Aston Martin DB11 V12 630 2dr Touchtronic Auto
What the DB11 is like to drive depends entirely on which year it was built. Early V12s didn’t feel especially sporty, rolling too much for you to place them with any accuracy in a tight corner, and certainly focusing more on long-distance comfort than short-term adrenaline spikes. But the tweaks for the V8 version launched in 2017 – which the AMR then borrowed in 2018 – sorted it out just nicely.
The V8 is vehemently the sporty one, not least because it's 115kg lighter. While its 503bhp engine gives well over 100bhp to the V12 – and the top speed is 21mph lower - it feels more boisterous and keener, and will actually be the quicker car in the real world simply because it compels you to drive it harder.
It turns in quicker, is keener to bring its rear axle into action, and in short, is a whole bundle of fun if you're in the right mood. And the engine is thunderous in its delivery and sounds suitably rawer than the V12 while it's at it. This is a worse GT – it asks a lot of attention on twisty roads to keep it pointing the right way – but it settles down nicely if you dial back its selectable driving modes, and will still cruise at a hushed pace if you want it to. You'll just be far more inclined to leave the motorway and avoid driving it the boring way.
The AMR isn’t too far behind in the excitement stakes, but even with its 30bhp-higher 630bhp output over the launch V12, it’s still not a car that makes much of a fuss unless you really clog it. It sounds very good when you do, but it does rather feel inappropriate in a car so classy. It’s hellishly quick, mind, with 0-62mph in 3.7secs. You might actually manage it, too, the rear axle much better at putting all its power down with the AMR tweaks.
You can firm things up by dialing the adaptive dampers through three modes – GT, S and S+ - and body control becomes noticeably tighter without nuking the ride. You have to manage the weight, brush the steel brakes a touch earlier than you think – slow in, fast out – but time everything right and there’s an effortless flow to its movements.
It doesn’t have the same depth of aural character as its 6.0-litre naturally aspirated predecessor, but in sheer performance terms, it’s a big step on. On the motorway it doesn’t much care whether you're cruising at 50mph or 150mph, it ticks over silently, utterly unstressed. If you need a big comfy GT but still want something that resembles a supercar (and occasionally acts like one, when you’re in the mood) it strikes an admirable balance.
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