Aston Martin has unveiled the DB11, the first all new grand tourer in the company’s revitalization strategy under CEO Dr. Andy Palmer.
The DB11 replaces the venerable DB9 and features Aston Martin’s all new 5.2-litre, twin-turbocharged V12 that produces a mega 600 horsepower and 516 pounds-feet of torque, and peak torque is available from just 1,500 RPM through to 5,000 RPM. That’s the kind of torque that will lend an even more relaxed character to the DB11’s dynamics. While Aston’s grand tourers have never been about numbers above all, the DB11’s performance is formidable with zero to 100 km/h times of 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 322 km/h (200 mph).
The transmission is the superb ZF eight-speed transaxle with a mechanical limited slip differential and, for the first time for Aston Martin, the DB11 features active torque vectoring.
Sharp eyes will recognize familiar Mercedes-Benz elements inside the cabin, such as the infotainment controller, that reflect Aston Martin’s partnership with Mercedes-AMG and give the DB11 an ultra-modern interior. There are also two cutting edge TFT displays – one 12-inch instrument screen and one 8-inch for infotainment.
There is an all new steering wheel design and the DB11 loses Aston Martin’s iconic crystal key (Emotional Control Unit in Aston-speak) in favour of a conventional start/stop button that is located in the traditional location at the top of the dash.
The new design features the gorgeous shape Aston Martin is known for, but with entirely new elements for this next chapter in the company’s design book. You’ll notice the bold strakes on both front fenders, rearward of the wheels, that serve to promote engine cooling and reduce aerodynamic lift. One element you can’t see is a virtual rear spoiler – Aston calls it AeroBlade – that takes airflow from the base of the C-pillar, ducts it through the bodywork, and directs it to exit at the top of the rear decklid.
Power steering is now electric and while some of us may lament the loss of hydraulic power assist, Aston’s engineers are the sort of blokes who will make sure the DB11’s steering is satisfying, but we’ll have to wait for a drive before we come to any determinations.
Three stage adaptive dampers are standard equipment, similar to the quite excellent setup fitted to current Aston Martin lineup. While DB9 was fitted with carbon ceramic brakes, DB11 uses two-piece steel rotors and six piston calipers up front, with steel discs and four piston calipers at the rear.
The DB11 marks an entirely new era for the 103-year-old British sports car maker and it promises to fulfill its mission as a fine grand tourer. Deliveries begin before the end of 2016 and pricing starts at CAD $262,261 or US $211,995.
Images courtesy of Aston Martin Lagonda Limited.