The new Aston Martin DB11: Aerodynamics with British aesthetics
Aston Martin is back and better than ever with the DB11 and we find out why you should take it out for a spin
Aston Martin has taken it upon themselves to create the most beautiful car in the world. It’s in the plans laid out by CEO Andy Palmer and their latest model featuring the initials of the founder David Brown certainly points them in the right direction. However, unlike Astons of old, the new DB11 puts aerodynamics and performance first. After a recent investment from Daimler AG, great things are expected for the infamous British brand.
The design is sleek, having air intakes and lines blended into the bodywork ingeniously to add to the beauty of the aesthetics. Nothing feels chopped up on the outside of this Aston. The lines are all there for the purpose of reducing as much drag as possible, while keeping the grand tourer planted firmly on the ground. An “Aeroblade” removes the need for a rear spoiler, by using the air flowing over the rear to create a virtual one. There is, however, a pop-up spoiler for additional support and if you get down on your hands and knees, you’ll also see the undercarriage is completely smooth. This is not just a pretty body, it was designed to make you go faster.
The clamshell bonnet is so large that they almost couldn’t find a piece of aluminium big enough to fit the vehicle. It is currently the largest fitted to a production sports car and is based on the two-thirds one-third proportions ratio. And not having those opening lines across the front of the bonnet means the car is not only more aerodynamic, it is also aesthetically more pleasing. This golden ratio extends to the entirety of the car, from the amount of body to glass, to the previously mentioned lines running down the side of the body.
With any big new Aston, what you really want to know is what’s under that bonnet. Well the first version of the DB11 harbours a 5.2 litre twin-turbo V12 monster with a roaring soundtrack and the signature of its engineer engraved on a plaque right on top. When you see this, you know you’re about to start a special bond with what’s underneath. It has 600 bhp and enough torques to shred the 295 rear tyres under full acceleration. You’ll hit 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds and peak at 322 km/h as you blast off into the horizon. Or if you live in the city — as most Aston drivers do — you’ll probably just blast to 90 km/h and into the next queue at the traffic lights. Fortunately, an 8-speed ZF transmission and cylinder deactivation will lower your fuel bill and impact on the environment.
The inside is very much as you’d expect. As you open those gorgeous swan doors and lower yourself into the cockpit, there’s an abundance of leather on almost every surface and the seats are extremely comfortable. It is a grand touring car so there is the typical backseat for your children, and friends you’re not too keen on. The dials are made from high quality materials and the LCD instrument gauge is leaps and bounds ahead of its predecessor in terms of legibility. The entertainment system is from Mercedes, which is a lot more advanced and easier to use than the previous one as well. You’ll feel like you are in a one-of-a-kind, hand-built luxury car, a feeling that many brands these days tend to fail in delivering.
The noise through the exhaust is superb, but when you want to cruise comfortably and listen to your favourite beats, the Bang & Olufsen stereo will blow you away. With 1,000 watts and speakers that rise out of the dash at the push of a button, not much comes close to this Danish system for the true audiophile. The DB11 is one of the best all-round grand tourers money can buy. There’s also a high chance it will be the next Bond car and that alone would make it worth purchasing. However, it doesn’t really need to rely on the famous spy to be desirable. It brings looks, heritage, performance and quality to the luxury coupe sector and is a clear progression from the DB9 it replaces. Aston Martin’s recent collaboration with new shareholder Daimler is proving to be a match made in heaven.