Currently reading: Exclusive: Hardcore new Aston Martin V12 supercar spotted
DBS replacement is due later this year with aggressive styling and more than 750bhp

Aston Martin is preparing to transform the V12-engined DBS into a bona fide supercar, more clearly distinguished from its V8-powered DB12 and Vantage siblings.

New images of the supercar – which could revive the Vanquish name – reveal that it is based on the DB12 but with a wide-reaching visual makeover that points to its extra grunt: there are huge new vents on the bonnet to keep the 12-cylinder engine cool, a much wider grille and a chunkier lower splitter that hints at improved downforce. 

The rear end features a larger diffuser to improve aerodynamic performance, and the twin-exit exhaust set-up has been replaced with four tailpipes, nodding to the extra cylinders.

A similar arrangement featured on the final-edition DBS 770, in which the V12’s output was ramped up to 759bhp. It could be in line to receive yet more poke to do battle with Ferrari’s upcoming 812 Superfast replacement, potentially nudging the 800bhp mark, but it has yet to be seen whether Aston will boost capacity beyond the 5.2 litres of the previous car. 

Any power increase will no doubt be matched by a comprehensive chassis overhaul building on the set-up deployed on the fearsome DBS 770 Ultimate, with uprated dampers and a boost in rigidity at both ends helping to improve cornering performance and giving the supercar a broader scope of ability on track. 

Aston Martin DBS successor camouflaged – rear

Although the DBS successor is evidently based on the DB12, it will be “completely different” to both that grand tourer and the new Vantage, Aston Martin chief creative officer Marek Reichman has told Autocar.

As for the new supercar's name, product and market strategy director Alex Long noted that ‘DB’ models tend to sit at the “core of the line-up”, suggesting that flagships such as this merit names beginning with V (such as Valhalla and Valkyrie), and Autocar understands a revival of the Vanquish badge is on the cards. 

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There has been no official announcement on the future of the DBS, which bowed out last year with the 770 Ultimate edition, but Long said the brand “will always have a flagship”, and its desire to reinforce its sporting prowess means a top-rung supercar is clearly all but a necessity.

Long added: “The focus on performance as a pillar of the brand is critical. Historically, we’ve been a performance brand as well as a luxury brand, and we’re moving back to that.” 

Crucial to Aston Martin’s desire to cement its status as a maker of top-drawer sports cars as well as more luxury cars will be ensuring that each of its front-engined models has its own distinct character and capabilities. 

Aston Martin DBS 770 – front cornering

“Rather than having products with two levels of power output and performance – and that includes dynamics and braking and all the other aspects of what makes a proper performance car – we now have to bring these power levels that give our cars the edge,” said Long. 

Long also emphasised that V12 engines are “synonymous” with Aston Martin. “People still love the twelves,” he said. “As much as the electrification revolution continues, [a V12 engine has] a different use case, and it’s still very much a huge emotional connection for our customers.” 

Aston Martin is expected to unveil the DBS successor this summer, possibly at the Monterey Car Week in August where, in previous years, it has revealed the Valhalla supercar, DBR22 speedster and Valkyrie Spider.

Charlie Martin

Charlie Martin Autocar
Title: Editorial Assistant, Autocar

As a reporter, Charlie plays a key role in setting the news agenda for the automotive industry. He joined Autocar in July 2022 after a nine-month stint as an apprentice with sister publication, What Car?. He's previously contributed to The Intercooler, and placed second in Hagerty’s 2019 Young Writer competition with a MG Metro 6R4 feature

He is the proud owner of a Fiat Panda 100HP, and hopes to one day add a lightweight sports car like a Caterham Seven or a Lotus Elise S1 to his collection.

Felix Page

Felix Page
Title: News and features editor

Felix is Autocar's news editor, responsible for leading the brand's agenda-shaping coverage across all facets of the global automotive industry - both in print and online.

He has interviewed the most powerful and widely respected people in motoring, covered the reveals and launches of today's most important cars, and broken some of the biggest automotive stories of the last few years. 

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Speedraser 23 November 2023

The best thing about this is that there is still hope of a real Aston Martin -- one with an Aston Martin engine (and chassis, of course). I love a V12 as much as anyone, and I'm lucky enough to have an Aston V12 (and a V8) in my garage. The best part of this news isn't that the engine is a twelve, but that it's an Aston Martin engine. For me, an Aston with a Benz engine, no matter how good that engine is, isn't an Aston Martin. I've always considered Astons in the same general league as Ferrari. Without its own engine, it's not in that league.

Peter Cavellini 27 February 2024
Speedraser wrote:

The best thing about this is that there is still hope of a real Aston Martin -- one with an Aston Martin engine (and chassis, of course). I love a V12 as much as anyone, and I'm lucky enough to have an Aston V12 (and a V8) in my garage. The best part of this news isn't that the engine is a twelve, but that it's an Aston Martin engine. For me, an Aston with a Benz engine, no matter how good that engine is, isn't an Aston Martin. I've always considered Astons in the same general league as Ferrari. Without its own engine, it's not in that league.

why then no light weight?, you know?, a stripped out version with just the essential stuff, would be more fun than a car stuffed with tech we will hardly use.

Speedraser 27 February 2024

Peter, imo, because big flagship Aston Martins aren't, and never have been, lightweight strippers. They're big, powerful, luxurious supercar-GTs. I'm glad to see this car is progressing, and I hope it's a regular production model rather than a limited edition of some sort.

I'd love to see the V12 in the newest Vantage and DB12. Not at all because they need more power (imo, power and performance levels of current cars are beyond absurd), but because the 12 is an Aston Martin engine. It's rather amusing that there was no DB8. In spite of the official explanation, there is good reason to believe that Aston was concerned people would think it (the DB9) had a V8. Yet they're perfectly happy to use the model name DB12 for a car that can only be had as a V8...

scrap 23 November 2023

"No, this will be the last ever V12."

And repeat!

Symanski 23 November 2023

The first thing they need to do is sack Marek Reichman.   The design hack has only delivered disappointment after disappointment.   They need a competent designer, one who understands Aston Martin.

 

Going after more power and extremes isn't the right answer.   Beautiful cars is.   Reichman has failed after more attempts than I can count to produce anything close to beautiful for Aston.   Time for him to go.   Long past time for him to go!

 

Remember, the Q3 results stated that Aston are planning another rescue package for the company.   Dump Reichman, get a competent designer, and they might just find the cars start to sell!

 

bgreenstone 23 November 2023

I always look forward to your ripping on Reichman.  All true.  He should have been replaced 10 years ago.

Symanski 23 November 2023
bgreenstone wrote:

I always look forward to your ripping on Reichman.  All true.  He should have been replaced 10 years ago.

I only do because I want to see Aston not just survive but thrive.   That won't happen until he's gone.   He's a dead weight holding them back.   And has been since his arrival at Aston.

 

Nothing against him personally, but he's not the talent he thinks he is.