James Bond has a new car. The successor to the iconic Aston Martin DB9 — and the one-off DB10 — has been revealed at the Geneva Motor Show, and the DB11 is a significant redesign; a new twin-turbocharged V12 engine, and a lighter aluminium bodyframe, mean that the company's newest car is simultaneously its most powerful and most efficient.
The DB11 is longer, wider and slightly taller than the DB9, but that means more room inside — wider door entry space, more headroom and legroom, and even mounting points for two child seats in the rear. There's that distinctive Aston styling across both the outside and inside, but like many of its luxury competitors the DB11 has stormed into the information age with a fully digital 12-inch LCD for the instrument cluster, as well as an 8-inch display in the centre of the dash for in-car satellite navigation and media.
There's an extensively redeveloped engine under the DB11's bonnet — last year's 5.9-litre naturally aspirated V12 has been ditched in favour of a 5.2-litre, twin-turbocharged V12 developing 447kW and 700Nm of torque at maximum evolution, making the DB11 Aston Martin's most powerful production DB-model vehicle ever. The car will sprint 0-100km/h in 3.9 seconds, and will head to an electronically limited top speed of 320km/h. It's also the first Aston with electric power steering, as well as torque vectoring for equal power distribution between the rear wheels.
It's efficient, too, with stop-start for the engine in traffic and on-demand cylinder deactivation during light-duty driving, effectively cutting power and fuel consumption on half the V12's cylinders down to an inline six-cylinder. That trend of effiency continues, too, with smarter aero bodywork both in the curlicue near the front wheels — which disperses high-pressure air and keeps the front of the car planted — and a "virtual spoiler" in the rear fed by intakes behind the rear side windows which Aston Martin calls the AeroBlade.
Price? Not cheap, but not outrageous — Aston Martin is forecasting £154,900 in the UK, €204,900 in Germany and US$211,995 in the United States, with deliveries starting in the fourth quarter of this year.