The unveiling of a new Aston Martin DB, the British marque’s flagship model, is always an event and seven years after the DB11 first rolled off the production line in Gaydon, Warwickshire, the DB12 has been revealed with the customary phenomenal performance and sleek, evolutionary design.
Rather than calling it a grand tourer, Aston refers to the newcomer as a ‘super tourer’, claiming that it “combines a scintillating driving experience with exceptional refinement, state-of-the-art technology and indulgent luxury”.
The DB12’s bodywork is clearly a reworking of the DB11 rather than a blank sheet design, with a super-low roof line, long bonnet and almost horizontal rear deck.
Up front is a vast new interpretation of Aston Martin’s grille that stretches across the full width of the car beneath the LED headlights, while a new Aston Martin logo sits above it on the nose.
Wider body and bespoke tyres
A wider body covers a chassis that features a front track (the distance between the front wheels) increased by 6mm and a 22mm wider rear track, which aids road-holding and cornering stability, while 21in forged alloy wheels are wrapped in bespoke Michelin Pilot Sport 5 tyres — a first OEM fitting for the French firm’s latest performance tyre.
Under the bonnet is a Mercedes-AMG-sourced 4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine making up to 671bhp and 590lb ft of torque — increases of more than 30 per cent over the outgoing DB11.
That enables the DB12 to record a 0-60mph time of 3.5 seconds and it can keep going to a top speed of 202mph.
Power is sent to the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission and an electronically controlled limited-slip differential.
Three driving modes, four for the stability control
There’s also a new stability control system that’s claimed to be an industry-leading set-up. It features four pre-set modes (Wet, On, Track and Off), while a suite of sensors is designed to deliver discreet assistance which Aston claims allows the driver to make the most of the car’s chassis and explore the limits of grip. In addition to this system there are three drive modes — GT, Sport and Sport+.
Inside, the DB12 features a plush, hand-crafted cabin with a driver-centric cockpit and plenty of new technology. There are digital dials and a 10.25in infotainment screen that uses Aston Martin’s own software. Connectivity is boosted by a new bespoke Aston Martin smartphone app that allows owners to remotely access the DB12’s assorted functions, and there’s a Bowers & Wilkins stereo on board.
Long DB bloodline
Speaking at the DB12’s unveiling, Aston Martin CEO Amedeo Felisa said: “When a brand has as much history as Aston Martin it is important to honour the past. Not by looking back, but by pushing on with the same energy and passion that propelled our founders 110 years ago.
“With the new DB12 we are reinvigorating the DB model line and reasserting Aston Martin as a maker of truly exceptional performance sports cars. By combining class-leading performance and exceptional chassis dynamics with cutting edge technology, impeccable craftsmanship and immaculate design, DB12 leads Aston Martin into a new era of excellence.”
Prices haven’t been announced but expect them to eclipse the current DB11, which starts at around £160,000 before options — of which there are many, not to mention the fully bespoke route offered by the Q by Aston Martin department.
The new car is called DB12 but it’s not the 12th DB model to be sold by Aston Martin.
The DB initials are for David Brown, Aston Martin’s owner from 1946-1990. The first car sold under his ownership was the 2-litre sports, which has retrospectively been christened the DB1 and followed by the DB2.
The DB3 was a successful racing car based on the DB2, and preceded the road-going DB Mark III, while the DB4 really set the styling tone for the more celebrated DB5.
Arguably the most famous DB model of all, the DB5 was the car used by the fictional British secret agent 007 in various James Bond movies from Goldfinger onwards. Bond drove Bentleys in the books, initially, but later was given a an Aston Martin DB Mark III. By the time the movie was released, though, Aston’s latest model was the DB5 and so thats the car that appeared on screen.
This was followed by the DB6 and DBS, but it wasn’t until 1994 that the DB7 arrived. There was no DB8, but the DB9 and DB11 are direct ancestors of the new DB12.
The interloper, the DB10, was a limited-edition model made for the Bond movie Spectre — only 10 road cars were built.
Deliveries of the new DB12 commence in the autumn of this year.
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