A huge step forward from the original V12 DB11
Aston Martin DB11 AMRÂ
Engine: 5.2-liter, V12, twin-turbocharged, petrol
TorqueÂ 516lb ft
GearboxÂ Eight-speed automatic
Kerb weightÂ 1870kg
Top speedÂ 208mph
Fuel economyÂ 24.8mpg
A lot has happened in the DB11â€™s shortÂ history. Itâ€™s only been around sinceÂ 2016, when it was first revealed in V12 guise. Not long after, a less powerful but more affordable V8 doubled the range, followed by the convertible Volante in early 2018.
Now, that first DB11 V12 is being replaced by this new DB11 AMR. â€˜AMRâ€™ refers to the company’s World Endurance Championship team, Aston Martin Racing and is only attached to the fastest Astons.
The DB11 AMRâ€™s 5.2-litre twin-turbocharged V12 has been cranked up 630bhp, which is 30bhp up on the old model and 127bhp up on the V8. It will despatch the 0-62mph run in 3.7sec and run on to 208mph.
The chassis has received a lot of the features that make the V8 such a good driverâ€™s car. The AMR package includes stiffer suspension bushes, revalved dampers, a thicker front anti-roll bar and forged wheels saving 3.5kg per corner. To retain the carâ€™s â€˜GT-nessâ€™, however, the spring rates stay the same.
To mark them out from the old V12 DB11, regular DB11 AMRs have darker headlight cowls, gloss black bits and bobs, and more carbonfibre pieces. They cost Â£174,995. A hundred AMRs will be made available in Â£201,995 Signature Edition trim with lime bodystripes and standout interior accents.
Anyone following Aston Martinâ€™s movements over the last couple of years might think that their actual and planned output of new models is all a bit frenetic, but cars like the DB11 AMR reflect the truth which is that great consideration and attention to detail is going into product development these days. As soon as you get into it, itâ€™s immediately clear what a massive jump it represents over the old (or not so old) V12 DB11. You feel a bit sorry for those who bought into the first ones. The slightly dodgy cabin quality is gone, to be replaced by the sort of fit and finish youâ€™d expect from a marque like this.
Better yet is the drive. Unsophisticated damping is a thing of the past. This new 11 is superbly controlled, but thereâ€™s no price to be paid in comfort. Improved rear axle fixing has lifted traction to a whole new level: stamping on the loud pedal in second gear provokes no unruliness from the back end, while the carâ€™s responses are as sharp and the long-distance ride as cushioning as you would wish for.
Owners of the previous model might struggle to pick up on the extra 30bhp, but few drivers at any level will fail to notice the accelerative force thatâ€™s on offer here. Abundant power and torque at all revs is augmented by a sound that gives the lie to the old saw that turbocharged cars can’t deliver an aural thrill.
Itâ€™s all good really apart from the inescapable fact that this is a large vehicle. Although the steering is accurate, you feel a long way away from it â€“Â which shouldn’t come as that much of a surprise because, whichever way you measure it, metric or Imperial, you are. The dash top is high, the bonnet long, and the weight up 100kg on the V8, so going quickly in a DB11 AMR isn’t a matter of climbing in and booting it. You need to grow accustomed to its heft and its ways. Great fulfilment will reward your patience.
These are fun times for Aston, with the recent release of theÂ fantastic new Vantage and the mouthwatering prospects of theÂ Valkyrie hypercar,Â DBS Superleggera andÂ Ferrari 488 GTB rival just around the corner.
From the end of 2017, the best DB11 has been theÂ base V8. It delivered more engagement and sharpness than the old V12, and was hardly any slower. Todayâ€™s Â£30,000 dearer and 127bhp more powerful AMR could reduce the showroom choice to a coin toss.