10 things you need to know about the new Aston Martin DB11
1. A new Aston that looks new!
Aston chief designer Marek Reichman is not just handy on the track but he’s an ace with the pencils as his concepts have demonstrated at Goodwood many times already. This is his first DB (the DB9 was the work of Henrik Fisker) and introduces a new design language that reinterprets the familiar – but still gorgeous – DB9 profile with taut lines and lots of surface tension. Design highlights? A front-hinged clamshell bonnet (with soft-close catches), accentuated Aston Martin grille, roof strakes, a very low and sloping tail, powerful rear haunches and strong new LED light signature. And of course no Aston would be complete without the side strakes aft the front wheels.
2. It’s got a Gurney flap!
Aston says the DB11’s aerodynamics are “pioneering”. Key ingredients are the signature side strakes – repurposed for both cooling and lift-reducing functions – and the “AeroBlade” virtual spoiler (like a sort of Gurney flap) at the rear which is fed by high pressure air fed to it through ducts that pass within the body. When maximum stability is needed a small active spoiler deploys from the rear decklid. The point? To reduce rear lift while at the same time allowing for the aesthetic of a very low and sloping tail.
3. It’s faster
The legend that is Aston’s V12 has come down from 6.0-litres to 5.2 and been given twin turbos for the first time. Power is 600bhp (the normally-aspirated V12 in the DB9 put out 510bhp) backed up by 516 lb ft of torque, again more than before but crucially now available not at 5500rpm but 1500rpm. With an eight-speed paddle-shift automatic (a proper torque converter auto) sending the power to the rear wheels the DB11 is credited with 0-62mph in 3.9secs (DB9: 4.6) and a top speed of 200mph.
4. It’s been set up by Matt Becker
The DB11 is the first whole new Aston to get the magic dynamic touch of former Lotus ride and handling guru, Matt Becker. The chassis, steering, suspension and electronics have all been reworked under his direction, with the result that Aston says the DB11 sets the GT standard for ride comfort as well as sporty handling. Active torque vectoring is a first for Aston Martin, while the latest Bilstein adaptive dampers are fitted. Driver-selectable modes comprise GT, Sport and Sport Plus, and Aston promises clear differentiation between them. There’s a mechanical limited slip diff, weight distribution of 51/49, and specially made S007 tyres courtesy of Bridgestone.
5. The V12 still sounds great (they say; we’ll find out next weekend!)
Aston says it put a lot of work into the car’s “sonic identity”. Not just the expected engine note – for which the V12 is rightly famed – but down to things like the bings and bongs of warning systems. But it’s the V12’s noise we are most interested in, and Aston claims the DB11’s exhaust note is as rich as ever – and achieved entirely without recourse to pumping synthesised noise into cabin speakers. “What you hear comes purely from the intake and exhaust,” says the firm. A new feature is a “quiet start” function to avoid waking the neighbours at three in the morning.