DB11 breaks cover and it was worth the wait

But is this the car to save the Iconic British brand? Automologist MAC wonders the same question. There is no arguing that the DB11...


But is this the car to save the Iconic British brand? Automologist MAC wonders the same question.

There is no arguing that the DB11 is the world’s most beautiful car. Well, not in my household anyway. In automotive terms, it is a very old lady. Granted, Aston Martin has done a grand job keeping the old dame fresh and relevant in the 13 years since it first graced us with its presence, but an update to the iconic DB9 is long, long overdue. Thankfully, the clever folks over at Gaydon have finally decided to let us have a look at their next offering - the all-new DB11 - and at first glance it would appear that they have nailed it. There is also no underestimating what the latest version of the icon means to the company - to put it simply, it could be the car that saves the company. That may seem a little strong, but whilst Aston Martin had some of the standout cars of the twentieth century - dominating the track with their DB3 and reshaping James Bond into a gentleman with the DB5 - they also had more than their fair share of financial woes.

Since 1913, when Robert Bamford and Lionel Martin first founded the company to make their own vehicles using Singer engines, the company in various configurations has gone bankrupt on seven separate occasions. It has also been passed around by multiple owners, such as Ford, and dumped like a proverbial hot potato at times. Famously, the company still hand-builds all of its cars, which is probably why it has only managed to create about 70,000 vehicles in its 103 years in existence and also possibly why that its reported a GBP35 million loss in 2014 and almost GBP100 million in 2015.

The future became decidedly more sunny for Aston Martin after Investindustrial, an Italian venture capital firm, bought a 35% stake for GBP150 million and recruited ex-Nissan executive Andy Palmer to head the company up a couple of years ago. This has led to an alliance and eventual equity tie-up with Daimler AG, which will be supplying the new Mercedes-AMG powerplant and electrics in the next generation from the Gaydon plant.

The DB11 will be the first road-going offering under the new management that moves away from the natural aspirated configuration, and will be equipped with a 600hp turbo-charged monster - apparently enough for the sprint from 0-100 of just 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 322 kph, and all mated to a ZF eight-speed transmission.

For all you petrolheads out there, I could spend some time telling you about all of the clever mechanics and electrical bits that you will find under the skin, but really Aston Martin’s road cars have always been a bit more about the looks than white knuckle performance. Aston Martin builds road-going Grand Tourers which are fast, but not really built to compete with the Porsche GT3’s or Ferrari 480’s - but they are refined quickness as you cross the continent to escape the dreary English winter for some Mediterranean sunshine. Aston Martin is in fact trying very hard to try to get a broader appeal for their new cars and the all-new DBX was envisaged with a wealthy female American driver in mind.

At an asking price of north of USD200,000 for the base model, I doubt that we will be seeing massive quantities rolling off the Gaydon assembly line or rolling down your local high street. But fret not as the new DB11 contains all of the design cues that an enthusiast would want, from the front-hinged bonnet to the iconic grille, making the car look absolutely beautiful and classic whilst thoroughly modern at the same time, and looking doesn’t cost anything.

Oh, by the way, if you are wondering what happened to the DB10 moniker, well, it was stolen by a certain 007…you cad, sir! 


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