As we patiently await the release of the upcoming James Bond film, No Time To Die (currently scheduled for release on 30th September 2021), we have been reminiscing about the Aston Martin motorcars seen in previous 007, and now turn our attention to a model that will appear in the next... together with a couple of extraordinary "tribute" versions.
No Time To Die: Official Trailer
The Aston Martin DBS Superleggera was introduced to the world in 2018 as the flagship V12 model to replace the Vanquish (another former Bond-car). The DBS moniker has appeared in a number of James Bond films; most recently in Quantum of Solace (2008) and Casino Royale (2006) with Daniel Craig behind the wheel, but the firstborn of the DBS family was driven by George Lazenby in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969).
Aston Martin DBS in the opening scene of On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)
The original DBS was intended to be the successor to the DB6, and would be powered by the planned V8 engine that the DB6 engine-bay couldn't accommodate. In 1966, Touring of Milan, was commission to design the vehicle, producing two prototypes before going out of business. William Towns was then employed to complete the "modern" design, which incorporated a fastback rear-end and squared-off front-grille, marking a departure from the styling of the earlier DB models. It was the final car to be developed under David Brown's control.
1968 Aston Martin DBS Six Cylinder Coupe
Production of the DB6 and the DBS ran concurrently for the first few years, sharing the same 4.0L straight-six engine whilst awaiting the final development of the promised V8. The extra room offered by the DBS was welcomed - making it a true four-seater grand tourer - but the extra weight did not help its performance... a criticism that has long remained with the early model.
1972 Aston Martin DBS V8
In September 1969, the 5340cc V8 engine was made available, and the criticism stopped. Introduced as the DBS V8, it was, at the time, the fastest production four-seater in the world. The trademark Aston bonnet-scoop and side-vents were retained, but the knock-off wire-wheels were replaced with light-alloys. The new model also made its way onto the screen (albeit in disguised DBS-6 form) as the transport for future James Bond, Roger Moore, in the hit television series, The Persuaders (1971-1972).
Roger Moore as Brett Sinclair in The Persuaders (1971)
Roll forward fifty years and the DBS Superleggera holds a commanding position amongst the rare group of Super Grand Tourers currently available in the global marketplace, and a natural choice for Bond's first pick from the MI6 car-pool. Powered by a 5.3 litre twin-turbo V12 engine, its performance is as aggressive as its looks, yet the level of sophistication and refinement of design and finish earn the car its reputation as "brute in a suit".
Aston Martin DBS Superleggera: Launch Video
It's been a long journey for the Aston Martin DBS, and the company clearly holds dear the historical connection with its most famous customer. In 2019, to mark the 50th anniversary of On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Aston Martin introduced a Limited Edition version of the DBS Superleggera, finished in the same Olive Green paintwork as the original, and fitted with scarlet-lined secret compartments, together with a host of other refinements befitting a budding secret agent.
Aston Martin DBS Superleggera "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" Special Edition
In addition to reverence to the past, Aston Martin have chosen to celebrate the most recent incarnation of their Bond-car by releasing a screen-perfect replica of the No Time To Drive DBS Superleggera. With even smaller numbers available, the global market will see just 25 of the DBS Superleggera 007 Edition. Designed in special Ceramic Grey paint, the roof, mirror caps, splitter, diffuser and rear Aeroblade compliment it perfectly in black tinted carbon fibre.
The Aston Martin Superleggera 007 Edition