The era of the naturally-aspirated V12 engine is taking its final curtain call. Last year, Ferrari announced that its Superfast would be the last naturally-aspirated regular production V12 model to roll out of the company’s production center in Maranello.
Now comes the new Aston Martin DBS Superleggera, signaling the definitive end of the Vanquish S as a production model, indicating that Aston, too, has decided it is time to depart the 20th-century field in favor of the more efficient gas-burning designs of this century.
While purists bemoan the shift away from the naturally aspirated V12, the designers and builders of sports cars know better. The DBS Superleggera is a good example of the shift toward super-efficiency as abundantly thrill-inducing. The designs are becoming more acutely realized. The DBS Superleggera is lighter and more powerful than the Vanquish S.
The 5.2L twin-turbo V12 in the Superleggera can produce up to 715 HP, a big leap from the Vanquish S’s just shy of 600 rating. There might be less seat-of-your-pants adrenaline at launch—and that’s a big might—but the acceleration potential of the new turbocharged engine is massive. Aston proudly declares their new car can hit 211 MPH, and reach 62 MPH in 3.4 seconds. It’s aero design and carbon-fiber/aluminum construction give it a huge amount of downforce, allowing drivers to push the envelope just a little more than they expected when opportunity permits.
As for looks, the Superleggera might be the most aggressive Aston seen in a generation. The model will be offered in coupe and ragtop versions, and will base sticker at around $300K.