The Aston Martin DB11’s engines are superb and it’s fun to drive despite the GT car roots. It’s tight in the back though, a bit firm in town and you best be alert when it starts to rain…
It’s fair to say plenty of us would like to be as cool as James Bond. Well, carwow can help you with that: drive an Aston Martin DB11. OK, so old JB actually had a DB10 – details, details. In reality, you’re only one digit away and the DB11 looks every bit as good. In fact, Aston Martin hopes those looks will also keep you from buying a Ferrari GTC 4 Lusso T, Mercedes-AMG S 63 Coupe or Bentley Continental GT instead.
The DB11’s styling is typical Aston Martin, handsome and muscular it features plenty of AM trademarks such as the haunched rear wheel arches and the long, flowing bonnet.
But while the bonnet’s aerodynamics are clever, it’s what’s lurking underneath that’ll make you weak at the knees. The DB11 is powered by a choice two colossal engines, firstly a turbocharged V8 borrowed from Mercedes-AMG with 510hp that’ll crack 0-62mph in 4.0 seconds. If that isn’t enough, Aston’s own 5.2-litre twin-turbocharged V12 pumps out no less than 608hp, although that only gets you a small reduction in sprint time, at 3.9 seconds.
The DB11 feels more fun to drive on a country road than other big GT cars such as the S-Class Coupe, but also a little firmer than the Mercedes or Bentley when pottering around town. You’ll want to be wide awake on wet roads too, because the DB11 is more than capable of spinning its wheels. Its eight-speed automatic gearbox shifts through the gears smoothly on its own, though, and both engines can turn half their cylinders off when cruising to save fuel. Well, a little bit anyway.
Aston Martin and V12 petrol engines go hand-in-hand, but if anything, the DB11 is at its best with the lighter V8 petrol engine under its bonnet.
The DB11’s cabin offers plenty of space for two adults and the centre console looks clean and modern if not as special as previous Astons. The slightly square steering wheel may also take some getting used to. That said, as you would expect, there are lashings of opulent leather, stunning wood inlays and a huge choice of customisable colour schemes right down to the weave of the seat belts.
Aston Martin’s collaboration with Mercedes goes further than just engines – the infotainment screen and switches’ Mercedes S-Class origins are obvious, but a much better effort than Aston has ever managed on its own. However, your best mates had better be a couple of weekend bags, because another couple of adults will complain about travelling in the back on a lengthy jaunt to the South of France. The DB11’s boot, too, is relatively stingy for what is supposed to be continent-crossing GT car.
So, Aston Martin, Mercedes and Bentley all have you covered if you like luxury. But if you prefer your GT car to put comfort first then a Mercedes or Bentley will do a slightly better job. If a mountain pass stands between you and your fourth home on the other side of Europe though, it’s the Aston Martin DB11 that will put the bigger smile on your face.