by John Tallodi
The fully redesigned Aston Martin DB11 replaces the long-running DB9 at the head of the Aston range and brings with it a Mercedes-Benz derived V12 as well as whole host of advanced technological features. Luxury levels are at the lofty levels you might expect of this grand tourer and personalization options allow each owner to build a highly customizable car.
Aston Martins of old have always tended to look stunning from the outside, the basic rightness of the previous DB7 and DB9 meant that the incremental updates to the exterior were enough to keep heads turning.
This was not quite so with the interior which had fallen well behind newer competitors in recent years. The DB11 rights these wrongs and offers an opulent and finely crafted cabin, soft touch materials and high quality line the interior and there is a long list of customizable options to choose from too.
The front seats are multi-adjustable and perfect for long cruises, controls and minor switchgear fall readily to hand and the infotainment system is a big improvement over the system found in the DB9, a digital dashboard is also standard.
The rear seats are best reserved for Bond's most hated enemies though as they are only fit to be used as a torture device or perhaps as additional storage space for your shopping bags.
The firm ride that plagued some versions of the DB9 has been much improved in the DB11 and thanks to a newly designed suspension setup with adaptive damping, advanced traction control system, positive torque control and dynamic torque vectoring, handling has been improved too.
Reactions to inputs are quick and the transmission changes cogs quickly and smoothly, perhaps not as instantaneous as some dual-clutch systems but it is perfectly suited to the nature of the DB11.
The DB11 is fitted with a twin-turbocharged 5.2-liter V12 which pushes out an even 600 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque. An 8-speed automatic transmission transmits the power to the rear wheels through a limited-slip differential and this grand tourer dispatches the 60 mph benchmark in a very sports car-like 3.7-seconds. Top speed is pegged at an academic 200 mph but hints at the accelerative ability available at lower velocities.
The addition of two turbochargers has imbued the DB11 with serious overtaking pace and while it lacks some of the character of the old V12, it offers far more real-world performance and there are few scenarios where this car does not feel indecently rapid.
The DB11 is available in one trim level with a very high level of standard equipment. Some notable items include 20-inch alloy wheels, leather interior with heating and power adjustability on the front two, surround parking assist with rearview camera, 8-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth and smartphone integration, premium audio system and LED exterior head and taillights.
The real difference between the DB11 and most of its rivals is in the level of customization available to buyers, from an impressive Bang & Olufsen audio system to even more sumptuous leather with decorative stitching and thick pile foot well carpets there are also several colors and design details to build a truly unique DB11.
The fully redesigned Aston Martin DB11 offers a technologically updated Grand Touring experience and a level of customizable luxury and effortless performance that place it at the top of this exclusive segment.
There may be slightly faster or better equipped vehicles out there but few can match the allure of that badge and the cutting-edge chassis and engine combination that make the DB11 so much more than just a pretty face.