Hubert Burda Media

Test Drive: Aston Martin DB11

Check this out, 007. The DB11 could be your next driving companion in real life.

Aston Martin has often been considered low-key. It’s not shouty, nor does it try to be. Those who like the brand or drive Astons are perceived to be understated. They enjoy quiet evenings away from the crowds with a glass of wine in hand.

And another thing: Astons weren’t known for their driving performance nor did they deliver the same robustness as other sports car marques even though they looked real good. But all that is changing, more so now with the DB11 added to its fleet.

It’s been 12 years, practically an eternity in the automotive world, since the last DB model — the DB9 — was released. The DB10 was created, literally, for show. Only 10 units were made, and only for the last 007 film in 2015, Spectre. So it’s been an eager wait for the DB11.

What you’ll notice first, is how beautiful it is. When it was unveiled in the Wearnes Automotive showroom in Singapore (on the same day as its debut at the 2016 Geneva International Motor Show), you could practically hear the approval of the crowd gathered for photo opportunities or just a closer look. Indeed, the car has all the right curves expected of an Aston, especially if you grew up watching our favourite British spy on the big screen putting some cool driving moves on the streets with these rides.

With a wheelbase that’s 65mm more than the DB9, the DB11 sports a sleek aerodynamic appearance thanks to a body of lightweight bonded aluminium. Front wheels feature curlicues that vent air from inside the arches to reduce front-end lift when going at high speeds. At the rear, the Aston Martin AeroBlade at the base of each C-pillar channels air over the boot lid, akin to a spoiler, for better performance.

The DB11 is the first in Aston Martin’s stable with the new 5.2-litre twin-turbocharged V12 engine beneath the bonnet designed by the British marque — the next generation of Astons will also be fitted with new engines by the brand. Its 608 horses and 700Nm torque make this gran tourer the most powerful DB model yet: Acceleration is at sub-four seconds and top speed is over 320km/h.

Indeed, the DB11 drives every bit as well as it looks. But the new engine doesn’t turn the car into a ravenous beast that howls and yells. As always, the Aston is a gentleman even on the road, snarling if you desire it to but always keeping its cool. Even as the needle on the speedometer sneaks higher and higher on the dashboard, you know you’ll make it to your destination with nary a hair out of place. It grips the tarmac wonderfully even on the bends, with adaptive dampers and anti-roll bars keeping the car sturdy yet agile. 

As with other sports cars, the DB11 comes with multiple driver-selectable modes — GT, Sport and Sport Plus — to suit your driving style. Switch up the performance and intensify its engine response, even as the car continues to deliver ride comfort. But for purists who want all that aggressive exhaust cacophony, this Aston doesn’t growl that way.

The interiors live up to the Brit brand’s luxurious aesthetic with hand-stitched fine leather, glossy wood inlays and carbon trims. The centre console uses the same simple yet elegant layout as the DB9, with the P, R, N, D and start/stop buttons. And having recently tied up with Daimler in the technology department, its full-colour 12-inch instrument cluster is equipped with primary vehicle information display, while the infotainment system is presented on another centre-mounted eight-inch screen. Courtesy of the partnership, too, the car offers a state-of-the-art satellite navigation and audio system. Other standard features include front and rear parking sensors, 360-degree bird’s-eye camera, tyre pressure monitor, dual-zone climate control, and airbags. That’s a lot to get excited about, yes?



Engine: 5.2-litre twin-turbo V12

Transmission: ZF eight-speed Touchtronic 3

Max power: 600bhp @ 6,500rpm

Max torque: 700Nm @ 1,500-5,000rpm

Max speed: 322km/h

Acceleration from zero to 100km/h: 3.9 seconds

Combined fuel consumption: 8.8 litres per 100km

CO2 emission: 265g/km

Kerb weight: 1,770kg