nm of torque have been lib­er­ated from the re­mark­ably un­stressed 5.2-litre twin-turbo V12, and sent to the rear tyres via a car­bon-fi­bre prop­shaft and an eight-speed auto. That’s 115bhp and 200Nm – a whole Golf 1.4 TSI – more than the DB11 V12. Get enough heat in the 305-sec­tion Pirelli P Ze­ros, find your­self an aban­doned air­field and the DBS will blitz 0–100kph in 3.4 sec­onds, 0–160kph in 6.4 and keep go­ing un­til 211mph – the same top speed as its most nat­u­ral ri­val, the 789bhp Fer­rari 812 Su­per­fast. Should you find your­self at 339kph in a DBS Su­per­leg­gera, you’ll be pleased to hear it has lat­est-gen car­bon­ce­ramic brakes mea­sur­ing 410mm at the front and 360mm at the rear.

Should you en­counter a cor­ner, you’ll also be pleased to hear that the DBS picks up where the sub­tly honed DB11 AMR left off. The adap­tive sus­pen­sion sits 5mm lower, with be­spoke ge­om­e­try and in­creased front and rear cam­ber, while a me­chan­i­cal dif­fer­en­tial and torque vec­tor­ing by

brak­ing help you get that prodi­gious power onto the road. If all that means noth­ing to you, al­low us to trans­late: the

DBS should feel pointier, more alert and stay flat­ter in the bends.

Or, in the words of Matt Becker, ve­hi­cle dy­nam­ics chief: “While we wanted to cre­ate a very, very fast car, it was cru­cial that it didn’t ter­rify less ex­pe­ri­enced drivers. To this end, we’ve honed the dy­nam­ics so that it’s ag­ile and con­nected, but also lin­ear and pro­gres­sive as you work to­wards its lim­its. Much like we’ve tuned the en­gine to de­liver the meat of its per­for­mance at real-world revs, we’ve tuned the han­dling to en­gage and re­ward drivers of all abil­ity lev­els.” Top bloke, Matt.

And then there’s the way this thing looks. In sim­ple terms, it’s swollen and slashed un­til it looks like the DB11’s delin­quent brother… who’s in a con­stant state of sur­prise. That hon­ey­comb front

grille is ab­surdly big, but on a car with such an ab­surd en­gine be­hind it, it works. In the UK, it’ll be bro­ken up with a front num­ber­plate, too, don’t for­get. Power bulges, bon­net nos­trils and the Vul­can-es­que vent be­hind the front wheels set the de­sign tone, but the real aero ben­e­fits come from the front split­ter, deeper side strakes, dou­ble dif­fuser and a devel­op­ment of As­ton’s in­ge­nious aer­ob­lade spoiler that ejects a cur­tain of air on the bootlip to help force the rear tyres onto the road. In to­tal, there’s 180kg of down­force at 339kph – more than any stan­dard pro­duc­tion As­ton that’s gone be­fore.

The price is a chunky £225,000 – £50,000 more than the 621bhp DB11 V12 AMR, or £38,000 less than the 812 Su­per­fast if you pre­fer to put a pos­i­tive spin on things. About right, then, for the most su­per Su­per GT As­ton has ever pro­duced – all mouth and a lot of trouser. JACK RIX

Just add gold chain for a Fla­vor Flav-style neck adorn­ment

Both pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tions of DBShave ap­peared in Bond films – Lazenby’s On Her Majesty’s Se­cret Ser­vice and Craig’s Casino Royale. So is this one also des­tined for 007 fame? We have no idea, but thespec­u­la­tion starts here!

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