What is it?
This might be one of those ‘how much is too much?’ pieces. Ever wondered what 715bhp in a grand touring convertible would feel like? Wonder no more. This is the Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante.
I suppose Aston might take issue with the phrase ‘grand touring convertible’. The DBS Superleggera, in coupé form at least, is more of a super-GT than a regular grand tourer – and there should be a distinction between the two, I think – so it’s meant to be rather more sporting than a conventional GT car, which is a role the DB11 is designed to fill.
However, they look similar and the V12 DB11 AMR is already flippin' fast and quite super. So maybe creating a big differentiation between models – something Aston had problems achieving with its previous generation of cars – is going to have to wait until an SUV and mid-engined cars arrive.
Meanwhile, in soft-top form, the DB11 can be had only with an AMG-sourced V8 engine, and not the DBS’s home-grown V12. Imagine, then, Ferrari removing the roof from an 812 Superfast and you get an idea of what Aston is trying to do with the DBS Volante.
Aston’s V12 is twin-turbocharged and has a capacity of 5.2 litres. It drives the rear wheels through an eight-speed torque-converter automatic gearbox – different from the one in the DB11 – to handle the extra torque.
The numbers are pretty heady. The DBS’s 715bhp comes in at 6500rpm but there’s 663lb ft of torque, available from just 1800rpm, suggesting that this isn’t an engine you’ll need to work very hard. If you do, it’ll hit 62mph in 3.6sec and go on to 211mph, even with the roof down, in the unlikely event you’ll want to try that.
At speeds of less than 30mph, you can draw the electrically operated roof up or down while you’re moving. Open up the bonnet or boot and you’ll spot that lots of the DBS is made from carbonfibre. Even so, the DBS Superleggera, or ‘superlight’, weighs 1863kg. This is a big car, remember. And it costs £247,500 before options.