Aston Martin has built a new V12 speedster inspired by its 1950s racers. And it will be built in very limited numbers.
We can always count on Aston Martin to deliver a stunning concept car, and its latest doesn’t disappoint. It’s the DBR22, a celebration of the company’s classic open-top racers and the anniversary of Aston’s bespoke custom division. It might be a concept car, but Aston Martin will build the real thing for a handful of its best customers.
Q Branch Celebrates 10 Years of Bespoke
Aston Martin’s Q branch was launched 10 years ago to help customers get an Aston that’s even more special than its “normal” low-volume sports cars. Most of those buyers were looking for upgrades like special carbon trim, new leather options, and other similarly subtle changes.
But a few were looking for entire vehicles. That desire for a bespoke Aston gave the world models like the one-off Aston Martin Victor, the 14-unit Vantage V600, the limited to 24 Vulcan trackday special, and more.
The DBR22 is the latest of those, and while the company isn’t saying how many will see production, we can bet it’s going to be a very small number.
Styled to Pay Tribute to 1950s Astons
A few lucky and well-heeled customers will get a car that is an absolute stunner. It starts with the grille: Aston keeps the shape it has used for decades, but instead of the egg crate or hex mesh of its latest models, this one goes way back.
Like the Aston Martin DBR1 racer it is inspired by, the grille has just five elements: four running vertically, one horizontal. They’re carbon fiber, because Aston doesn’t want to focus only on the past. It needs some future in the mix as well.
The car has no roof and only a vague hint of a windscreen. Again a nod to the racers, because a car on the track at the time had no need for frivolous things like driver comfort. The DBR1 (the other car in the photos) won the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans without them, after all.
Aston has made the bodywork using as few separate panels as possible. The idea is fewer cutlines and a better representation of early racecars. Those classics often used bodies that were (or at least looked to be) just a single piece, usually of hand-hammered aluminum alloy — a look tough to duplicate on a road car today.
705-Horse V12 Power
Under that long hood and its horseshoe vent is Aston’s 5.2L twin-turbo V12. The big engine will make 705 horsepower and 555 pound-feet of torque. That’s 20 more horses than in the V12 Vantage where we’d normally expect to find it.
The car will be capable of hitting 60 mph in 3.4 seconds and 198 mph all out. All of which will probably ruffle the very expensive haircuts of its owners.
Chassis upgrades will include new front and rear shear panels designed to increase the car’s rigidity. A new adaptive damper calibration is said to add precision and comfort to the ride, while custom engine and gearbox tuning will give the DBR22 “a manner and delivery unlike any other model.”
Many of these customs are a way to test out new production methods, and the DBR22 is no different there. The car uses a 3D-printed rear subframe, the first time Aston has tried out this method. Multiple 3D parts are printed from aluminum and then bonded together. It makes the part lighter without hurting stiffness. More importantly, it allows the flexibility needed for ultra-low volume production.
The DBR22 concept will be on display at Pebble Beach this weekend. If you’re around, the company will probably be happy to take your order — if they’re not already sold out.