Did you know there's gold under the engine bay?
The last-generation Aston Martin DBS was one of the prettiest cars built during the 21st century so when it came time to design the successor, Aston knew it had a difficult task on its hands. Now called the Aston Martin DBS Superleggera (Superleggera meaning Superlight in Italian), the new car offers a much meaner and more aggressive look than its predecessor. It's much faster too.
Aston handed us the keys to a 2020 DBS Superleggera Volante, carrying an as-tested price of $379,436. That means our test car was equipped with more than $50,000 in options over the base price of $328,100. Here are 10 amazing features we discovered that justify every penny of that price.
The ultimate feature of the DBS is its hand-built 5.2-liter twin-turbocharged V12 engine. This car's predecessor, the Vanquish S, produced 580 horsepower from its 6.0-liter naturally aspirated engine but with the help of two turbochargers, this latest V12 now produces a whopping 715 hp. With an eight-speed automatic transmission sending power to the rear wheels, the Volante hits 62 mph in 3.6 seconds, which might not sound quite so quick. This car wasn't really made for launches but rather for high speeds. 0-100 mph only takes 6.7 while the top speed is 211 mph.
That hand-built V12 already looks beautiful but the example we tested came fitted with the Underbonnet Jewelry Pack. For $2,300, this package adds a flashy gold anodized aluminum oil filler cap (which can be seen through the hood vents), a matching dipstick finisher, and a gold-colored quilted hood lining. It is also supposed to include an 18-carat gold plated Aston Martin engine badge, which did not appear on our test car.
Even though it rains most of the year in the UK, the country buys more convertibles per capita than anywhere else in the world. Since Aston Martin is based in England, the company knows rain all too well. That is why the DBS comes with a branded umbrella mounted in the trunk. Since we didn't see it listed on the car's Monroney, we assume it comes with the car.
As standard, the DBS Superleggera comes with massive brakes to help bring more than 4,100 pounds to a halt. The carbon-ceramic brakes include 16.1-inch rotors up front with 14.2-inches in the rear. These are combined with six-piston front calipers and four-piston calipers in the rear. On our test car, the calipers were painted red for a bit of extra flare.
Aston Martin leather is always top-notch but for a little more wow-factor, we suggest the Q Exclusive leather fitted to our test car. The black and white two tone color was stunning but comes in at a hefty $10,600. The triaxial stitching is yet another $3,100 but is worth it to make the interior stand out.
The DBS includes three drive modes and three suspension modes, which can be changed independently of each other. GT Mode keeps the car soft and quiet while Sport Mode dials up the aggression. In Sport + Mode, the throttle sharpens up, the gear changes happen more quickly, and the exhaust morphs from a gentle hum to a loud bellow. As you change modes, the digital tachometer changes from a gentle blue to a more aggressive red.
The eight-speed automatic transmission is controlled via crystal buttons on the dash. This has been a staple of Aston Martin interiors for several years now and we love how the starter button glows red as you press the brake.
If you do ever get tired of listening to the V12, the optional Band & Olufsen BeoSound Audio is perfectly capable of overpowering the outside world. Pop-up tweeters rise from the dash when you start the car or turn on the radio, adding a bit of drama to the start-up sequence.
While some manufacturers have opted for hard-top convertible roofs, we are happy Aston still goes for a traditional soft top. It still feels quiet and well insulated and looks great when deployed. The top can be lowered in 14 seconds and raised back up in 16 seconds at speeds of around 31 mph or less.
Lamborghini and Koenigsegg get all the credit for having crazy doors but Aston should get a mention for its design. The doors on the DBS don't open vertically like a Lamborghini but they are titled up so when you open them, they won't scrape on curbs. They also look pretty cool when open, a bit like the wings of the Aston badge.