By NITISH S. RELE – firstname.lastname@example.org
Who wouldn’t want to be James Bond for a week? OK, that’s next to impossible, but how about driving the supercar that stars in the 007 movies?
When the offer recently came from Aston Martin to test drive the 2020 DBS Superleggera Volante (“superlight” and “flying” in Italian), we jumped to share this iconic bond the British carmaker has had with the Secret Service agent. We’re very glad we did.
Under the clamshell carbon-fiber hood of the high-end rear-wheel-drive exotic car sits an astounding 5.2-liter twin-turbo V-12 engine that thumps out of a pulse-raising 715 horsepower @ 6500 rpm and 663 pounds-feet of torque @ 1800 rpm. The rear mid-mounted 8-speed auto transmission (GT, sport and sport plus) can be shifted via steering-mounted paddle shifters or pushing the drive control on the dashboard.
Push the starter button to summon the bi-turbocharger and the rev-happy Volante emits an exhaust roar to delight any grand tourer buff. Step on the gas and the DBS will catch you off guard, lunging forward with fervor you won’t find in most sport cars. It’s quick on its feet, reaching 0 to 62 mph in only 3.6 seconds with a top speed of 211 mph. The soft top opens in 14 seconds and closes in 16 by pressing a center-console switch.
This sophisticated beast rolls on 21-inch forged carbon-ceramic alloy wheels, which get their stopping power from 16.1-inch front discs, 14.2-inch rear discs, employing carbon-ceramic brake pads.
Fear not for security in this two-door, four-passenger rocket. Dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbags, dynamic stability and traction and torque control, four-wheel antilock brakes, adaptive suspension dampers, limited-slip differential, front/rear parking sensors, 360-degree camera, tire pressure monitor, and daytime running lights are watching out for you.
The wing-shape enamel badge up front proudly announces the marque. It’s atop the hexagonal grille flanked by LED headlights and integrated daytime running, side and corner lamps. A carbon-fiber trunk, splitter and diffuser along with quad exhaust tips make up the rear.
The cabin conveys the class, sophistication and splendid craftsmanship that are the British automaker’s tradition. Lending credence to the rich ambience is full leather upholstery on and around the dashboard and instrument panel, doors and center console. Other luxuries include 12-way heated seats, power-adjustable tilt/telescopic steering column, piano black trim inlay, dual-zone air conditioning, and an 8-inch navigation, phone and audio screen. One word of caution: the rear seat is tight even for the junior in the family.
Built in Aston Martin’s Gaydon, Warwickshire plant, this high-performance, two-door convertible drew oodles of onlookers, especially when we stopped for a photo shoot by the popular, vibrant city of Tampa mural on Florida Avenue. With a power-at-all-times engine and graceful styling inside and out, this high-end supercar speaks for itself.
All one needs now to fulfill that ultimate dream of driving James Bond’s ride is to arrange for a few thousand over $300k and some spare change. And plenty of it.
ASTON MARTIN DBS SUPERLEGGERA
Tires: Front 21” 265/35/21; Rear 21” 305/30/21
Wheelbase: 110.4 inches
Length: 185.6 inches
Width: 77.5 inches
Height: 51 inches
Suspension: independent double wishbone front, multilink rear
Steering: electric speed-dependent rack and pinion
Weight: 4,107 pounds
Fuel capacity: 20.5 gallons
City: 14 mpg
Highway: 22 mpg
Base price: $328,100
Price as tested: $379,436
Web site: www.astonmartin.com