ASTON MARTIN: THE NEXT 100 YEARS
Carmaker takes on rivals with ‘Second Century Plan’
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 The old transmission has thankfully been replaced by a new eightspeed ZF ‘box.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