I recently had the chance to drive the Aston Martin DBS Superleggera, which is one of the most impressive new cars on sale. I say this in part because of the price tag, something like $350,000, but also because of the performance: it’s powered by a 715-horsepower V12. Think about that: 715 hp. This is the high-performance version of a high-performance car.
I borrowed this car from Aston Martin Newport Beach, which is the Aston Martin dealer right in the middle of Southern California’s wealthiest area, meaning they always seem to get the best cars, the craziest cars and the most cars. This DBS Superleggera was no exception, as it wasn’t just a standard silver on black affair, but rather a fully-equipped car with excellent attention to detail, but I’ll let the video show you exactly what I mean on that front.
Instead, here, I’m going to focus on the driving experience, which is phenomenal. The 715 hp figure places this car in contention with the Ferrari 812 Superfast (789 hp) and the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ (759 hp), though obviously this car isn’t quite as snarling and angry as those vehicles. Instead, it’s intended to be a vehicle that can bring you a luxury car experience when you want it, with fine craftsmanship and beautiful styling, and a sports car experience when you want that, too.
It delivers surprisingly well on this ability to be two things in one vehicle. If you want to relax, you can cruise along relatively normally, with little indication that your right foot could unleash 0-to-60 miles per hour in 3.4 seconds. Instead, you can just sit in your leather-lined cocoon and gaze around the car at interior customization options that cost more than actual running and driving vehicles I’ve purchased. The ride isn’t plush, of course, and it’s even harsher than Aston’s “lesser” DB11 AMR, but it’s not as punishing as something like the Aventador, or, frankly, even the 812 Superfast. This can be a usable luxury car if you want — and, of course, it has the gorgeous styling to prove it.
But then you step on it. Change the drive mode and floor it and the DBS Superleggera completely comes alive, with an angry engine note and incredible acceleration — combined with a quick-shifting transmission. More impressive is the razor-sharp handling, which is a surprise given the car’s size, but not its purpose. This truly is the highest performance flagship car in Aston’s model range, and the direct steering and sharp, precise and flat handling make it tremendously clear that this is a sports car, first and foremost, not a luxury cruiser like certain other Aston Martin models past and present.
In the end, it’s an amazing car that combines a lot of amazing traits — like excellent performance, beautiful styling, a handsome interior and a surprisingly comfortable ride if you’re looking for it. The DBS Superleggera might not be the fastest of the “700-horsepower supercars,” but it’s probably the most well-rounded — and you’ll be certain you made the right choice when you hear that excellent exhaust note each time you push down the pedal when you’re accelerating away from a traffic light.