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Aston Martin DBR22 Celebrates 10 Years of the Q Bespoke Division

This beautiful roofless creation is inspired by vintage Le Mans race cars, and a few of them will be built.

Front 3/4 of a green Aston Martin DBR22 speedster in front of a vintage DBR1 race car
Hello, beautiful.
Aston Martin

It's been 10 years since Aston Martin launched its Q by Aston Martin division, which does everything from bespoke color combinations and special editions to limited-run cars like the Vulcan and one-off commissioned models like the Victor. To celebrate the anniversary, Aston Martin has come up with a stunning new coachbuilt roadster, the DBR22, which will make its full debut in Monterey later this week.

The DBR22's styling was inspired by vintage Le Mans race cars, specifically the 1953 DB3S and the 1959 DBR1, and to me, the DBR22 is by far Aston's most successful attempt at retro design yet. It's got a dramatically long front end that's one single body panel, with oval headlights and a massive grille with carbon-fiber strakes that hark back to those old race cars. Air flows from the grille through the vent in the hood, and the front fenders have cool intakes shaped like the DBR1's. It's a distinctive front-end look that I hope inspires future series-production Astons.

The retro vibes are strong.

Aston Martin

There's no windshield or side windows on the DBR22, aside from a very short wraparound wind deflector, and the side mirrors are mounted low on carbon-fiber arms. The DBR22 has a large door on each side -- no hopping directly into the cabin -- and the 21-inch wheels use a center-lock hub. The fairings behind the seats are smooth and subtle, flowing nearly all the way back on the tapering rear end, and the shape of the cabin surround is nearly identical to that of the DBR1. Aside from a curvy rear diffuser with a pair of huge exhaust tips, the DBR22's back is pretty clean, with a thin light bar echoing the brand's signature shape sitting above a perforated black panel. Overall I think the DBR22 is beautiful, much less fussy than other modern Astons, while still having cool technical details and aerodynamic elements.

The interior is pretty much identical to the Vantage-based V12 Speedster. It's got a mix of black and brown leather, dark aluminum trim and tons of carbon fiber. There are some cool details like leather pull straps on the doors and riveted components on the center console, and the main touchscreen and capacitive gear selector and mirror controls look nicer than what's on regular production Astons. No word whether there is space for a pair of helmets like on the V12 Speedster, but it seems like there's some room behind the superthin carbon-fiber bucket seats.

More cars need leather straps.

Aston Martin

Powering the DBR22 is Aston's twin-turbo 5.2-liter V12 engine, which in this application puts out 705 horsepower and 555 pound-feet of torque, 5 hp more than the V12 Speedster. Aston says the DBR22 can hit 60 mph in 3.4 seconds and reach a top speed of 198 mph, a tenth of a second and 12 mph quicker than the V12 Speedster. The DBR22's engine and eight-speed automatic transmission have model-specific tuning, though it's unclear what changes, if any, have been made to the exhaust system.

The rear subframe of the DBR22 is 3D-printed, the first time Aston has used that technology. Multiple components are printed from aluminum and then bonded together, with this solution being lighter in weight and no less stiff than a traditional subframe. 3D printing also makes it easier to create parts for super limited-production models like this. Additionally, the DBR22 has different tuning for the adaptive dampers, a pinned steering column for better accuracy and more feedback, and unique front and rear shear panels for increased rigidity.

While Aston Martin is only calling the DBR22 a "design concept," it also says that it will spawn a run of production cars for an "ultra-exclusive" amount of Q customers. Given that it was created for the tenth anniversary of Q, the number of DBR22s to be built will probably match that. Expect a price tag of around $3 million each. We'll know more when the cover comes off the DBR22 at The Quail this Friday.