I’ve come to the new Aston Martin DB11 rather late. I was due to test it several months ago, but the person who borrowed my allocated test car before me had a prang. So, when I realised the new test dates would coincide with the Green Man music festival in South Wales I was slightly nervous. My better half is a music journalist and I’d offered to drive her there so she could cover it.
Aston Martin DB11
Engine capacity: 5.2-litre V12
Power output (BJP @ RPM): 600 @ 6,500
Top speed (MPH): 200
Fuel economy (MPG): 24
CO2 emissions (g/km): 270
I wanted to spend two days drinking ale outside, so that meant parking the newly repaired rear-wheel drive DB11 in a muddy field. Nonetheless, it was my only chance to test the DB11. In fact, the old DB9 model it supersedes would have been doubly unsuitable for this role, primarily because they weren’t actually any good.
The DB11 is a grand tourer for covering long distances in rapid and cosseted luxury, and while the old DB9 looked fantastic, it had dodgy electronics, a decidedly dated sat-nav system and a host of other undesirable quirks. The DB11 is a far better animal.
First, it has ‘borrowed’ its entertainment and navigation systems from Mercedes. This means all the kit actually works. Inside it’s just as luxurious as before with acres of leather and quality materials, though road noise is still higher than some of its rivals.
Aston has produced an all-new 5.2-litre V12 that is fitted with two turbochargers. It makes this car shift, and then some. There’s also a new chassis designed by a former member of the Lotus team, but it’s tuned to offer a blend of comfort and track-car levels of grip. This car is an incredibly refined piece of kit.
As for Green Man, a few odd glances aside, the DB11 handled the mud with ease – thank goodness. I didn’t fancy explaining any scratches to Aston Martin. The new DB11 is too good for that.