There are some things that all men want: A great job, beautiful wife, well behaved children, a nice house and an Aston Martin. The moment James Bond got behind the wheel of a DB5 in 1964’s Goldfinger, Aston Martin solid- ified itself as the ultimate Gentlemen’s automobile. Aston Martins demand a certain level of elegance… no other automobile looks more appropriate paired with a Tuxedo and cufflinks. When you own an Aston you are not only announcing to the world that you have arrived but also that you have arrived in style.
The latest iteration of the DB is no excep- tion to the Aston Martin DNA. It lives up to the elegance of its name and delivers all the modern day advancements we’ve come to ex- pect… except one. A long time ago if you wanted more power out of an engine you simply made it bigger. The more cylinders your engine had the more of a powerhouse it became. High-end super- cars went straight past the V-8 and jumped right up to the V-12; making them the alpha predators of the road. In recent years Supercars have be- come a lot craftier about how they get their horse- power… turbochargers bolted onto smaller en- gines seems to be the trend.
The DB11 isn’t interested in trends… its 5.2 liter twin-turbo V-12 delivers 600 hp. You read that correctly… V-12! If you want to go fast the DB11’s turbocharged twelve cylinders will take you from zero to 60 mph in less than 4 seconds. In order to keep this potentially gas-guzzling powerhouse in check, the DB11 utilizes “cylinder deactivation.” At lower power settings the V-12 essentially turns into 2 inline-sixes that switch from side to side every 20 seconds (to keep the catalytic converters from getting too cold). All this shifting of cylin- der utilization takes place with absolutely no dis- ruption or indication to the driver. Not once during all my time with DB11 did I realize any cyl- inder-deactivation taking place.
While lightning fast speed is interesting, I sus- pect it isn’t the primary reason someone buys an Aston Martin… they most likely buy it for afore- mentioned style and elegance it exudes. The inte- rior is a reminder that this is indeed a machine built for going fast. Just sitting in driver’s seat makes you feel like this thing is going to explode out from underneath you. If in an interior ever “looked fast” this is it. There is something decent enough to quality as a “backseat” but you will at best be fitting two small children back there.
Since this is a high-priced supercar with a history of British Spy drivers it has to have a complete ar- senal of technology… and it does. The hood for example is greeted by “electric claws” when dropped that pull it tightly closed. That isn’t quite as interesting as an ejection seat but it is the kind of finishing touch you’d expect from a modern day supercar.
Since there hasn’t been a time machine invented yet to take us back to the days when an original DB5 (the most famous car ever made) cost only £4,174, we will have to make due with its modern day iteration. After driving the DB11 for an entire day one thing was clear… going fast at the hands of a twin-turbo V-12 is fun, but riding around at a steady place and giving the while world a chance to see you is much more rewarding.
Front-Engine Rear-wheel-drive 2+2-passenger 2-door coupe
Twin-Turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 48-valve V-12, aluminum block and heads, port fuel injection
318 cu in, 5204 cc