Home » The 2024 Aston Martin DB12 Is Everything The DB11 Should Have Been

The 2024 Aston Martin DB12 Is Everything The DB11 Should Have Been

Db12 Top
ADVERTISEMENT

When the DB11 launched, Aston Martin was poised at the beginning of a bold new era. Its second century was well under way and its new grand tourer marked the start of something special. Except… it kinda didn’t. It looked good, had a lovely V12, and did plenty of things right, but didn’t quite cut the mustard. With the DB12, which Aston calls a “Super Tourer,” it finally appears to have the right car for the job. 

Dsc07155 Large

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

The top line is this: a 4.0-liter turbocharged V8 with 671 bhp and 590 pound-feet, 0-62mph takes 3.6 seconds, and it’ll hit the fun side of 200 mph if you ask it nicely enough. As is de rigueur these days it’s got an eight-speed auto changing gears for you, no stick shifts here. 

Dsc07119 Large

It sports a new look, highlighted mostly by a massive maw – the new motor and all the horses trapped within need to breathe freely, so the grille’s gotten bigger. To help with aero, and presumably to make it look meaner, there’s a massive front splitter – it makes it look almost as though it’s going to scoop up anything and everything ahead to feed to the engine. The hood is lumpy and aggressive, its side skirts make it look low and wide, “Aston Martin” is etched into the side strake, and the rear of the car is one of the finest out there. And that’s before it starts firing noises at passers by. The DB12 looks as good as you thought the DB11 could, if that makes sense. It’s more resolved, a touch angry-looking, and wouldn’t look out of place in a Guy Richie movie as a well turned out henchman. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Dsc07137 Large

The outside is all well and good, but the real revelation is the interior – not the seats, but the tech. In recent years Aston’s used various reskinned iterations of Mercedes’ (it has a stake in the business after all) COMAND system linked up to a stuck-on looking screen. It worked… okay, I guess, but comparing it to others out there (hello, Bentley) it’s always seemed like a poor relation. The DB12 does things properly. The new 10.25-inch touchscreen looks and feels slick. It reacts quickly, the UI doesn’t make you dig through menus to get to things, and you can bypass the lot and use CarPlay if you want to. It’s also the first “connected” Aston Martin, which means it’ll get various OTA updates to keep it in top form, or so you can tell it what to do from your phone. This is new ground for Aston, but it’s something its customers have been asking for. 

Dsc07117 Large

There are also a delicious number of buttons in there. You can change your volume, temperature, damper settings, active pipes, and other useful things by feel, which is excellent. As is the new Start/Stop spinwheel doodad. Stab the middle to wake the car up, but twist it to swap into one of the DB12’s many drive modes (GT, Sport, Sport Plus, Individual, and Wet) that come baked in. A wonderfully loud 1,170W Bowers and Wilkins sound system provides the tunes for when you tire of the V8.  

Display1

ADVERTISEMENT

Tech aside, the cabin is stunning – it oozes modernity where others (hello again, Bentley) can seem a smidge overdone. 

Cabin2

 

Obviously, the bits that make it turn and stop haven’t been spared either. Its 21-inch wheels are the first OEM rims to be shod with Michelin’s Pilot Sport 5, its electric differential has been tweaked, there are new Bilstein active dampers, and plenty more besides. 

Wheel1

ADVERTISEMENT

The message Aston sends out is this: It’s not just a DB11 with lipstick. It’s about as different as it can be in terms of performance and quality, and you’re probably going to want one. 

Dsc07113 Large

Obviously, “probably going to want one” is a given if you’re predisposed to liking fancypants British cars (hello), but just how much is always a concern. Looking at the rest of Aston’s line up (bar the DBX), it’s easy to get a little worried that all of the many ‘improvements’ are bluster. The DBS, even in standard form, has a little more power than its rear can cope with with all the safety nannies switched on (learned that one the fun way). That was supposed to be the flagship with all the toys… 

Dsc07098 Large

Those fears can be put to bed. There are no obvious creaks or rattles, its infotainment screen behaved itself admirably, everything felt as solid as you’d hope. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Db12 Road

The drive is where the new Aston shines. In part thanks to its shiny Michelin shoes, which give it remarkable levels of grip even when you’re, erm, trying a bit, and don’t roar like a grumpy lion on the highway. You may think 671 bhp is “a bit much,” and it kinda is if you’re looking for a car to putter around town in, but here it doesn’t feel like the car is going to run away with you. It’s got phenomenal punch – nailing the gas causes a huge wave of torque to shoot you up the road. There’s something curious about it though – the DB12 doesn’t egg you on to go faster. It’ll get you, briskly, to your desired speed and sit there quite happily. The power’s all there, waiting, but it won’t demand to be used. Like a good butler it waits to be called on, but remains silent until you do. Braking is utterly phenomenal, but seeing as its discs are roughly the size of a small planet that’s no surprise. 

Dsc07103 Large

Aston’s gearbox man also deserves special mention – when you’re wafting around the eight-speed ‘box does its job imperceptibly, but should you want to pull on paddles and make noise it’s as quick as you’d like. 

Dsc07093 Large

ADVERTISEMENT

Should you wish to leave the car’s most pleasant standard GT mode and play in Sport or Sport Plus, it’ll set itself up to be more sports car than louche continent crosser. More aggression, harder suspension, the works. It’s fun to push it along, steering sweetly, and makes grumbly V8 noises in all the right places. It handles, and it handles well. While it’s not a lightweight at 3,715 pounds (dry) it does a good job of hiding its weight – not so good that you forget how much car is actually there, but good enough to plaster a devilish grin on your face and put the hammer down a little further. 

Dsc07124 Large

It’s a GT for sure, then. Quick, pretty, and comfy when you want it to be. There are rear seats, but you don’t really want to put anyone over six years old in them unless you have beef, and its trunk is big enough for a week away somewhere that doesn’t require many clothes. 

Rearcabin

Size may be a bit of an issue if you live somewhere not built around cars. It’s long, wide, and low. Speed humps make you nervous, and narrow roads remind you to buy more kale. [Editor’s Note: I’m not sure I fully understand this joke but I’m going to assume it’s a British thing and keep it in – JT]

ADVERTISEMENT

The DB12 feels like the kind of car Aston Martin should have been making for years now. R&D budget has clearly been lobbed at it, making sure every aspect of the car is perfect. Before, you’d have a go in a new Aston Martin and forgive it a few flaws, now it doesn’t look like you’ll have to. Which, for just shy of $250,000, is a good thing. 

Relatedbar

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Subscribe
Notify of
26 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
BigThingsComin
BigThingsComin
11 months ago

Is the roofline impossibly low or is the beltline annoyingly high?

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
11 months ago

Size may be a bit of an issue if you live somewhere not built around cars. It’s long, wide, and low. Speed humps make you nervous, and narrow roads remind you to buy more kale. [Editor’s Note: I’m not sure I fully understand this joke but I’m going to assume it’s a British thing and keep it in – JT]

Explanation: Kale makes you poop. Add lightness…via pooping.

(It’s also one of those allegedly good for you foods as opposed to eating Cheez Whiz straight from the jar or whatever it is that most Americans do, but yeah.)

Alexander Moore
Alexander Moore
11 months ago

*except pretty.

rctothefuture
rctothefuture
11 months ago

I’m a firm believer that any Aston you own, should be a convertible.

sentinelTk
sentinelTk
11 months ago

Alex, any issues with the nausea issues other sites are reporting? Ran across two other mentions of the pre-prod cars causing people to feel sick. Sure it doesn’t have any impact on the car itself, but curious your take on what was being reported…..

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
11 months ago

I absolutely love the look of it and I’d love Adrian to weigh in at some point. I think Astons have always been some of the most beautiful cars on the road and this is no exception. I’m glad their interiors have been brought into the 21st century but in the RIGHT way. I get all warm and fuzzy reading about arrays of buttons, knobs, and switches. You hear that, normal car makers? Aston Martin doesn’t use touch screens for everything and you shouldn’t either.

I’m also pleasantly surprised by the weight? For a luxury GT car 3,700 pounds is downright svelte. As Rust Buckets mentions, that’s less than a Mustang…and if you really want to get depressed it’s also less than the current M2. Boy does that one hurt…this has a power to weight ratio right around that of a ZL1 Camaro and those are absolute weapons.

That being said, I’m so so on the powertrain. On one hand I feel like I should be happy that there are still new cars with V8s coming out…but on the other hand Astons are synonymous with V12s in my mind. Maybe I’m out of date but it seems like under stressed NA V12s were their thing for a while…and while I wouldn’t expect any Aston Martin to be reliable per se I have a feeling that this extremely high strung V8 is going to be quite temperamental.

Will the people who can drop $250k on a sports car care? Absolutely not, but still. I’ve taken a gander at some post depreciation Astons a few times and their siren song tempts me. Anyway, I’m assuming this is an AMG sourced V8? The numbers lead me to believe it’s the same one that’s in the E63 and used to be in the C63 (pour one out) but in a different state of tune.

I’ve rambled enough. I love this thing and it may unseat the 911 GT3 Touring as my unobtainable dream car.

Adrian Clarke
Adrian Clarke
11 months ago

I’ve seen the DB11 in the flesh plenty of times, and for me visually it remains a flawed car, not something the DB12 manages to really remedy. The grille and lower intake could do with being smaller but the main crimes remain the shape of the front wheel arch (it has a weird corner where it meets the vent) and the C pillar, which just looks shit (although this is lazily made better by having a black roof). I also think the headlights and light graphics are weak.
For me an Aston should be a well dressed, silent thug. Recent ones have veered towards being a touch shouty and showy, and I don’t think that’s what they should be aiming for.
ironically one of the cars this is aimed at, the Ferrari Roma, is probably the best looking recent Aston Martin Aston themselves never made.

Last edited 11 months ago by Adrian Clarke
Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
11 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

For whatever reason I just don’t jive with the Roma. I think it’s the combination of the small/squinty headlights and the smiling grille. It kind of looks like a happy fish to me from the front. Don’t get me wrong-I wouldn’t call it an unattractive car or anything, but it doesn’t do it for me personally. If I was buying a $300,000 super car my money would probably go to the DB12, a Huracan variant, or (most likely) a GT3/911 Turbo S touring build that I’ve custom spec’d.

…or two LC500s and an IS500 for daily duty 😉

Jb996
Jb996
11 months ago

From head-on, it reminds me of the dopey buzzard from Bugs Bunny.
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/beaky-buzzard–390476230169945175/

Adrian Clarke
Adrian Clarke
11 months ago

I think the Roma is fantastic. It needs a a stronger grill graphic (it blends into the body color too much and looks a bit cheap) but is overall a very modern confident take on the GT form.

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
11 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

I’ve seen a Roma with a contrasting silver grille, and I think I like the regular body-colored treatment better. It feels futuristic to me all in one color. Painting it a contrasting color just didn’t work, IDK. Maybe there weren’t enough big holes in it to read as a grille? IDK.

Vee
Vee
11 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

I have to agree about modern Aston Martin losing the suave menace they used to have. The last two cars which really gave off that look to me were the pre-facelift DB9 and the DB7 Zagato. Modern Aston Martin feels like ’80s Aston Martin with the S3 V8 Vantage and S3 V8 Zagato with excess vents and bulges. This thing with it’s huge valance intake under the grille, knife scar behind the front wheel, and comically flared rear fenders slapped onto a long wheelbase long nose British coupe body feels more like something Shelby American would design. It lacks the soft curves and continuous surfaces of Aston Martin from the ’50s-’60s and the ’90s-00s.

FlavouredMilk
FlavouredMilk
11 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

This is hands down the best description of the Ferrari Roma I have come across. Without comparing it to the AM, do you still consider it to be a high mark in design? I think it’s stunning, but I’d love to know what someone with a professional eye has to say on it.

Maymar
Maymar
11 months ago

Considering Aston Martin didn’t have a V12 until ’99, I don’t think going V8 is that big of a deal (especially when their flagships from the 70’s through 90’s were predominately V8s).

As far as reliability goes, it looks like you’d more have to worry about all the ancillary parts around the engine rather than the engine itself (at least from a cursory search on the Mercedes-AMG GT, just for a similar size performance car with the same engine, that’s been around a while). I suspect that you’d rack up just as many big ticket bills if it still had the V12.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
11 months ago
Reply to  Maymar

Ah see I’m showing my age here. I was born in 1990 and really got into cars in the early 2000s, so those 2000s Astons (Vanquish, DB7, etc) are what are etched in my mind for the most part. Recency bias, etc. I should’ve dug a little deeper before I went ranting.

David Frisby
David Frisby
11 months ago

I am pleased with the ‘Delicious” amount of physical buttons, albeit a car I will never afford, and the same for the new Rolls Royce Spectre having lots of proper buttons. Perhaps we are now moving into the ‘post touch screen’ world as even the new Hyundai Kona has more buttons. For some things like Nav, touch screen is better but for proper vehicle related functions bring back the buttons (or rotary knobs…)

Sundance
Sundance
11 months ago

“There are rear seats, but you don’t really want to put anyone over six years old in them unless you have beef” And that is a joke(?) I do not understand. What has beef to do with that?

David Frisby
David Frisby
11 months ago
Reply to  Sundance

It means unless you don’t like them/have an argument with them.

...getstoneyII
...getstoneyII
11 months ago
Reply to  David Frisby

That or you are the designated driver for a late-night Arby’s run.

Manuel Verissimo
Manuel Verissimo
11 months ago

Still looks worse than the DB9.

Rahul Mandala
Rahul Mandala
11 months ago

Honestly, any Callum-penned art is a tough act to follow up on.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
11 months ago

3700lb doesn’t seem unreasonable for a v8 2+2 sports coupe when a new Mustang is more like 3900, and a mustang is kind of the definitive v8 2+2 sports coupe.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
11 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

It’s less than the current M2 as well

*proceeds to yell at cloud*

Goof
Goof
11 months ago

Size may be a bit of an issue if you live somewhere not built around cars. It’s long, wide, and low. Speed humps make you nervous, and narrow roads remind you to buy more kale. [Editor’s Note: I’m not sure I fully understand this joke but I’m going to assume it’s a British thing and keep it in – JT]

Wait… you’re the listed author of the article, but also for the Editor’s Note.

You… decided to keep in a joke you wrote, but that you also didn’t fully understand? I’m confused. Unless you’re just going over old notes from a press event and you can’t remember what you might’ve been thinking at the time when you originally put it in your notes.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
11 months ago
Reply to  Goof

‘Wait… you’re the listed author of the article, but also for the Editor’s Note.’

I get it.
Sometimes that edit button can be squirrelly.

Last edited 11 months ago by Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Goof
Goof
11 months ago

Oh yeah, wow. Originally the author was Torch when I commented, but it’s Alex Goy now.

Explains it!

26
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x