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First Drive: Aston Martin DB11

Aston Martin has entered the first stages of its Second Century Plan. Kicking that off is the all-new DB11. Gone is the DB9, and this new beautiful beast is here to replace it. We’ve still got a V12 engine, gorgeous lines, and strong noises… but do we still have an amazing car beneath that lightweight bodywork?

The short answer is “mostly yes”.

Aston Martin have begun to feel the pull of modern requirements and also updated technology. This is good and not-so-good at the same time. The good part stems from the fact that the electronic architecture employed here is taken from Mercedes-Benz. That means all of the interior tech bits work, and work well.

We’re no longer dealing with a naturally aspirated engine, however, and that leads to a bit less of the glorious noise to which we’ve become accustomed on AM cars. Here is a 5.2-liter V12 that’s aided by a pair of turbochargers. The result is an engine producing 600 horsepower and over 515 lb-ft of torque. It’s backed up by the excellent ZF-sourced 8-speed transmission and the power flows to the appropriate wheels.

It’s a new stunner from Aston Martin and it’s a massive leap forward compared to the DB9 which it replaces. Still, there are elements which aren’t perfect. Thankfully, they’re minor and are quickly overlooked because of just how wonderful the rest of the DB11 really is.

[Disclaimer: Aston Martin invited us down to the San Diego area to sample the new DB11. There was a hotel and some food involved as well.]