REVIEW: AUTOart Aston Martin DBS Superleggera •

REVIEW: AUTOart Aston Martin DBS Superleggera

The Aston Martin DBS badge is usually the slightly sportier version of the respective DB generation. The last DBS (famously driven … and crashed … both times by Daniel Craig in “Casino Royale” and “Quantum of Solace” a Bond generation ago) remained rather close to its DB9 platform. AUTOart unfortunately never made it and Auto World´s rather recent rendition is no substitute to speak of.

The current DBS Superleggera may be based on the DB11 (and funnily comes in AUTOart´s DB11 Styrofoam shell), but is rightfully nicknamed “brute in a suit”, with a far more aggressive outward appearance, “a dark menacing shadow of brutal, unequivocal strength.[…] Aggressive, yet beautiful”, as the brochure puts it. This is particularly well conveyed in this Magnetic Silver exterior that makes my photos look like from a film-noir thriller, amplifying shape over colour. It underlines how well AUTOart has captured Aston Martin´s “aerodynamic masterpiece, commanding and exploiting the air flowing over its surfaces. It bends it to its will, splits and curves it, attracts and repels it according to its need.”(again, the brochure´s words, not mine), so that you almost see the airflow in the model´s sculpting.

AUTOart´s DBS shares most of the good points of their DB11: The  brilliant LED-headlights´ projectors are apparently directly carried over from the DB11. That the hood not only opens. but, more admirably, shuts into a perfect fit around the headlights and to the rest of the body with shut-lines as tight as the panel gaps of parts that do not move apart, is exactly what LCD has not managed to achieve (so far) and is probably AUTOart´s most outstanding achievement that the DB11 also had. Creases on the hood are razor-sharp, adorned with photo-etched Superleggera-scripts on either side of the carbon-fibre-patterned open nostrils through which the 715 bhp 5.2 V12 breathes additional air. The large, devouringly gaping front mesh grille is of course perforated and is another difference to the tamer DB11.

The V12 engine itself underneath the hood is not as impressive as the hood´s intricate hinge-work and underside, partially carbon-fibred.

The wheels are similarly beautiful as on the DB11, again with tire markings, nice drilled brake discs, golden calipers, but this time with the addition of rather prominent valves, that we come to see more and more on advanced quality models. I particularly like these rims better in silver while on other versions they will be gloss black.

The carbon-fibre pattern of the A-pillars, roof and C-pillar direct our eyes to the rear where the airflow is taken in behind the C-pillar by the Aeroblade II feature to re-exit behind the fixed glossy carbon-fibre-spoiler- blade on the trunk lid, which when open reveals the hidden components of the Aeroblade II against which the carpeted trunk space seems neglectable. In this context, the glossy carbon fibre of the upper diffuser was to be expected. All the more surprising, if not disappointingly, the lower diffuser´s carbon pattern is moulded.

The photo-etched Aston Martin script on the rear and the white rear lights that again differ a lot in shape and colour almost disappears with this exterior colour. Stealth mode is only interrupted by the two solitary red reflectors further down on either side, while the two black titanium exhaust tips on either side don´t. Extremely hidden as well, and easily mistaken for blemishes of the paint, are the rear parking sensors.

When you open the swan doors, you are greeted by DBS sill-plates and, as a pleasant surprise, plaques inside the rear door frames on each side. However, the rest of the interior then comes as a bit of a let-down, to be honest. Yes, AUTOart has ticked the satin carbon trim option on the specification list, but haven´t gone for the “unbounded beauty” of the “Create” or “Inspire” interior shown by the brochure (and most car magazines), but “Accelerate Monotone”, which is what it looks, particularly with the Alcantara and leather materials not differing on the model: rather dull. That red Aston-wing-embroidery on the seats seems to make it a little brighter may have been a good intention but is not one of the options in reality, not even if you opt for contrast stitching. Not only my heart sinks at that, but the Aston-wings on the steering wheel also have, too, beneath the level where they should be. A missed chance and so much worse than AUTOart did on their DB11.

Well, maybe the excellent exterior raised my expectations too high, to more than what can be expected in what – to look on the bright side – is the mid-price category at 240-260 Euros. The DBS Superleggera appearing in Daniel Craig´s last Bond movie “No Time to Die”, the model leaves you with much the same feeling: Not bad at all, a little sad nevertheless. The model´s beauty may not be “absolute”, as promised by Aston Martin in their brochure, but yet “will leave you in awe” enough to make it worth adding to your collection.

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24 Responses to "REVIEW: AUTOart Aston Martin DBS Superleggera"

  1. DS Team says:

    Thanks for the review, Karsten! This is definitely a lover piece. I’ve already secured the Black with Red accents bits on the interior side.

  2. George K says:

    Very nice. Especially after I just shook my head at that CMC Ferrari.

  3. Giorgio262 says:

    This would be the colour I would pick. It does a great job at highlighting the chiseled shape of the DBS in a very elegant way. Very Aston Martin, as opposed to the appaling lime green with black wheels combo I’ve seen before.

  4. Kostas says:

    Very nice review Karsten and many thanks for it! It could not have come at a better time, as I am ready to purchase one. My personal dilemma is choosing between the Magnetic Silver one or the Black one.. A difficult choice as these 2 colours are both beautiful on this model car.

    I am leaning towards the Magnetic Silver one, as I love this colour on the DBS and in my opinion shows / highlights the DBS’s overall design better than the black. Moreover, I totally agree with you about the interior, sadly it is monotone and a little bit dull. If Autoart had gone with a more vivid colour combination on the inside, this model car would be already amongst other Aston Martins in my collection as we speak.

    Anyway I am still trying to decide (a very happy problem) and currently the Magnetic Silver seems the be the favorite.. Thank you very much for the very nice review and for all the helpful information!

    • DS Team says:

      Buy both a swap interiors LOL!

      • Kostas says:

        Yes, that would be indeed a great “the best of both worlds” solution, but unfortunately not a budget friendly one!.. :))

      • Karsten says:

        I´ll have to disagree here … and perhaps help to put you out of your misery, Kostas:

        A Duotone option including bright red/black does exist for the Accelerate interior, BUT not the way AUTOart have done it on the black DBS. This becomes obvious on the door, on the steering wheel and the entire dashboard that would then be all red. In other words, AA´s duotone interior specification does not exist in real life as you may see from my attempt to configure it on Aston Martin´s website
        So I would not buy the black one if you make truth to original a priority. I´d find opening the model for a swap-job (or customizing the interior to the top Inspire spec that I would have like to see) and, even more so, re-assembling it to the same fit level without breaking anything a daunting task on AA´s composite models anyway.

        • Kostas says:

          You are absolutely right. Unfortunately I do not possess this type of craftmanship skills, in order to customise flawlessly any model car. Anyway, taking in mind all the pros and cons, I think that I will finally go for the magnetic silver. I still think that it is the ideal exterior colour for the DBS + the silver rims, that are an eye candy on this model car.

    • Atalante says:

      I like the magnetic silver but I think the dull interior is a missed opportunity. So I am leaning toward waiting for the racing green recently announced. I hope that the interior will be better. Even black interior would contrast with this nice green shade.

      Additional colors announced:

  5. Alin Demian says:

    Well written review.
    Regarding the model, I’m a bit disappointed with the color scheme chosen by AUTOart for the released models. What’s the point of having indoor details if you cannot properly observe them due to dark tones. Hope next releases will be with some contrast inside.
    Otherwise this DBS is in line with all previous Aston models done by AUTOart. Nothing brilliant but not bad at all.

  6. spikyone says:

    Maybe they offer different options in certain markets, but you definitely can have red Aston Martin wings on the seats – there’s a picture of it on Aston Martin’s website:
    I played with the DB11 configurator a while back and the seats are very customisable, you can get either the wings or model name in various colours.

    Looks lovely anyway, after post deliveries got cancelled in my area thanks to yesterday’s storm in the UK I’m hoping mine will arrive today! I wasn’t bothered about having a bright or contrast interior and I think Magnetic Silver is the nicest exterior colour.

  7. Karsten says:

    “You definitely can have red Aston Martin wings on the seats” … on the QUILTED seats of the higher Create or Inspire interior spec (that´s what´s on the pics you referred to), yes, but not on the plain Accelerate seats, unless the wings become red with the rest of the seat. AA have (unfortunately) shied away from replicating a higher/the highest interior spec (perhaps because of this) including the quilted seats. Pity!

    • spikyone says:

      You can get it without quilted seats:

      Not sure if I can embed the image here but I’ll try:

    • Karsten says:

      This is the interior it would have deserved:

      • Kostas says:

        Indeed that would be very nice.. I think that a tan interior with black accents would be ideal for the magnetic silver DBS.

      • Kostas says:

        Hello Karsten, I am writting to inform you that today I received my Magnetic Silver Autoart Aston Martin DBS SL. I am very happy to have chosen the Magnetic Silver one, as it is absolutely gorgeous! A stunning model car and this colour is definately the ideal one, in order to show 100% clearly the beautiful chassis of the DBS. The picture doesn’t do it justice, it is far more pretty in real life!

        Thank you very much for your very helpful review and extremely useful additional information!

        • Karsten says:

          Thank you, I am glad my review was helpful despite my poor photography skills. This colour is sold out from factory, which tells volumes.

          • Kostas says:

            Your photograph skills are very good my friend, but sometimes any photograph in the world cannot capture 100% the pure beauty of an object, of a person, or of a scenery. In this case, this model car is gorgeous and in magnetic silver, it becomes epic!

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