Aston Martin DB11 previewed in Sydney

23 Jun 2016

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Aston Martin’s brand-new DB11 has touched down in Australia. The 447kW twin-turbo V12 coupe, which is being called the most important car in the brand’s storied 103-year history, will retail for $428,032 plus on-road costs when it goes on sale here later this year… if you can get hold of one.

“A thousand orders have been taken on this car before its launch,” said the regional manager of Aston Martin Asia Pacific Kevin Wall, who also underlined the British carmaker’s determination to get the DB11 – the first of a new generation of Astons known as Second Century cars – right first time.

“(Aston Martin chief) Andy Palmer is a thousand per cent committed to getting the quality of this vehicle dead right from launch,” he said.

“So much so, the first thousand thereof, he’s signing off personally. At 7.15 in the morning and 7.15 each night, he will walk down to the end of the line and physically sign off each car.”

Mr Wall also related the tale of the DB11 test mule that logged 9998km in hot weather testing earlier this year from Melbourne to Adelaide, through Alice Springs to Cairns and back down to Melbourne.

“I don’t know why they just didn’t drive a little bit further!” he joked. “It did have some significant impact on the development of this car.”

Among the four-figure order bank are “several” Australian customers, according to Mr Wall.

“We’re betting the house on this car,” he said. “Our dealers in Australia have made major, major investments in the brand right now for the launch of this car, with a multi-million dollar showroom going into Melbourne, and one opening next month in Perth.”

The DB11 replaces the DB9 GT in local showrooms, and comes at an almost $60,000 premium over the outgoing car.

Why no DB10? Well, James Bond aficionados will recall Agent 007 driving (and destroying) a prototype Aston in a car chase through Rome in the most recent movie Spectre; that car was known as the DB10.

Two show cars survived the 2013 filming, with one selling earlier this year for more than $5 million.

The DB11 is an entirely new car for the brand, albeit using similar construction methods and retaining the distinctive DB silhouette. The chassis is made from an extruded and bonded alloy skeleton with magnesium door frames, while the aerodynamic package is comprehensive and complex.

One example; air flows into the bodywork just behind the rear windows, through the C-pillars and out of a slot that runs the width of the boot lid, creating a virtual spoiler without having to mount anything on the boot.

In a first for Aston Martin, a ‘clamshell’ bonnet, which hinges at the front at the car, is used, and is said to be the largest one made for any production sports car.

Even though the DB11 is longer than the DB9 by 50mm, it’s 15kg lighter at 1770kg.

Powered by a new twin-turbo 5.2-litre V12 engine, the DB11 makes 447kW, 700Nm of torque at just 1500rpm, will rattle off the 0-100km/h dash in 3.9 seconds, and run onto a top speed of 322km/h.

The all-alloy engine was developed in-house at Aston Martin, and is backed by a ‘traditional’ eight-speed automatic transmission driving the rear wheels. It’s the most powerful engine ever fitted to a production Aston.

Sliding behind the wheel of the Aston, some of the switchgear and screen architecture will look familiar to drivers of Mercedes-Benz cars. Mercedes-AMG is a part-owner of Aston Martin, and has provided much of the electrical system for the DB11.

While there are a pair of seats in the back of the DB11 – and even a pair ofISOFIX baby seat mounts installed – it would be a tough trip for anyone crammed in the back.

The DB11 is the precursor for a refresh of the entire Aston Martin range in the coming years, including replacements for the cheaper Vantage and the four-door Rapide.

Source: Tim Robson - Carsguide.com