Aston Martin unveils sexy open-top DBR22

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The DBR22 design concept uses cues from the magnificent DBR1 and DB3S racers.

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The DBR22 design concept uses cues from the magnificent DBR1 and DB3S racers.

Monterey Car Week is underway and Aston Martin is using it as a good excuse to show off a new design concept.

Called DBR22, the car was created by the boffins of Q by Aston Martin, the brand’s bespoke division. Q has previously built epic one-offs like the Aston Martin Victor as well as low-volume specials like the Vulcan and Vantage V600.

The DBR22 is a celebration of a decade of Q, marrying modern Aston design with elements of the magnificent DBR1 and DB3S models and the powerful 5.2-litre V12 twin-turbo engine of the current DBS and V12 Vantage, producing 525kW and 715 Nm.

Aston Martin has unveiled the latest Vantage to feature a V12 engine.

It uses an entirely new body, built from a minimal number of body panels. The grille is constructed from carbon fiber and ditches the usual vertical vanes seen on production Aston Martins in favor of a single horizontal piece. This design is taken directly from the DBR1 and DB3S.

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The hood has a large, recessed horseshoe vent to help the engine breathe, spreading out to the ultra-low windshield. A further two vents sit aft of the wheel arches, which house 21-inch alloys with a motorsport-derived center-lock hub.

The interior is a mix of old and new, Aston says.

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The interior is a mix of old and new, Aston says.

The interior is a “fusion of classic and contemporary approaches,” Aston says, which simply means it looks a lot like the current Vantage with a newer dashboard and infotainment screens, plus lots of leather. and carbon fiber. It looks like the brand’s gear selector buttons are now touch sensitive, mounted below the climate controls.

Behind the cockpit are two pods that smooth the airflow through the rear of the car. Around the rear is a full-width LED light bar designed specifically for the DBR22, with a diffuser split by two centrally mounted tailpipes.

Aston doesn’t say whether the DBR22 is based on the Vantage or the DBS, but it does say the front and rear shear panels have been modified for more torsional rigidity, while the adaptive dampers have been retuned for more precision and smoothness, something Aston says improves both body control and ride refinement.

The swoopy taillight looks a bit like the current Vantage, while those pods are as old school as they come.

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The swoopy taillight looks a bit like the current Vantage, while those pods are as old school as they come.

The DBR22 also features a 3D printed rear subframe – the first time Aston Martin has introduced such a method. The component is made from multiple 3D printed parts printed from aluminum, which are then glued together to form the finished subframe.

This saves a lot of weight, although Aston won’t say exactly how much, without any reduction in stiffness. The technique will likely be reused for future low-volume Q models.

While the release consistently calls the DBR22 a “design concept”, it also mentions that it is “one of the rarest Aston Martins in the brand’s storied 109-year history”, indicating that the brand will probably build one or two for those waving enough cash, after all it’s already done that with the 2020 V12 Speedster, of which it’s made 88. And it’s probably no coincidence that the DBR22 made its debut at Monterey, one of the most fuel-rich rallies of the year…

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