AS­TON MARTIN: THE NEXT 100 YEARS

Car­maker takes on ri­vals with ‘Sec­ond Cen­tury Plan’

Emirates Man - - STYLE -

As­ton Martin, a mar­que steeped in 103 years of her­itage, is on a mis­sion to rein­vig­o­rate it­self with a ‘Sec­ond Cen­tury Plan’ and be­come a gen­uine ri­val to Fer­rari, Bent­ley and the best of the rest.

Un­der new chief Andy Palmer, who joined in 2014, we’ve al­ready seen the As­ton Martin Vul­can – a track-only su­per­car – launched in 2015. Now with Red Bull Rac­ing and Adrian Newey, de­vel­op­ment of the AM-RB 001 hy­per­car is also un­der­way. How­ever, the main focus of the Sec­ond Cen­tury Plan is up­dat­ing and ex­pand­ing the line-up with a pro­posed seven new As­ton mod­els launched over the next seven years. And it be­gins with this, the new DB11.

We al­most take As­ton Martin’s abil­ity to pro­duce time­lessly stylish grand tour­ers for granted. The new DB11 re­places the DB9 (only James Bond got the DB10), which still looks as fresh as the day it rolled off the rolled off the pro­duc­tion line at the Gay­don fac­tory in the UK 12 years ago and is now a bit of a tech­no­log­i­cal relic in com­par­i­son to its com­peti­tors. With se­ri­ous in­vest­ment now se­cured for the mar­que, the new DB11

Ev­ery com­po­nent of the DB11 is new. It’s based on an all-new riv­eted and ad­he­sive­bonded alu­minium plat­form, which will also be used in forth­com­ing As­tons. Body pan­els are a mix of alu­minium, CFRP and in­jec­tion­moulded plas­tics. The old trans­mis­sion has thank­fully been re­placed by a new eight­speed ZF ‘box. And, yes, the new DB11 also fea­tures a new en­gine.

While other man­u­fac­tur­ers are re­duc­ing cylin­der count to ap­pease the tax­man and adding a few tur­bos to boost per­for­mance, As­ton Martin has gone for a ‘best of both worlds’ ap­proach with the DB11. It’s an all-new unit (with a slight drop in ca­pac­ity) but all 12 cylin­ders ar­ranged neatly in a ‘V’ are still present and ac­counted for. Strapped on to this V12 lump are also a tur­bocharged se­ries pro­duc­tion car in As­ton’s il­lus­tri­ous 103-year history.

them­selves. This new twin-turbo, all-al­loy, quad-cam, 5.2-litre V12 from As­ton pro­duces 600bhp at 6500rpm, punches out 700Nm of torque avail­able from 1,500rpm, sprints from 0-100kph in 3.9 sec­onds and tops out at 322kph. That should be ad­e­quate for ei­ther

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