We now have BMWs, Audis and AMGs with crushing performance levels. Porsche on the other hand, the undisputed people's supercar of Germany, decided to stay on their high pedestals and act as thou they're not aware of what's going on. When Ms and AMGs and RSs were created to garner the same respect as the famous Porsche crest; Porsche themselves now happily adorn the crest onto 230hp Macans.


Worse still, the new Panamera's 3.0 V6 Turbo engine was detuned to 330hp while the Panamera S' 2.9 V6 TwinTurbo makes a paltry 440hp. All this to make way for the Panamera Turbo S at 'only' 550hp. Not lousy numbers by any measure, but embarrassing when a Porsche Panamera needs to give way to a head lamp flashing A-Class coming from behind. This is horribly conservative, embarrassingly slow for a Porsche that no longer try their best to stay ahead of the game. And I haven't come to the point yet when buyers need to top up money just to select between comfort or sports.

In every way, the DBS Superleggera has world crushing performance, why doesn't it get the Vanquish name? Why is it, still a DB? And for this, I applaud Aston Martin for knowing who they are and what they stood for. And to expand on this topic, I will have to touch slightly on Porsche, a brand still loved by many, but beginning to lose its core supporters.


You see, we're in an era where we have 400hp Mercedes-Benz A-Classes. These baby premium cars that started life as 1.6-litre diesel Euroconoboxes, but time as all say, has the ability to change things. While the German Trio started these small premios to attract youngsters with lower budget, their virtues of practicality and nimbleness resulted in the perfect platform for what reminisces Group B rally monsters of the past.

So back to the DBS; has Aston Martin ever had anything to do with the Superleggera badge? Yes, there was the DB5 Superleggera, and even a DB5 Shooting Brake by a company called Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera. And the company pioneered a technique of building cars called 'Superleggera' and licensed this technique to Aston Martin once. But that's another story for another day.


As for why this is called the DBS Superleggera, it's because the roof, the hood, the boot, and most of the panels in and out of the car are all made of carbon fibre. There's also forged carbon fibre on the doors, the dash, and basically apart from the bonded aluminium frame, almost the entire exterior panelling were made with carbon.

What? Another new Aston Martin? Within the short span of just four years, upon launching the beautiful DB11, the purebred Vantage supercar, the ludicrously powerful DBS Superleggera, and mad hypercars. Yes, I used a plural there, because they made not one, but three hypercars in the name of Valkyrie, Valhalla, and the new mid-engined Vanquish.


And how can I miss out the DBX, their first SUV that beats the competition in every respect be it luggage space or driveability. After this major product offensive, Aston Martin launches yet another new car? DBS Bellissima?


Ok, I'll be frank, this is the Aston Martin DBS Superleggera. And in Italian, Superleggera means 'Super Light' as everybody learned when Lamborghini launched the Gallardo Superleggera and the Aventador Superveloce (Super fast). Of course, Proton missed an opportunity to name the Saga Super Value as the Supervalore. Oh, how glorious that sounded.

But what is exactly, the DBS? What's with Aston Martin's model naming that has multiple models that stubbornly seek to deplete every word that starts with a 'V' in the Oxford dictionary? Let me get down to it real quick, the lineups with 'V' denote their sports, track and high performance cars that are made to be more hard core, whereas the models with DB are essentially their 'road cars' or grand tourers.

So it must be pretty lightweight then? Well, one can certainly argue that the car would have been a lot heavier if those components were all made of aluminium, but at 1.8 tonnes lightweight it is not. Nevertheless, if you were to walk up to this car in person, you will immediately realise that it is almost a full size larger than BMW's largest ever two-door luxury coupe - the 2012 F12 6 Series - yupe, the new 8 Series is smaller than the 6-Series it replaces. And what's the weight of the 6 Series? It's 1.8 tonnes as well. So, in a way the DBS Superleggera is considered relatively lightweight, but it is by no means super-light.

This gave birth to the DB1 and subsequently the famous DB5. DBS thus started life as the 'performance version' or 'hardcore version' of their DB road cars. And this DBS is actually the hardcore version of the DB11, continuing the legacy of the previous DBS that was based on the DB9. Got it? Vantage, Virage, Vanquish, Vulcan, Valkryie, Valhalla; these are all hardcore sports and track oriented cars. So, what’s the deal with the DBS Superleggera?


If you delve into this car from a performance perspective, you'd be wondering why isn't this car the replacement of the Vanquish - Aston Martin's top performer all along. With 715hp and 900Nm on tap, it is so powerful that the ECU will not provide full power until the 4th gear in order to protect the gearbox. This car is so fast it will eat GTC4Lussos for lunch, it will has almost 200Nm more than the Ferrari 812 Superfast.

But it isn't as clear cut as it seems, because Aston Martin started their reputation from racing, and a brand that has always been heavily involved in racing have different perceptions when it comes to what constitutes 'race' or 'road'. Which meant that models that comes with DB doesn't mean they're as soft as a BMW M5 - see? I mentioned M5 as being soft here - because in the context of supercars and hypercars, an M5 is soft, and more grand tour-ier.


And why DB you may ask? It stands for David Brown, the industrialist who in 1946 bought over Aston Martin for the equivalent sum of RM4.6m in today's money. Yes a bargain price saving Aston Martin from their impending bankruptcy. In his quest to improve sales, he then instructed the company to start a DB lineup with his initials, with what he would consider as the gentleman's sports car, suitable for daily use, but crushing performance for other road cars, and preferably a convertible.

Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Bellissima Review

The most expletive description of this car is not its lightness but its sheer beauty. And as everyone knows, with beauty comes power.


The DBS Superleggera carries everything that Aston Martin has long been known for into the future, with a more modest positioning in the company - solely because what was considered as Super last time, has now relegated to Grand Touring, and what was once considered Hyper, is now just a Super in Aston Martin's new Vanquish. Oh I haven't touch on how beautiful this car is?


As with every Aston Martin, they design their cars in strict accordance to the golden ratio, even going so far as to use fibonacci sequencing of nature to explain the correlation of lines that run across their cars. And the way the DBS Superleggera (oh apologies, DBS Bellissima i mean) looks, would've left onlookers with the same gaping mouth as its air intake grille.

And this is the exact reason why I say that Aston Martin decided to just call a monster of a 900Nm supercar their David Brown Sports and not the Vanquish. So is the Vanquish cancelled? No, the Vanquish will now be a mid-engine hypercar that is closer to the SF90 Stradale than an 812 Superfast. Ferrari's super-fast is now 'just' a David Brown in Aston speak.


Given that Aston Martin have always had the hallmark of having the most reliable V12 engine in the supercar world, coupled with their daily drivability (just like 911s), the DBS Superleggera needs little judgement on whether its interior is beautiful (of course it is) or if it sounds good now that it has a 5.2 V12 Twin Turbo (sounds much better than any big turbocharged V8/10/12s out there).

Olympus OMD Mark III, f/2.8, 1/1000 sec, ISO 64, -1 step, 40mm

Olympus OMD Mark III, f/2.8, 1/2000 sec, ISO 400, 0 step, 31mm

Olympus OMD Mark III, f/2.8, 1/250 sec, ISO 200, -0.3 step, 24mm

Olympus OMD Mark III, f/2.8, 1/100 sec, ISO 200, -1.3 step, 40mm

Olympus OMD Mark III, f/2.8, 1/15 sec, ISO 400, 0 step, 22mm

Olympus OMD Mark III, f/2.8, 1/2500 sec, ISO 400, -0.7 step, 40mm

Olympus OMD Mark III, f/2.8, 1/500 sec, ISO 400, -0.3 step, 40mm

Olympus OMD Mark III, f/2.8, 1/400 sec, ISO 400, -0.7 step, 15mm

Olympus OMD Mark III, f/2.8, 1/800 sec, ISO 400, -0.7 step, 34mm

Olympus OMD Mark III, f/2.8, 1/320 sec, ISO 200, 0 step, 40mm

Olympus OMD Mark III, f/2.8, 1/25 sec, ISO 400, 0 step, 12mm

Olympus OMD Mark III, f/2.8, 1/200 sec, ISO 64, -1 step, 12mm

Olympus OMD Mark III, f/2.8, 1/2000 sec, ISO 64, -0.7 step, 110mm

Olympus OMD Mark III, f/2.8, 1/1600 sec, ISO 64, -1 step, 106mm

Olympus OMD Mark III, f/2.8, 1/4000 sec, ISO 400, -0.7 step, 23mm

And that's why, instead of its virtues as a Superleggera given its crushing performance, perhaps in modern day Aston Martin, 715hp and 900Nm is not even a subject for discussion. That's why I would dare to even suggest to call this the DBS Bellissimo (the beautiful). Because in this new daring world, Aston's vane poser, has the performance capabilities of your serious track machine.


Sticking a huge GT wing at the back for downforce? Sorry, Mr. Beauty here would rather use an invisible spoiler to achieve that downforce in order to not ruin his neatly sculpted derriére.

From the signature Aston Martin grille, to the innovative side air vents along the front fenders that reveal its inner construction when you popped open the hood, to the way the hood open towards the front, the mechanisms that catches the hood and pulls it in when you shut them, the side mirrors that were essentially mounted on front spoilers at the base of the a-pillar, the air intakes from the c-pillar that routes air into the hollow carbon fibre boot that shoots air out of the duck tail spoiler to create an invisible spoiler - holy mother of god - there isn't an inch of this car that wasn't designed to perfection.



Aston Martin is a car that perfectly crafted so there’s a lot of details that you can highlight. Choosing the right location and lens is crucial for the shoot, because the car itself is the star of the show. Sometimes when you are on location you are distracted by the background and some left over rubbish because it’s a public space. First thing to do upon arriving is always to clean the area. Then look for angles that don’t interfere with your subject, such as tree branches sticking out behind the car. For your lens, a wide angle lens may result in you capturing more clutter in your picture. Using a telephoto lens, you can narrow down the field of view and selected the cleanest background so your subject stands out - TJ