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  •   Nick Trott reacted to this post about 3 years ago
    Aston Martin’s future is here. As important as the DB4 and the DB9 once were – perhaps even more so – the DB11 pioneers a new seven-car range. Words David Lillywhite. / #Aston-Martin-DB11 / #Aston-Martin / #2016

    We make no apologies for featuring the DB11 again. This is the first full drive of a production car, a car that brings in a critical new era for Aston Martin. It’s arguably the most important car in the company’s history, because the design and technology behind it will form the basic of another six new models, and – assuming it’s successful – it will financially support the last three of those new models.

    Everything has gone into this. It’s still pure Aston Martin in looks but a clear step forward – and in technology terms it’s a massive move on from the current range. The new all-alloy sub-structure uses more pressings than the outgoing VH architecture, with added alloy castings to further enhance its strength and versatility. Within virtually the same exterior dimensions as the DB9, an extra 65mm in the wheelbase and more efficient use of space means there’s significantly more leg and head room both front and rear. The engine is an all-new 600bhp twin-turbo V12, the transaxle the same ZF eight-speed auto, and the electrical architecture is sourced from Daimler.

    Aston wants there to be more distinction between each model in the range, which meant enhancing the DB11’s GT characteristics. So improved comfort, more relaxed behaviour at high speed and a better ride at any speed were all high on the wish-list. That it’s more civilised is clear from the first push on the ‘crystal’ key starter, because there’s now a soft-start pushand- hold option to mute the exhaust on startup. Fear not, however: the neighbour-baiting exhaust flare is still there on a standard start.

    It’s equally clear that the ride is smoother than the DB9’s, less prone to jiggling over rough surfaces, while the exhaust rumbles subtly above the faint whirr of the transmission. Definitely quieter than the DB9. The steering feels more fluid, though ironically it’s now electrically assisted rather than hydraulic, and the brakes are wonderfully progressive.

    Through the corners it’s precise but not razor-sharp in the softest ‘GT’ mode, a trade-off of the GT character, and every now and again the test car would lurch slightly mid-corner as if the rear dampers were overwhelmed. It was such a subtle effect that five seconds later you’d wonder if it really happened – but it did, and ex-Lotus handling guru Matt Becker said later at the press launch that software engineers were on their way to tweak out the behaviour.

    A flick of the suspension mode switch into Sport mode eliminates the ‘lurch’ with only the smallest compromise to the ride, the engineers deliberately avoiding the tooth-rattling firmness of previous Sport settings. If you want that, there’s Sport-Plus, best left for the track.

    There’s nothing about the DB11 that’s not an improvement on the DB9, and that includes the interior, which is even more exquisite. And of course the DB11 is quicker: 200mph and 0-62mph in 3.9 seconds. Retailing at £154,900, it signals an exciting new era for Aston Martin.

    Top and above. No rear spoiler to corrupt the lines thanks to new AeroBlade aerodynamic technology; interior is a huge step on from DB9’s; all-new aluminium structure.
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  •   David Lillywhite reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    Viewpoint / Why #Aston-Martin-DB11 has to deliver / #Aston-Martin / #2016 /

    Such is the pace of development at Gaydon these days, it’s genuinely hard to keep up. Witness another issue of Vantage and another raft of exciting new Astons. Whether it’s the welcome – and surprising – decision to offer the V12 Vantage S with a manual transmission, the equally welcome – but perhaps more predictable – announcement of a trackinspired Vantage GT8 and Vanquishbased #Zagato , or the frankly astonishing (no pun intended) news of a collaboration with Red Bull that will see an all-new Adrian Newey-designed hypercar, Aston Martin is making headlines.

    Ridiculous though it sounds, with so much going on, it would be easy to forget about the DB11. Fortunately, Aston provided us with the perfect reminder of its most important new model in a decade by granting us an early drive of a ride and handling development prototype. Though it’s far from a definitive appraisal – we’ll bring you that in our next issue – our time at a private test facility near Rome offered a fascinating and tantalising glimpse of what the signed-off car will feel like.

    If impressions from this early ‘engineering’ drive are accurate, Aston’s all-new GT unashamedly refocuses its emphasis on refinement and luxury. With a sporting twist, naturally.

    The importance of those special qualities was brought to the forefront of our minds in the making of another story for this issue. Comparing one of the first DB9s with one of the last was a valuable exercise. Not just because it graphically illustrates just how much the DB9 has evolved, but because it highlights what an achievement that car was when it was launched.

    The GT8s and Zagatos and hypercars are enormously exciting of course, but successfully replacing the DB9 is more important than all of those projects combined. Aston Martin needs a new landmark car. DB11 needs to deliver.
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  •   Matt Petrie reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    Aston Martin’s new world-beater New DB AstoNs don’t come along very often, but, rather like periodic comets, when they do they blaze a trail that makes the whole world stop and take notice. so it was with the DB9 and so it is with the #Aston-Martin-DB11 / #Aston-Martin / #2016

    I can still vividly recall the moment the DB9 was launched. Less the debut of a new car, more the reinvention of an entire marque, DB9 was the world-class car that lifted Aston Martin from quaint cottage industry to premium-luxury powerhouse.

    An all-new car, built in an all-new facility and heralding an allnew range of dynamic and diverse models, DB9 remained the backbone of Aston Martin for more than a decade.

    Big boots to fill, in other words, yet DB11 looks poised to assume the role with equal measures of audacity and aplomb. A world-beater on looks alone, this 592bhp, 200mph machine promises so much it was almost unbearable to see and sit in an early example, but not be allowed to drive it. our time will come – soon, hopefully! – but right now there’s no doubt the DB11 is the most significant new Aston Martin since the DB9, and a critical step in the marque’s high-stakes ‘second Century’ plan. wonderful as it is to welcome a truly new DB into the world, I have to confess it left us with something of a dilemma here at Vantage towers. Giving the eleven its deserved top billing on the cover meant we had to bump the glorious DB4 Gt to a secondary ‘taster’. As the Gt would comfortably make my all-time top three Astons, it was a nice problem to have.

    It seems remarkable that a car built half a century ago can still command such respect and desire. that is, right up until the moment you get to drive one, at which point it all makes perfect sense. whether you’re a fan of the DB4 Gt or new to its charms, we hope our exhaustive 40-page celebration captures this fabulous car’s mystique, and serves to underline the breadth and magic of the incomparable DB bloodline.
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