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Aston Martin reveals open-cockpit DBR22 concept. Image by Aston Martin.

Aston Martin reveals open-cockpit DBR22 concept
Classically styled sports car is being shown off at Monterey Car Week in America.
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What's all this about?

On paper, the DBR22 is an open-top, two-seat Aston Martin with a V12 engine, but really it’s a celebration of the brand’s Q personalisation division. This year marks a decade of the Q programme, which has produced some of the most exclusive Aston Martins ever, including the Victor and Vulcan, and this is the division’s birthday present to itself.

Looks cool...

The DBR22 certainly looks striking, and Aston Martin describes it as a “dynamic new take” on the brand’s classic open-top sports cars. Coach built using the minimum number of body panels, the car includes an entirely new front grille with a carbon-fibre design inspired by the DBR1 and DB3S.

There’s also a long bonnet line, a low wind deflector and small mirrors that sit on slender carbon-fibre arms for minimal drag. The whole thing sits on 21-inch alloy wheels designed specifically for the car, and customers can choose from an “extensive” colour pallette.

What's under the skin?

For the most part, it seems the bodywork is simply an aerodynamic sheath for the cockpit and the 5.2-litre V12 engine. With 715hp, 753Nm of torque and an eight-speed paddle-shift automatic gearbox, the engine drags the car from 0-60mph in 3.4 seconds and on to a top speed of 198mph.

Does it handle?

Aston Martin says so, but whether that’s true remains to be seen. We do know the company has worked hard on the chassis, fitting unique front and rear shear panels for extra torsional rigidity, while adaptive dampers are designed to provide an ideal “blend of body control and ride refinement that will make the DBR22 an absolute pleasure to drive”.

The DBR22 also comes with a 3D-printed rear subframe built from aluminium, which is then bonded to form the finished structure. Aston says the process saves weight without reducing stiffness, giving Aston Martin the chance to make special parts from ultra-low volume models.

What's it like inside?

Aston Martin claims to have created a “fusion of classic and contemporary” inside, even if that makes it sound like a snazzy restaurant. There’s plenty of leather and exposed carbon fibre, joined by an all-new dashboard with fresh infotainment systems. The company also claims to have fitted “aromatic hides”, while the carbon-fibre performance seats stick out to “create an inviting hint of the interior.

Nice. What next?

Aston Martin will show the car off at 2022 Monterey Car Week, in California. From there, the company hopes the DBR22 will form the basis of future commissions. “We set our design systems to ‘hyper-drive’, pushing the exploration of formalism further and endeavouring to express a future here today,” said Marek Reichman, Aston Martin’s chief creative officer. “Where could we go with the surfaces, proportion and form. Combining this approach with advanced process, technology, and materials, we’ve effectively modernised our racing bloodline and created a new pedigree. DBR22 is a hot-blooded, purebred Aston Martin sports car full of speed, agility and spirit, and a machine that we think will be the basis of many of tomorrow’s icons.”

James Fossdyke - 15 Aug 2022

2022 Aston Martin DBR22 Concept. Image by Aston Martin.2022 Aston Martin DBR22 Concept. Image by Aston Martin.2022 Aston Martin DBR22 Concept. Image by Aston Martin.2022 Aston Martin DBR22 Concept. Image by Aston Martin.2022 Aston Martin DBR22 Concept. Image by Aston Martin.

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