Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este is becoming a bit like Goodwood’s Festival of Speed, where it may have started out as a celebration of historic cars, it has now become a popular launch spot for several car makers to show their most beautiful pre-production ‘new’ models.

Aston Martin used Villa d’Este to great success last year with its V12 Zagato, but for 2012 it’s the new DBS making its first appearance as Project AM 310.

Project AM 310 is understood to have drawn lessons from Aston’s One-77 supercar, including its use of lightweight materials and the power extracted from its familiar V12 engine. Don’t expect anything near to 700bhp though, rumour suggests nearer 575bhp for its 6.0-litre V12 engine, some 60 or so bhp more than its predecessor.

With the new DBS due to launch in 2013, the AM 310 gives us a taste of what to expect. While the shape will be close to the finished article, we’d expect the wheels and front splitter to change.

Perhaps the biggest concern is how close it continues to follow the design of the original 2004 DB9 – it’s time to see Aston take some risks. They’ve shown they can do it with the V12 Zagato.

Photo credit: Lele Buonerba via