Look, we love the Aston Martin DBS Superleggera, but there’s always something bigger and badder up the food chain—even if you’re a 211-mph, $335,000 Aston Martin. In this case, the Aston Martin DBS was forced to go up against the mighty million-dollar McLaren Senna during hot laps at this past year’s Best Driver’s Car competition. Why? Luck of the draw, mostly—after pairing off all the other cars with their obvious competitors, the Senna and DBS were all we had left. And besides, both are expensive, British, and have over 700 hp. It’s a tenuous connection, but we’ll take it. With that, we handed the keys off to race car driver Randy Pobst and set him loose around WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. His only instruction? Go as fast as possible.
Going fast is easy with this lot, with relatively light curb weights and gobs of power. The McLaren Senna is the more powerful of the two. Named after legendary Formula 1 racer Ayrton Senna and built to set records at racetracks all over the world, the Senna is McLaren’s most hardcore track-focused car. The carbon-tubbed, mid-engine Senna has a small 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 making 789 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque, which puts the power out the back end via a seven-speed twin-clutch automatic. The Senna also gets massive carbon-ceramic brakes, active aerodynamics, and McLaren’s revolutionary hydraulic suspension system. The end result is a car that’s a brutal assault on your senses when driven in anger. Zero to 60 mph falls in just 2.9 seconds; 0 to 100 mph and back again takes only 8.5 seconds. The Senna is quick around a corner, too, lapping our figure eight in 21.9 seconds at 1.02 g average.
That’s next-level quick, but the DBS is no slouch, either. Under its aluminum bodywork sits a 5.2-liter twin-turbo V-12 that produces 715 hp and a maniacal 664 lb-ft of torque. All that power is sent rearwards to an eight-speed automatic transaxle, which helps even out the DBS’ weight distribution at 51/49 percent front/rear. With more than enough power to quickly overwhelm its relatively narrow rear tires, launching the DBS Superleggera is tricky; a good driver ought to be able to manage 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds and run from 0 to 100 to 0 mph in 11.3 seconds. Our best figure-eight lap was 23.6 seconds at 0.89 g—all impressive numbers for one of the best-driving Aston road cars in recent memory.
But is that enough to keep up with the McLaren Senna around Laguna Seca? In a word, no. But nevertheless, watch the video to see the difference between a fast car and a really fast car.