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Aston Martin DBS Superleggera: convertible Volante is on the way

Published: 24 October 2018

► 5.2-litre twin-turbo V12
► Price £225,000 in the UK
► Uses the DB11 as a base 

Papped! It might be raining in these latest spy shots from Aston Martin, but that doesn’t mean testing a new convertible should stop. These are our first spy photos of the new DBS Superleggera Volante, the drop-top version of Gaydon’s V12 flagship.

It’s not a surprise that Aston is following the coupe DBS with a Volante convertible – it’s almost the done thing to get the tin opener out and cut the roof off at AM HQ.

Check out our DBS Superleggera review

Like most other Volantes in recent years, power isn’t expected to drop but expect to add a couple of tenths to the 0-62mph sprint time due to the added weight of a folding roof. Top speed could drop, too, but we’ll have to wait and see. If it’s anything like the price difference between the DB11 and DB11 Volante, expect to see the list price closing in on £250,000.

Read on for the full story on the DBS Superleggera flagship supercar.

 


DBS Superleggera front quarter

 

Meet the new DBS Superleggera, Aston Martin’s newest flagship, and its long-awaited return to the rarified super GT category. Revealed at an event in London this evening, the new DBS Superleggera replaces the Vanquish S, and turns everything we’ve already seen in the DB11 up to 12.

It marks a resurrection of the DBS name - long a signifier of special, long-legged touring sports cars chez Aston Martin - and the Superleggera badge is one from the history books, too, signifying super-light weight.

Read our guide to the 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed here

 


As you’d expect from Aston’s newest flagship, the DBS Superleggera is powered by a 5.2-litre twin-turbo V12, and comes with a price to match its road presence:  it’ll start at £225,000 in the UK.

The engine

While the new DBS Superleggera is certainly a looker, Aston Martin believes it owes much of its character to the 12 cylinders under the bonnet – the lump is set far back under the hood in fact, in a near front-mid position. In order to keep the handling sweet, and weight distribution on the money, the Superleggera’s powerplant has been shifted as far back as possible.

Capable of producing 715bhp at 6500rpm and 664lb ft of torque between 1800-5000rpm, the Superleggera’s twin-turbo V12 is brutal enough for some incredible performance stats. Sixty will arrive from a standing-start in just 3.2 seconds, while 100mph follows just 3.2 seconds after that.


That prodigious torque means it’ll also zip between cruising speeds – and in-gear acceleration is an area Aston is particularly happy with. In fourth gear, we’re told the Superleggera will double 50mph in 4.2 seconds.

And once you get through all the cogs in the 8-speed ‘box, you’ll be hitting a top speed of 211mph. You’ll enjoy getting there, too; the DBS uses active valves and quad tail pipes to ensure the car has a soundtrack to match its performance.


Handling

The new 2018 DBS uses the same bonded aluminum underframe as the DB11, but adds carbonfibre body panels across the exterior body for additional weight-saving. The result? The DBS Superleggera is stronger than the DB11, but 72kg lighter, with a kerbweight of 1693kg.

Like the DB11 you’ll find double wishbones at the front and a multi-link system at the rear – and road condition-sensing adaptive dampers are fitted as standard. Like other models, you’ll be able to tweak them too, from the softest GT mode, to a harder Sport and hardcore Sport Plus setting.


As for looks? The DBS’s carbonfibre panels lend the Superleggera a more aggressive look to match its increased performance. Styling cues have been carried over from the standard DB11, but an F1-style double-diffuser makes it debut on the new flagship.


Tech

As you’d expect from a car that costs £225,000, the Superleggera includes all the tech you’d usually find on a high-end car. Parking assists are here, as is keyless entry, and you’ll also find an infotainment system with Bluetooth, USB playback and a wi-fi hub.

We’ll update this article when we know more about the DBS Superleggera.

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's online editor and racing-sim enthusiast

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