Bonding with greatness
Written by Karl Peskett
A replacement for the venerable DB9 was always going to have big shoes to fill, but Aston Martin’s latest sports car, like a leitmotif, continues the theme and introduces even more innovation.
Creating a new Aston Martin always comes with great trepidation. There’s an expectation of beauty, power, quality, and sound. And when that new car replaces the iconic DB9, brand loyalists are justified in having some reservations, as the DB9 was the cornerstone of a comeback for the British brand.
But fears were allayed when the covers were pulled back at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. The DB11’s long bonnet and Coke-bottle curves draw the eye, and with its wide track and big wheels, there’s little to doubt its sporting intent.
A cursory glance tells you it’s an Aston Martin – the shape is unmistakeable. But upon closer inspection, the details that design chief Marek Reichman has imbued the body with present some interesting changes. Witness the front-hinged clamshell bonnet, deeper, aerodynamic side strakes, and the A- to C-pillar curve that runs over the cabin yet doesn’t quite meet at the base.
That may sound strange, but Aston Martin has used it to create what it calls ‘Aeroblade’, and it eliminates the need for ostentatious wings. Instead of allowing the air to flow around the car, the Aeroblade channels it through sections of the car’s rear, creating more downforce. At higher speeds, small flaps lift, directing the air more aggressively, pushing the car further into the road.
Under the bonnet is an all-new V12, and twin-turbocharging features for the first time. Forced induction promptly bumps up the power to 600bhp (0–100kph happens in 3.9s), but don’t worry about the sound; Aston Martin has spent months tuning the exhaust note to be unmistakeably pure.
The handcrafted interior oozes class, while a new steering set-up brings more tactility and ease of drivability.
Aston Martin already has 1,400 orders for the car, and that’s without a single one sitting in a showroom yet. Yes, the allure of this car goes to the heart of why this brand is so successful. Creating a sports car that looks this good and has the substance to match is no mean feat.
And having a world-famous spy as your default ambassador never hurts.