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Geneva show: Aston reveals DB11

Aston Martin's most powerful DB to date gets British brawn, not Mercedes motor


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2 Mar 2016

ASTON MARTIN has unveiled the next chapter in its DB story at the Geneva motor show, with the 322km/h DB11 – the car that will lead the charge in the iconic British car-maker's Second Century plan.

Australian Aston fans are set to benefit with the DB11 joining its Vantage, Vanquish and Rapide brethren Down Under late this year. Pricing and allocation is yet to be confirmed.

With 447kW and 700Nm on tap from its 5.2-litre twin-turbocharged V12, the new model is the most powerful Aston Martin to wear the fabled DB badge, but the company has confirmed the engine is as British as a bulldog and not Mercedes AMG-sourced.

Aston Martin had previously flirted with the possibility of using the German car-maker's spicy hand-built, high-powered units, but with the reveal of the new model the Gaydon-based sportscar-builder has confirmed the V12 was developed and built entirely in-house.

The Pommy powerplant can propel the DB11 to 100km/h in an estimated 3.9 seconds, is front mid-mounted and sends power to the rear axle via a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission and a limited slip differential (LSD).

A plethora of exotic materials comprises the DB11 with carbon-fibre for the propshaft, a stainless-steel exhaust, magnesium door structures and an extruded aluminium monocoque body, which is not welded or riveted together, but bonded.

The 2+2 GT coupe will spearhead the company's Second Century plan, which heralds a new design direction for the range of high-performance cars, but other than the fresh styling cues, Aston is revealing no other details of what the plan holds at this stage.

The DB11 is the first true DB production model since the DB9 that launched in 2003, and it has increased marginally in dimensions compared with its predecessor. A 65mm longer wheelbase allowed the engine to be mounted further back in the chassis for a 49:51 front-to-rear weight distribution.

On the outside, the DB11 has a 75mm wider track at the front, 43mm wider at the back end and an overall increase to width of 28mm. Its front overhang is 16mm shorter and 11mm longer at the rear, while total length is up 50mm compared with the DB9.

Unveiled in late-2014, the DB10 revealed a hit of what was to come, but the one-off was produced solely for the James Bond feature film franchise and not as a production model. It was recently auctioned off for 2,434,500 ($A4.7m).

For the new car, Aston says it is particularly proud of its AeroBlade “virtual spoiler” which ducts air from the base of the C-pillars and roof strakes to vents in the bootlid to create the same downforce of a more conventional spoiler without the fin disrupting the DB11's sloping tail. The system is complemented by a deployable spoiler.

Its sweeping coupe profile is classic Aston but adds a modern-day take to tradition with piercing LED headlights, slender C-shaped LED tail-lights and enlarged grille.

With a significant powerplant and 1770kg dry weight the DB11 has serious potential for potency but stopping and turning are taken care of by equally beefy hardware. At the front axle, six-piston monoblock callipers grab 400mm two-piece iron rotors, while four-pot versions grip 360mm discs at the back.

Twenty-inch front wheels carry double wishbone suspension, while the back axle rolls on wider 11-inch wide hoops and a multi-link set-up. Three-stage adaptive damping by Bilstein is standard with GT, Sport and Sport + settings.

As is becoming more commonplace on the most exclusive performance cars, the DB11's tyres were developed specifically for the model by Bridgestone.

The DB11 made its debut wearing vivid gold paint, which was contrasted by black roof strakes. Aston says the components are an example of the company's meticulous build quality and attention to detail with each piece first extruded, then stretch-bent, pressed, laser cut, polished and finally, anodised.

A range of opulent interior options are available for customers to personalise their vehicles in addition to the standard comfort and entertainment equipment.

An 8.0-inch screen forms the centrepiece of the interior tech, giving access to the 400-watt audio system, iPod, iPhone, USB and Bluetooth connectivity, a Wi-Fi hub and satellite radio in the United States.

Alcantara roof lining, electric front seats with heating and memory, keyless entry and start, 360-degree camera, parking sensors all round, a “satin silver jewellery” pack and black leather upholstery are standard inclusions.

Ventilated higher-grade leather seats with quilting, embossed DB11 name, perforations and brogued details in a range of colours are just some of the numerous options on offer, as are a glass key, a range of alloy wheel designs, two higher-grade stereo systems, various species of wood trims and automatic parking assistance.

Aston Martin chief creative officer Marek Reichman said the new model honoured the Aston Martin mantra but was a significant step forward into the company's future.

“Every millimetre of DB11 has been re-imagined from the ground up,” he said. “The DB11’s proportions have been thoroughly scrutinised, and intuitively measured, to ensure its beauty and elegance, while ground-breaking aerodynamics have been integrated to further enhance the car’s design language.

“Even down to the hidden detailing, every part of DB11 is designed to create the world’s most alluring DB to date.” In the United Kingdom, the DB11 will go on sale for £154,900 including a five-year servicing plan – the equivalent of $A301,000.

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