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Aston Martin DBS Superleggera vs Ferrari 812 Superfast: the numbers

We put the timing gear on the big Aston - how does it compare to the big Ferrari?

A while back I wrote a little piece about just how fast an Aston Martin DBS Superleggera is against the clock. And it is. Very. As fast to 100mph as an AMG GT R and Porsche 911 GT3 RS, and faster still if you discount the initial traction issues, and consider the 60-130mph increment. That’s dusted in under seven seconds. A Porsche 911 Turbo S can’t say that. Nor can the 858bhp Hennessey Mustang we ran earlier this year, or Litchfield’s GT-R Track Pack.

But you wanted more. Specifically, you wanted to know how it compared to Ferrari’s 812 Superfast. The reason is clear. Both are front-engined GT-bodied supercars, designed to take two people and a considerable amount of luggage a decent distance. But they do so using very different strategies.

The Aston wades in with a twin turbo 5.2-litre V12 that’s all about torque – 663lb ft of it at a mere 1,800rpm. The 715bhp power output is largely a byproduct of the torque. Now meet its polar opposite. The Ferrari uses a naturally aspirated 6.5-litre V12. It doesn’t deliver maximum torque until 7,000rpm and even then it falls short of the Aston by a considerable 134lb ft. But here the torque is largely a byproduct of the colossal power – 789bhp at 8,500rpm.

OK, that’s not quite right, because the Ferrari has an operating range of quite majestic breadth. Like the Aston it’ll punch forward hard in any gear from 2,500rpm, but unlike the Aston which delivers an instant haymaker and then sustains that level, the Ferrari just keeps piling more and more pressure on the back wheels, acceleration building to a mesmerising crescendo. And an 8,900rpm cutout. Wider power band, shorter gearing, lighter weight – these things all count…

Anyway, here’s the stopwatch results:

                          DBS                 812 SF

0-10                  0.61                 0.55

0-20                  1.19                 1.01

0-30                  1.72                 1.49

0-40                  2.29                 2.01

0-50                  2.92                 2.52

0-60                  3.59                 2.97

0-70                  4.34                 3.62

0-80                  5.08                 4.29

0-90                  5.91                 4.99

0-100                6.86                 5.79

0-110                7.91                 6.72

0-120                9.19                 7.76

0-130                10.57               9.02

0-140                12.18               10.39

0-150                14.70               12.50

Yes. The Aston DBS is very fast, but the 812 Superfast is something else. And it starts from the word go: weighing 60-odd kg less with a more aggressive differential and traction system, the Ferrari is a quarter of a second up by 30mph and over half a second up at 60mph. Ferrari claims it’ll hit 62mph in 2.9secs, while Aston says 3.4. We were a little adrift of each, but in the right ballpark. Despite the Aston’s torque (which doubtless would make it quicker over any in-gear increments), the 812 consistently took time out of the DBS – over a second ahead at 100mph, two seconds at 150mph.

The standing quarter? The Aston is through the 402 metre barrier after 11.33secs at a peak speed of 135.5mph. The 812 recorded 10.62secs at 141.6mph. Quite simply it’s the fastest front-engined car we’ve ever tested. I suspect it’ll be a while before anything else comes along to beat it. And when it does I expect it’ll be the 812’s replacement.

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