Aston Martin regularly gets voted as one of the world’s coolest brands, alongside the likes of Apple, Nike, Ray-Ban and Instagram. The latter lack the prestige and heritage of Britain’s most famous sports car brand, but they do have something that it has lacked in more recent years: they are ingenious and inventive. Up until now, this is a trait that has perhaps eluded Aston Martin, however, with the release of the DB11, it feels as if Aston Martin has finally found its feet.
Aston Martin call the DB11 their “most important new car” to date, a label that has been backed up by the sheer amount of new elements and features, including a new 5.2 litre twin turbo V12, a new lightweight aluminium body, a new multilink rear axle system, a new power steering system… you get the picture. So, what is the result of all this new tech? And more importantly, is it the car to waft you to the south of France with ease?
The styling of the car borrows a lot from perhaps the most glorious Aston to date, the 177. The huge wheels, voluptuous rear arches, front wheel vents and avant-garde design result in a car that wouldn’t look out of place in a sci-fi blockbuster. And with the clever aero details such as the ‘invisible’ rear wing, you get a sense that function has managed to complement form.
Being a grand tourer, comfort is paramount, and inside the interior is a lovely place to be seated. There are little luxurious details throughout, such as brogued leather on the doors, stitching around the info-screen and a ‘Made in England’ name plate on the bottom of the door frame, which all remind you that this is something that has been handmade. The new partnership with Mercedes means the centre console borrows a lot from German giants, which is great because everything works brilliantly – but not so great as it slightly ruins the continuity of the interior and isn’t perhaps the centrepiece it could be. The touch pad is also a welcome addition, allowing you to seamlessly shift through the options and settings without distraction, and you will want to have a play around with the overhead parking camera, because it’s bound to blow your mind. It is also very practical as the DB11 is a fairly large car, and there is nothing worse than being unable to park an expensive car properly because you feel unsure of its dimensions, trust me.
The new 5.2-litre V1 twin turbo V12 is also simply brilliant, producing 600bhp and 516lb ft of torque and howling like the cars of a bygone era. Because of these wonderful numbers it means it’s fast: very fast. In fact, it is the fastest mass production road car Aston Martin has ever built. But, as well as being fast it is also smart, with cylinder deactivation and stop start technology, meaning you won’t burn a hole in your pocket every time you put your foot to the floor.
There are three settings to adjust the aggressiveness and responsiveness of the powertrain and suspension: Grand Tourer, Sport and Sport Plus. I must admit I feel this is slightly redundant as the car works beautifully in Grand Tourer mode, managing to tame that 600bhp and floating you through the gears without being over-responsive or the least bit uncouth. The ride is also befitting of an English gent and despite the low profile tyres, the DB11 deals with bumps and troughs with ease. The chassis, again, is excellent, enabling you to position this large car through the corners with pinpoint precision. Should you wish to turn up the car to 11, you will be in awe of its speed. It is genuinely incredible how a car this large can go from 0-60mph in 3.9 seconds – all the while you could be happily sipping a Louis III and cutting a Cohiba, although this certainly isn’t advised…
The great thing about Aston Martins is that they age beautifully, and I don’t think the DB11 will be an exception to the rule. If you’re the type of person who regularly makes long road journeys, this is the car for you. It’s fast, comfortable, good-looking and most importantly refined. Good show chaps.
Price: £154,900; www.astonmartin.com