Aston Martin doesn’t follow the norm when it comes to super GT cars. Don’t look for dramatic, waist-high bodywork littered with ducts and spoilers on any models from the revered British carmaker. Aston Martins have always maintained a traditional design ethic that’s easy to trace back to the earliest of its models.

One glance at Aston Martin’s 2019 flagship DBS Superleggera and it still brings to mind the DB4 of the late fifties and early sixties. That heritage look is where the comparison ends though, for under the bonnet of the svelte car sits a 5.2-litre twin-turbo V-12 that develops a very impressive 715-horsepower, a figure even James Bond would be awed by.

The power and performance of the new Aston places it firmly in the ranks of the best super GT cars out there and few rivals can match the elegance of this car. The Superleggera (‘super light’ in Italian) has a very special timeless elegance, an Aston Martin trademark that ensures even cars built 20 or more years ago still look fresh and appealing.

The car is related to the DB11 model but it’s made considerably lighter by extensive use of carbon fibre for the bodywork. Much of the performance results from an excellent power-to-weight ratio, though a twin turbo V-12 has enough pep to endow even a heavy car with superior acceleration figures. We looked at the coupé, but recently a Volante (roadster) variant was announced, conjuring up exciting thoughts of 300+ km/h with the top down.

The styling is undeniably graceful and elegant. It does look aggressive and purposeful, but everything is in the most impeccable good taste, something Aston Martin has been getting right for years. It’s a grand touring car in the best traditions, combining thrilling performance and handling with great practicality. Unlike many cars in this class, it has decent luggage space and even the rear seats in this 2+2 are quite usable. The boot will certainly take four fairly large soft bags, so cross-continental road trips are well within its scope. The quilted hip-hugging leather seats are a joy to behold and the interior ambiance is outstanding.

Like most cars in this price class, the DBS Superleggera bristles with technology and much of this comes with the basic model. There’s a 360-degree camera with parking distance display, a critical aid in preserving the car’s scrupulously finished bodywork. Also on the roster is an integrated satnav and all the connectivity features one could want, including Bluetooth for streaming music from an iPhone or iPod. At the heart of all this is a large central screen that’s very easy to navigate.

Although just about everybody will be happy with this Aston ‘right out of the box,’ there is a very extensive range of extras available, plus various upgrade packages. Aston Martin boss Dr. Andy Palmer calls his new model “obsessively engineered and outrageously potent” and few could raise an argument against that.

ENGINE: 5.2-litre twin turbo V-12, 715-hp.

TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic rear mounted transaxle.

ACCELERATION: Zero to 100 km/h in 3.4-seconds.

TOP SPEED: Approx. 340-km/h.

I LIKED: Great power levels and handling to match. Outstanding styling in timeless good taste. Beautifully finished and detailed. Generous luggage space for a car like this, underlining its grand touring role.

I DIDN’T LIKE: No all-wheel drive option.

MARKET ALTERNATIVES: Mercedes-AMG S65 Coupé, Bentley Continental GT Supersports, Ferrari 812 Superfast and, GTC4Lusso.

WHO DRIVES ONE? Buyers who seek thrilling performance but whose tastes run beyond the flashy supercar class. Discerning, design-conscious drivers looking for one of the world’s great GT cars regardless of price.

PRICE AND AVAILABILITY: Available now at €364.000.