Getting to drive a new Aston Martin is a pretty good reason to get up in the morning and today is just such a day.
But this just isn't any old new Aston Martin if there is such a thing.
This is something different.
This is a new DB Those two letters have been in front of some of the most iconic cars ever to grace our roads right the way up the numeric scale to the DB9, a car that underpinned the entire Aston Martin stable.
That car has been put out to the pasture though, and there's a new stud in town.
This is the new DB 11 and although it looks distinctly Aston Martin it is from the ground up, end to end,
Brand new, but more than that this marks the beginning of a whole new era for Aston Martin.
Design wise it's visually and evolution rather than a revolution.
The proportions and details are still very much the Aston Martin we recognized for years, but the difference between this and the car it replaces are plentiful.
Up front the grill is massive.
The side strakes are much larger and now fully functional.
The act is both a release of air pressure from the wheel arch and the strake itself has a bubbled underside sending air in a curly pattern down the side of the car to assist what Aston Martin is calling the air blade.
Air gets sucked into the open sea pillar that's out of a vent at the rear which delivers down force.
So instead of a spoiler that could ruin the elegant lines, we have an invisible jet of air delivering high speed stability.
Innovative design that keeps the car stable at speed and elegant at rest.
It's a handsome car.
I can't say I'm bowled over by the look, but the DB cars have always had an understated appearance, elegant, classy.
The DB11 continues that tradition and brings that ethos through to a much more contemporary looking design.
The interior is pure Aston, quality leather and metal throughout.
Our car had the optional brogued leather which is a bold choice I grant you but on some of the color schemes we saw really added a unique touch.
The New infotainment system and a lot of the controls come courtesy of Mercedes.
And if you're used to the Mercs, it feels quite similar.
I'd never been a massive fan of the Merc control interfaces, but considering where Aston Martin had got to on their own, this is a massive leap forward.
I still don't like the placement of the display, though.
Rather than integrate it into the dash, it feels like someone has leant their tablet computer there.
Much like it does on modern [UNKNOWN], it feels a little bit of an afterthought.
The large expanses of leather make the cabin feel huge, though.
And the lighter color we had made the cabin feel open area, and a really nice place to be.
Unlike it's predecessor, the DB11 doesn't have a naturally aspirated 6 liter V12.
Instead, it has a 5.2 liter twin turbo engine.
But where other manufacturers, when they reduced displacement, have dropped a cylinder or two, I am very happy to inform you that Aston Martin has stuck with the V12.
But, how does it sound?
After you've added those blowers, does it still have the character?
Let's find out.
Well, it's not quite the scream of a naturally aspirated V12 but it's got some character to it.
That noise accompanies 600 right horsepower and 516 foot pounds of tunic.
Zero to 16, 3.9 seconds Which is a full second quicker than the DB9 and all get up to 200 miles an hour if you let it.
There's a practical side to the DB11 though, they have cylinder shut off technology to save fuel on long motorway drives.
And the platform allows for much more internal space for passengers and luggage.
And if you're a considerate kind of person, there's a quite startup mode, so, you don't wake up all your neighbors
Neighbors first thing in the morning, and there's a quiet GT mode too.
But if you're a car fiction kind of person you're gonna wanna keep it in Sport Plus mode, where the engine sounds its best.
All of that is well and good though, but what's it actually like to drive?
Well, it's an Aston Martin, so of course all the care and attention in the world has gone into making this
A sharp driving, awesome machine.
And it is, it feels brilliant.
The first thing you notice though is the size.
Yes there's more size inside the cabin from a practicality point of view.
But the car feels big on the road.
The bonnet curves off in to infinity.
So I have no idea where this car ends.
I can only assume it's in a different post code to where I'm actually sat at any given point in time.
That size takes a few moments to get used to when you're out on the road.
But once you've got a feel for it, [SOUND] you can place it pretty accurately The chassis feels stiff, responsive and even in GT mode which is the least responsive of all the driving modes available, it still feels fun to drive and the thing is, this car is a quintessential GT car.
This isn't a high speed track monster nor is it Really suited for twisty mountain roads.
This is something to really carve up a continent with, to spend eight hours driving across town to that important business meeting on the other side of the country.
And for that, this car is absolutely perfect.
The steering has a typical GT car feel.
It's weighty and purposeful.
This isn't designed to be able to catch a drift at 90 miles an hour very easily, this is designed to exert the minimum amount of effort and the most amount of control in high speed maneuvering.
As such, it feels like it's a bit heavy on these mountain roads, but for
What this car wants to be doing on a day to day basis is absolutely perfect.
The brakes left a little bit to be desired.
The long throw of the pedal would be great for ultra-precision braking on the motorway.
But out here, where firm, fast responsiveness was needed to get the most out of the tight turns, they didn't quite give me what I needed.
Even the firmest suspension mode still feels fairly compliant, which is what you What you expect from this car.
I can't imagine too many people buying a DB11 to crash it around the Nuremberg ring on a regular basis.
But if you just want to sharpen up your experience just that little bit more, the harder suspension modes give you that extra feeling of a dynamic drive [SOUND] Keeping you pinned to the road.
And on these Italian bumpy roads, it can feel quite nice to have that extra bit of control.
The softer suspension modes, although not that different in compliance.
Do feel a little bit too bouncy out here for me.
Throttle response, even in the GT mode, is sharp enough to feel exciting.
But in the sports and sport plus modes, it really sharpens up.
And added to that, that.
Open exhaust really add some drama to the experience.
This car can really dial in the ferocity of how it feels to drive even through a very limited selection of driving modes and damping settings.
for me I prefer the sharper, sportier Aston over the DB cars but in good time Aston Martin will relaunch it's entire lineup on this platform and with it will come with the vantage and whatnot on what not to sell just by that particular hunger.
And the platform is what really shines here.
A big leap forward that makes me very eager for a new family of cars Right now though, the DB11 fits in perfectly in it's historic lineage as the grand touring daddy from which all others spring.
Aston Martin have put together something pretty incredible and it's going to kick off a whole new raft of cars from them.
But a new DB car isn't just a new era for Aston Martin, it's a new page in the story of the car.
Welcome to Volume 11.