The Aston Martin DB9 is still one of the world's most beautiful cars, but it's also getting long in the tooth. Although Aston has done a good job of keeping it fresh in the 13 years since its launch, a concrete update to the DB line is more than a little overdue. Thankfully, Gaydon's finest engineers and designers look to have nailed the followup – the DB11 – which has just been unveiled in Geneva.
We could tell you about the DB11's twin-turbo V12 engine, or we could grace you with the details about the car's new lighter, stronger bonded aluminum structure, but it's clear what the first talking point is when it comes to a new Aston: the way it looks.
All of Aston Martin's classic design cues have made it onto the new car, from the front-hinged clamshell bonnet to that iconic grille, but the DB11 also debuts a new design language for Gaydon. The roof strakes that run to from the A-pillar to the C-pillar give the car a unique profile, and we think the sloping decklid and integrated rear spoiler somehow manage to look classically beautiful and thoroughly modern at the same time.
Scratching beneath the surface reveals this beauty is more than skin deep, because Aston Martin has gone to great lengths to ensure the design is also functional at high speed. There are vents hidden away in the side strakes to reduce pressure in the front wheel arches, and the integrated rear spoiler is fed by small air intakes located at the base of each C-pillar.
Unlike the DB9, which was powered by a naturally aspirated V12, Aston has turned to turbos in its new 5.2-liter motor. Producing 447 kW (600 hp) and 700 Nm, the new engine is powerful enough for a 0-100 km/h (62 mph) sprint time of 3.9 seconds on the way to a top speed of 322 km/h (200 mph).
Power is channelled to the road through an 8-speed ZF gearbox.
Although these are impressive figures, it will be interesting to see whether something has been lost in the transition from natural aspiration to a turbocharging. We'll just have to wait and see whether the new car has the same snarling engine note the DB9 was famous for, or if some of the fireworks have been damped down.
An adaptive suspension and steering setup lets owners choose between GT, Sport and Sport Plus modes. As you'd imagine, GT mode is designed for crossing continents, while the car gets stiffer the further up the tree you move.
On the inside, there's a 12-inch display sitting atop the dashboard, and there's a Mercedes-style rotary controller with a touchpad to control it at the base of the touch sensitive center stack.
Overall, the car's cabin oozes class. Those gearshift paddles are beautifully wrought, the two-tone treatment on the bucket seats looks special without becoming blingy or garish, and with ISOFIX mountings for child seats it's even reasonably practical.
Pricing for the DB11 kicks off at £154,900 in the UK, €204,900 in Germany and $211,995 in the USA. Don't expect too many to go for the base price though, with such a range of options available we'd expect plenty of owners to add tens of thousands of pounds, euros and dollars to the list price without thinking twice.
... and in case you are wondering what happened to the DB10 – that moniker was hijacked by one Mr. J. Bond.
Source: Aston Martin