Aston Martin's Lightweight Legend Drops Another 155 Pounds

The carmaker turns to clever materials to give its latest design unprecedented levels of speed and stability.

The latest Aston Martin flagship, arriving stateside later this year, resurrects a legendary nameplate: Superleggera. That moniker, denoting a unique style of lightweight chassis construction, graced the brand’s finest coach-built models, including the DB4 and Lagonda Rapide, during the 1950s and ’60s. The new DBS Superleggera keeps the small-batch vibe while introducing modern materials into the process. Instead of aluminum body panels, it uses high-tech composites for the hood, roof, trunk, and diffusers, effectively razing 155 pounds from the overall mass. More salient, but far less appealing, is the front end design and its gaping, troutlike maw. (Engineers say the monster grille is needed to cool the monster engine, a twin-turbocharged V-12 that pumps out 715 horsepower.) Still, in terms of function, this four-seater coupe is a triumph. The creased hood, the strakes integrated behind the front wheels, the inky buttresses around the rear windows all work in concert, generating historic levels of aerodynamic downforce without tacky winglets or spoilers. The result, a singular combination of clean exterior lines and epic high-speed stability, should make the DBS Superleggera a legend in its own right.

Aston Martin DBS Superleggera, from $304,995;

(Photos: Courtesy Aston Martin)

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