This history of Aston Martin design veers between pretty and imposing. Its DB cars are a showcase of this switchable design ethos. DB4 for example was a rather dainty looking little GT car, but by the time we were at DB6 its proportions had swollen and it struck a more imposing tone. DB9 will go down in legend as one of the current era’s most beautiful designs.
The DB12, for me at least, swings the needle heavily back into imposing. I can’t find this latest Aston Martin pretty, but seeing it for the first time in the metal high up overlooking Monaco, it definitely strikes a post. It might even be handsome.
Gone is the small front grille, now inflated for a mixture of design and genuine engineering reasons. It’s bigger than the catfish Vantage, even bigger than the DBS Superleggera. It’s a shock to the system at first, but softens as you look over the car. The DBS had an inverted version of Aston’s traditional winged grille, which I preferred, but the DB12 goes back to history. The bonnet is long, retaining many features of the DBS – which, to my eye, fixed issues with the DB11 anyway.
The rear is very DB11. In two-tone paint scheme, I don’t think it works. The canopy bubble is too thin and upright into the wider rear. But if you opt for a single hue, it’s slim lights fit the profile much better. I don’t think anyone, certainly not I, will look at the DB12 with the same heart flutter as the DB9, but in real life its design suits a big, powerful GT.