The Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante sits at the top of Aston’s series-production range. It’s the convertible version of the DBS Superleggera coupe, and is on sale now for a rather large £247,500.
More details please…
The DBS starts life much like the more affordable DB11 AMR, so it’s closely related inside and under the skin and bears a strong resemblance to its sibling too. There are, as you’d hope though, some very substantial changes. Perhaps most importantly, the 5.2-litre V12 gets a huge 85bhp power boost to 715bhp, and there’s shorter gearing to make the extra performance feel all the more ferocious too.
The chassis is uprated and 5mm lower than the DB11, and there’s retuned steering, larger 21-inch alloys and carbon-ceramic brakes as standard.
The DBS is differentiated by a re-designed lightweight carbonfibre body (the Superleggera part of the name actually translates as ‘superlight’), though this remains a heavy car at around 1900kg. Despite the heft, the DBS can blitz the 0-62mph benchmark in 3.6 seconds and reach 211mph (yes, even with the shorter gearing).
Tell me about that fabric roof…
It’s a nifty bit of kit and offers good refinement with the roof up and stows quickly and quietly in 14 seconds. Its crisp lines preserve the gorgeous silhouette of the coupe when the roof is raised, and folds away behind the rear seats in such a tiny space that the rear end remains just as elegantly low – some convertibles can look bulkier because the boot has to be slightly raised, but not in this case.
How about the interior?
The interiors have been the biggest weakness of new-generation Astons. The DBS cabin does look special with its low-seat seats and high-quality leather, but the infotainment is borrowed from Mercedes and a generation out of date, and there’s a general sense that there’s just not enough separation between this and the far cheaper DB11.
A Bentley Continental GT C is also more finely crafted, packs in far more advanced technology and offers more space too: the DBS’s rear seats and boot are tiny. No, you really need to go for a drive to ‘get’ the DBS Superleggera Volante.
So the DBS is a great drive, then?
Absolutely. Again, in typical driving the differences to the DB11 AMR aren’t hugely noticeable, but there’s a lovely supple feel to the suspension, smooth gear changes from the eight-speed auto, nicely weighted steering and, of course, effortless urge from the big-capacity V12.
Crank the DBS up though and what initially felt like a small differences to the DB11 AMR becomes a huge gulf. Quite simply, the DBS is ferociously fast, and the fact that there’s a little turbo lag below 3000rpm only emphasises just how explosive it is once eased past that threshold. Any speed, any gear, it barely seems to matter, the DBS just surges forward rampantly – 50 to 100mph in fourth gear is done in 4.2 seconds!
The chassis is more than a match for the performance, with even more bite front the front tyres, phenomenally effective carbon-ceramic brakes and the calming effect of suspension that breathes with the road surface, helping both traction and braking – it’s certainly more pliant than the smaller Vantage sports car, and makes the DBS as suited to relaxed grand touring as track days.
Not that the DBS can’t put your heart in your mouth, because it will definitely spin up its rear tyres flamboyantly, especially in the wet – think long and hard before turning off the stability control system, because that’s the key to keeping out of trouble. But the mix of excitement and comfort really takes some beating.
In a nutshell
We love the richness of the DBS Superleggera Volante’s unbelievably potent V12 and how the chassis can be both soothingly supple and scalpel sharp. Yes, it has a narrower skillset than the Bentley Continental GT C, mostly because of the Aston’s cramped rear seats and boot, and an interior that lacks both the hand-crafted polish and advanced technology of its British rival. But if you’re after a gorgeous grand tourer that as happy bumbling around town as it is tearing over a mountain pass, look no further. ChooseMyCar have a wide range of used Aston-Martin and DBS Superleggera Volante car's for sale, available on finance.
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