The DB11 is the most important car Aston Martin has ever launched. That, at least, is the judgement of the firm’s CEO, Andy Palmer, who is trying to transform the firm’s fortunes by repositioning it as a luxury brand rather just a car maker. If this car is the first roll of the dice in that gamble, then Aston has just thrown a double six, says Simon de Burton in the FT’s How To Spend It magazine. On a drive through the winding roads of Tuscany, four features stood out: the engine, the looks, the “really excellent” steering, and “a quality of ride that is probably the best yet in an Aston Martin”.
In order to meet increasingly stringent environmental standards, this Aston is the first in the car maker’s history to have a turbo-charged engine. Aston traditionalists need not fear, however, says de Burton. “Even the most mechanically attuned driver would be hard-pressed to detect the two turbos at work”, and it delivers a “smooth, seamless and decidedly exhilarating wave of power that will push the DB11 to 200mph and allow it to sprint from standstill to 60mph in less than 3.9 seconds. So it’s the quickest DB car ever made.”
It is “chuffing fast”, says Matt Prior in Autocar. Those turbos do cause some lag at low revs. “But this donkey makes 516lb ft from 1,500rpm. If for a nanosecond it’s only making 300lb ft, well, that’s no big deal.” To drive at speed the car is so trustworthy, so docile and agile, that it’s “all rather overwhelming”. The car weighs nearly two tonnes, and yet has 90% of the agility of a McLaren 650S or Ferrari 488 GTB and 90% of the ride quality of a Mercedes S Class. It’s “brilliant”.
The biggest leap forward from previous models is the interior, says Henry Catchpole in Evo. The DB11’s cabin has a beautiful new design, featuring hardware and software lifted from Mercedes but clothed in Aston leather. That makes it a more habitable place to spend time than its predecessors. The double-glazing muffles the sound, but don’t worry: the “soundtrack is most definitely distinctly Aston”. This is a great car for eating the miles and is “a rather lovely thing”.
Engine: 5,204cc, twin-turbo petrol, V12
Power: 600bhp at 6,500rpm
Top speed: 200mph
0-62mph: 3.9 seconds