Return of iconic nameplate hints at high performance of upcoming ‘super-GT’

Aston Martin has confirmed a change in the nomenclature of its most expensive series-production models – and it’ll mean a critical change in layout and nature for a car that has been Gaydon’s top dog for longer than any other this century.

The replacement for Aston's flagship front-engined V12 ‘super-GT’, the Vanquish, will be called the DBS Superleggera. It will be the first model to use the DBS nameplate since Aston’s DB9-based successor to the first-generation Vanquish that came out in 2007. The use of 'Superleggera', a nod to the original DBS of 1967 and meaning 'super-light' in Italian, hints at the car’s more extreme focus.

Aston chief creative officer Marek Reichman said: “When you hear the name DBS Superleggera, you know what it is. It’s the definitive Aston Martin super-GT. It’s an icon, a statement – and this one will be no different. We’ve pushed the boundaries of performance and design to give this car a distinct character and ensure it’s worthy of the heritage and weight that this name carries."

Our Verdict

Aston kicks off its ‘second century plan’ with an all-new turbo V12 grand tourer

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

It is understood that the DBS Superleggera will use Aston’s Cologne-built 5.2-litre twin-turbocharged V12 engine with more than 700bhp. The car will be unveiled at the end of June.

Meanwhile, in an unusual model identity shift, the Vanquish nameplate will be saved for Aston’s forthcoming mid-engined supercar that's due to go up against the Ferrari 488 GTB and McLaren 720S when it enters production in 2021 (and imagined by Autocar in the gallery above).

Top 10 best supercars 2018

Details on the new mid-engined model remain scarce for now, although it is thought that design is already at an advanced stage. The car will be built on an all-new model platform, powered by an engine not shared with any other series-production Aston models, and its engineering is being led by chief technical officer Max Szwaj, who was recruited from rival Ferrari in December 2016.

Company sources suggest that the new Vanquish will be priced above the replacement of its namesake, the DBS Superleggera; and as Gaydon’s new top-of-the-range series-production offering, it will offer a sort of continuity for Aston customers, dealers and brand enthusiasts. There is no doubt that it’ll be pitched as a very different proposition to any Vanquish before it, as Aston attempts to attract customers less interested in grand touring sports cars like its traditional base and more interested in uncompromised performance, handling poise and driver thrills.

“There’s a feeling internally that we’ve got a lot of equity built up in the Vanquish nameplate,” a company insider told Autocar. The source added that “we’ve almost run out of new places to go with our long-standing naming convention”, referring perhaps to the 'V' names Aston has used on short-lived, ultra-low-volume models in recent years (ie. Vulcan, Valkyrie).

More content:

Aston Martin DBS Superleggera: 700bhp Vanquish replacement due this June

Honda Civic Type R long-term review

Join the debate

Comments
12

18 April 2018

I honestly prefer the name Vanquish but at least you can say Superleggera in a Clarkson goofy way.

18 April 2018

Superleggera may mean 'super light' but it's a well-understood coachwork construction technique developed by Felice Bianchi Anderloni using Duralumin or  Birmabright. This model uses neither but is simply an expensive car with a big engine.

18 April 2018

None of these companies has much regard for the past unless they can rip it off like this and make some money.

18 April 2018
Bullfinch wrote:

It's a nonsense...

Doubly so. "The use of 'Superleggera', a nod to the original DBS of 1967...". except Superleggera was used on the DB4 and DB5 but dropped for the DB6 and successors so has nothing to do with the original DBS. What next, paint a few green with red and yellow noses and drone on about 'Le Mans Heritage'? Not only do Aston and Jaguar continously look back, it's always to effectively a narrow point in time,

18 April 2018
Bullfinch wrote:

Superleggera may mean 'super light' but it's a well-understood coachwork construction technique developed by Felice Bianchi Anderloni using Duralumin or  Birmabright. This model uses neither but is simply an expensive car with a big engine.

 

Indeed, was going to say something similar myself.

And of course the original production DBS didn't wear Superleggera badges either, it was the DB4 DB5 and DB6 that benefited from that lightweight construction (on the top half of the chassis anyway).

18 April 2018

The "Superleggera" name is (or at least was) owned by Touring, and referred to the alumin(i)um skin over small steel tube construction used by the DB4 and DB5. The DB6 did not use this Superleggera construction, but the cars did continue to use Superleggera badging. The DBS certainly never did. 

19 April 2018

After the mess of the new Vantage, I'm worried about the look of the DBS.

 

Seems that Palmer wants to have both the DBS and Vanquish at the same time, whereas before each was the top model.   Now he's justifying gifting all of Aston's profits to Red Bull and their owner the billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz to support the new Vanquish project.

 

Aston Martin doesn't need an F1 program.   It just needs highly desirable cars.   And to race them in series where you can recognise Aston Martin, not simply a badging exercise that F1 is.

 

And when you look at Bond's DB10 you see how beautiful the V8 Vantage could have been.   Sadly, we have a car that Khan could improve (yes, that bad!).

18 April 2018

The last 20-25 years or so has seen Aston use names on different models which don't necessraily make sense or have any continuity. The Vantage used to be a high performance version of their 70s to 90s super-GTs like the DBS/DBS V8/V8 and Virage but was then used as a stand alone model name for their sports car. The DBS was the DB6 replacement but that name then got used on a high-performance version of the DB9 (which Aston tried to claim was a replacement for the first Vanquish). The Vanquish, used for their super-GTs, will now be used on their forthcoming supercar. The DB7 suggested it was a carry on from the DB6 but was instead a new, more affordable GT, with the DB6 actually being replaced by the first DBS in the 1970s. The (movie-only) DB10 indicated it replaced the DB9 but didn't.

18 April 2018

Why are they so reluctant to think up a new name? Lack of imagination or too scared in case they get it wrong?

18 April 2018

Not sure about about Vanquishing the Vanquish name (and didn't Lamborghini use the Superleggara name recently)

 

ex boy scout, engineer and all round geek.....

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Our Verdict

Aston kicks off its ‘second century plan’ with an all-new turbo V12 grand tourer

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week