ASTON MARTIN: FLAME GRILLED
There are electric supercars that are faster than the Aston Martin DBS Superleggera, but can battery power stir the sense like a twin turbo V12? We all know the answer to that.
Many of today’s most powerful supercars are not measured by bhp but by kilowatts. Electric motors have revolutionised the performance car sector, with even Tesla’s Model S Plaid dipping under the 2-second to 100mk/h barrier, while the Lucid Air Sapphire can accelerate from 0 to 160km/h in 3.84 seconds. These are not even supercars, they’re family saloons, so you can imagine the performance capabilities of today’s four-motor hypercar EVs such as the Rimac Nevera. But, as the now famous EV vs ICE quote goes: ‘Comparing electric 0-100km/h times to real performance cars is like comparing a microwave to a BBQ grill. It may cook quicker, but nobody ever wished for a microwaved steak.”
The Aston Martin DBS Superleggera doesn’t have four electric motors, it has 12 cylinders, which are activated not by big heavy batteries, but by air and fuel igniting to create 12 big explosions. The addition of two turbocharges enables the 5.2 litre engine to deliver 715BHP @ 6,500rpm and a max torque of 900Nm @ 1,800-5,000rpm. Again, EV’s can produce eye-watering power outputs, but all the hype stops once you press the Superleggera’s start button.
THE REAL DEAL
Hearing the V12 explode into life and settle down into an aggressive idle is something an EV hypercar can only dream of. In fact, manufacturers across the board are attempting to recreate the sounds of ‘real’ performance engines, but the noise coming out of the DBS’ four exhaust tips is 100% real and it can never be replicated by a computer and an ‘exhaust speaker’.
The noise coming out of the DBS’ four exhaust tips is 100% real and it can never be replicated by a computer and ‘exhaust speaker’.
Beautifully aggressive: The DBS meticulously balances beauty and beast in perfect symmetry.
Legendary performer: The DBS has always combined elegance with speed, comfort with performance, and luxury with raw power.
Selecting the GT driving mode quietens the V12 into a mellower tune, however, you only live once (and we need to make the most of big multi-cylinder internal combustion engines while we can) so selecting Sport, or Sport+ opens the exhaust valves and allows the engine to sing. Actually, howl is the best description, as the V12 changes from a deep rumble at idle to that addictive and iconic crescendo near the redline, and here’s the thing – the DBS is also brutally fast. Acceleration is instant, with no messing around during the 3.6-second sprint to 100 km/h.
Design: Convention has it that form and function are rivals. DBS proves otherwise. But when has DBS ever been conventional?
The engine feels alive, like a living entity, growling, snarling, and angry. Sure, there are EVs that will go quicker, but that’s totally missing the point. The Aston Martin DBS Superleggera is the real deal – the full-fat zenith of mechanical engineering. You can keep your microwaves, we’re firing up the Barbeque.