Aston Martin called upon 73 years of heritage to unveil last week not only a new member of its iconic DB line, but a corresponding new vehicle category. In debuting its newest DB12, Aston packed so much “new” into the latest DB it required its own category — the super tourer.
The DB12 super tourer — and the simultaneous farewell to the DB11 — offers a lot more. More power, more performance, more timeless styling and more technology are deployed to perfect the hardware used by its DB11 predecessor.
The part-aluminum chassis utilizes a reworked cross brace, undertrays, a crossmember, and strut towers for a 7 percent increase in torsional rigidity. Engine components are also shared between the predecessor and successor. The DB12 was unveiled with a hand-built, 4.0-liter Mercedes-AMG V8 as with most new Aston Martins. Larger turbos, a new set of camshafts and a cooling system that has been completely overhauled set this V8 apart from others used by the automaker. The compression ratios are also altered for peak performance.
The end result is 624 horsepower and 590 lb/ft of torque. The horsepower is just shy of the outgoing V12-powered DB11, and torque is increased by 75 lb/ft. More surprising: the totals is have been increased by more than 30 percent throughout the rev range. It’s a more balanced output as the RPMs rise.
Aston Martin claims equally impressive acceleration figures for the DB12: a sprint from 0 to 60 in 3.5 seconds and the super tourer tops out at 202 mph, 10 mph faster than the V12-equipped DB11.
Given the increased performance and acceleration, the engineers at Gaydon had to revisit the suspension. Those new, enhanced strut towers contain adaptive dampers that boast a 500 percent increase regarding the force distribution curve (also known as the ideal brake curve). This curve measures the amount of force that the brakes can apply before the vehicle begins to lose grip. Increasing this equates to a greater amount of braking force a car can safely generate all while making driving easier and more comfortable. Aston Martin’s new dampers have five settings, one for each drive mode: Normal, Sport, Sport+, Wet and Individual.
The wheels that send the power to the asphalt are significantly lighter than those that came before even though they measure one inch larger than the DB11’s. Big wheels allow for a big set of 15.7-inch-front and 14.2-rear steel brakes. Lightweight carbon ceramics are offered as an option.
Performance like this puts the super in super tourer. As for elegance, no automaker does it like Aston Martin. The manufacturer took aspects of its existing grand tourers, namely the sharpness of the DBS Superleggera and the essence of the DB11, and refined them into a unique vehicle. The long, smooth hood and flowing lines from the DB11 have been retained while the designers enlarged the front grille and shrunk the vents surrounding it.
A much lower, wider stance and sharper side profile further characterize this super tourer. Aston Martin designers quite clearly considered the super tourer name when taking a more liberal design approach to sections such as the aggressive side skirts and contrasting C-pillars. The rear on the other hand remains largely unchanged and keeps the jutting roof line and slim tail lights.
It wouldn’t be a grand tourer, or super tourer, without a plush interior. In the case of the DB12, a radically redesigned interior balances luxury and ergonomics and eliminates the previous elephant in the room: the control system. Aston Martin swapped the outdated infotainment it outsourced from Daimler and a hodgepodge of vertically-stacked buttons in favor of a streamlined button slab and sleek, 10.25-inch screen.
The arrival of a new infotainment system translates to over-the-air updates and integration with Aston Martin’s new cell phone app containing vehicle information and subscriptions. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard as does a newly designed navigation system. The remaining buttons are responsible for volume and the HVAC system reside alongside the switchgear and electronic shifter.
Material quality rivaling Bentley is prevalent throughout including carbon fiber and quilted, hand-stitched leather. Buyers can choose from a spectrum of leathers and suedes, and seat styles. Need help choosing? Aston Martin’s Q individualization program helps buyers specify virtually anything they want.
The Aston Martin DB12 is expected to arrive in the United States in Q3 2023. Pricing hasn’t been announced, but the coupe is expected to start around $245,000, a jump up from the outgoing DB11’s $220,000 base.