Exclusive: hardcore new Aston Martin V12 supercar spotted

Aston Martin DBS successor camo front

Camouflaged bonnet vents likely hide improved cooling for V12 powerplant | Image: Theo Williams

DBS replacement is due later this year with aggressive styling and more than 750bhp

Aston Martin is preparing to transform the V12-engined DBS into a bona-fide supercar, more clearly distinguished from its V8-powered DB12 and Vantage siblings.

New images of the supercar – which could revive the Vanquish name – reveal that it is based on the DB12, but with a wide-reaching visual makeover that points to its extra grunt: there are huge new vents on the bonnet to keep the 12-cylinder engine cool, a much wider grille and a chunkier lower splitter that hints at improved downforce. 

The rear end features a larger diffuser to improve aerodynamic performance, and the twin-exit exhaust set-up has been replaced with four tailpipes, nodding to the extra cylinders.

A similar arrangement featured on the final-edition DBS 770, in which the V12’s output was ramped up up to 759bhp. It could be in line to receive yet more grunt to do battle with Ferrari’s upcoming 812 Superfast replacement, potentially nudging the 800bhp mark, but it is yet to be seen whether Aston will boost capacity beyond the 5.2 litres of the previous car. 

Any power increase will no doubt be matched by a comprehensive chassis overhaul building on the set-up deployed on the fearsome DBS 770 Ultimate, with uprated dampers and a boost in rigidity at both ends helping to improve cornering performance and giving the supercar a broader scope of ability on track. 

Aston Martin DBS successor camouflaged – rear

Although the DBS successor is evidently based on the DB12, it will be “completely different” to both that grand tourer and the new Vantage, Aston Martin chief creative officer Marek Reichman has told Autocar.

As for the new supercar’s name, Alex Long, director of product and market strategy, noted that ‘DB’ models tend to sit at the “core of the line-up”, suggesting that flagships such as this merit names beginning with V (such as Valhalla and Valkyrie), and Autocar understands a revival of the Vanquish badge is on the cards. 

There has been no official announcement on the future of the DBS, which bowed out last year with the 770 Ultimate edition, but Long said the brand “will always have a flagship”, and its desire to reinforce its sporting prowess means a top-rung supercar is clearly all but a necessity.

Long added: “The focus on performance as a pillar of the brand is critical. Historically, we’ve been a performance brand as well as a luxury brand, and we’re moving back to that.” 

Crucial to Aston Martin’s desire to cement its status as a maker of top-drawer sports cars as well as more luxury cars will be ensuring that each of its front-engined models has its own distinct character and capabilities. 

Aston Martin DBS 770 – front cornering

“Rather than having products with two levels of power output and performance – and that includes dynamics and braking and all the other aspects of what makes a proper performance car – we now have to bring these power levels that give our cars the edge,” said Long. 

Long also emphasised that V12 engines are “synonymous” with Aston Martin. “People still love the twelves,” he said. “As much as the electrification revolution continues, [a V12 engine has] a different use case, and it’s still very much a huge emotional connection for our customers.” 

Aston Martin is expected to unveil the DBS successor this summer, possibly at the Monterey Car Week in August where, in previous years, it has revealed the Valhalla supercar, DBR22 speedster and Valkyrie Spider.

Source: Autocar

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