- Fastest and most powerful Aston Martin yet
- It’s all part of the automaker’s ‘Second Century’ plan
- None but the very rich can afford one in South Africa
GENEVA, Switzerland – Revered British automaker Aston Martin, once owned by Ford but brought back under the Union Jack in 2007, has a plan. It’s called the ‘Second Century’ plan and part of that grand design is the Aston Martin DB11 just launched at the 2016 Geneva auto show.
It’s also important to Carman’s Corner because this feature is our 200th since I was canned by South African motoring website Wheels24 in 2015. Just thought I’d mention that to say ‘thank-you’ the friends who’ve supported The Corner.
The DB11 is the flagship on the Aston Martin stand as the first car to be launched under ‘The Plan’ and, Aston declares, “is an authentic, dynamic sporting GT in the finest Aston Martin tradition”.
“The DB11 showcases a fresh and distinctive design language,” the company told The Corner in a media release from Geneva, “with pioneering aerodynamics and a potent new in-house designed 5.2-litre twin-turbo V12 engine in a new lighter, stronger and more space-efficient bonded aluminium structure.”
No holds barred here: Aston made clear at the show that the DB11 is the most powerful, most efficient and most dynamic in the company’s history and the most significant since the DB9 of 2003 (which was covered by IOL Motoring when I was editor there but seems to have been lost – which is kinda inexcusable, especially as it is referred to with a link in the site’s 2010 story about its replacement).
Whatever, Aston Martin’s CEO Andy Palmer promised in a presentation at Geneva: “We aspire to make the most beautiful cars in the world. The DB11 is the absolute embodiment of what an Aston Martin should be and we’ve worked tirelessly to ensure that the car combines exceptional design with the latest technology.
“Class-leading infotainment systems are just a few aspects which make this the sports-car that will proudly spearhead Aston Martin’s Second Century plan.”
The DB11, he added, is “the latest landmark in a remarkable aesthetic journey that, most recently, gave us the Aston Martin DB10 developed specifically for James Bond”.
Among fresh design signatures are a front-hinged clamshell bonnet, distinctive diode headlights and accentuated lines of the iconic AM grille. Roof strakes flow from A-pillar to C-pillar to link a sloping deck lid “that smoothly blends into boldly sculpted tail lights to create a new and unmistakable graphic”.
Rear-body lift has been tamed with an AM AeroBlade, a virtual spoiler fed by discreet air intakes at the base of each C pillar. Air is ducted through the body to vent as a jet of air from an aperture in the rear decklid.
But back to the engine… which is, the automaker says, “unlike any before”. The 5.2 twin-turbo V12 makes 450kW/700Nm. Top speed is 320km/h and only 3.9sec is needed to reach 100km/h. As a sop to fuel-economy, the Aston is lumbered with stop/start engine cutoffs.
The car’s chassis, suspension, steering and electronics “have been re-worked and new technogy embraced”. That translates to three driver-selectable driving modes – GT, Sport and Sport Plus – which progressively intensify the response of the engine through its eight-speed auto ZF transmission with, AM says, “results in a driving experience that combines exemplary ride comfort and true sports-car agility for an extraordinary breadth of dynamic ability”.
Aston Martin has worked with Daimler AG on its handcrafted cars. For instance an all-new instrument cluster uses a 30cm colour display to present primary vehicle information; a second 20cm screen is dedicated to infotainment but each uses a rotary control that can be augmented with a touchpad capable of character recognition, multi-touch and gesture response.
A new satnav/audio system has, AM claims, never been more effective, sounded better or been easier to operate and AM has caught up with 360-degree parking cameras.
Being Aston Martin, wide personal preferences are fulfilled in the cabin decor; talk to your local dealer. Among them: ornate leatherwork, roof-lining ‘stars’ and an unlimited colour palette.
Andy Palmer again (well, it IS his show): “This is not only the most important car that Aston Martin has launched in recent history but also in its 103-year existence. The DB11 rightfully places Aston Martin once again as a leading brand in the luxury automotive market.”
Base price in US dollar terms start at $212 000 or R3 200 000. Deliveries will start towards the end of 2016.