The most driver-focused DB11 yet is a night-and-day improvement over Aston’s original V12.
The DB11’s life so far has been short but busy. It debuted in 2016, offered in V12 guise only, but the cheaper, slightly less powerful V8 model arrived soon after and the drop-top Volante fleshed out the rangeearlier this year. Now, after just two short years on sale, the DB11 V12 has been retired.
Worry not. Aston Martin is replacing it with the DB11 AMR, the fastest, most driver-focused DB11 yet. Naturally, it uses the familiar 5.2-litre twin-turbocharged V12, which is now good for 630bhp. That’s a 30bhp gain over the departed DB11 V12 and 127bhp more than the eight-cylinder model can manage. The new car doesn’t stop accelerating until 208mph, while 0-62mph takes 3.7sec.
The chassis has been tweaked, too. It now incorporates many of the improvements that were introduced for the V8 model. There are stiffer suspension bushes to help locate the rear axle more securely, but the spring rates are unchanged. Aston doesn’t want to nibble away at the DB11’s GT character, after all.
The dampers, however, have been revalved so that they offer tighter body control and sharper responses. An ever-so-slightly thicker front anti-roll bar balances those revisions front to rear, while the wheels are now forged, saving 3.5kg of unsprung weight at each corner.
AMR stands for Aston Martin Racing — the marque’s World Endurance Championship squad — and, since 2017, it has been used to mark out the fastest, sportiest models in Aston’s line-up. A very small number of DB11 AMRs — just 100 worldwide — will be sold in Signature Edition trim, which adds a searing lime-coloured body stripe and equally bright accents throughout the interior.
Series DB11 AMRs come in a range of rather more sober colour schemes. The darker headlight cowls, gloss black detailing and more extensive carbonfibre trim are there to distinguish the DB11 AMR from the model it supersedes.
The brilliant new Vantage is still only a few weeks old, the Valkyrie hypercar is well on its way, the DBS Superleggera is just around the corner and a new mid-engined supercar to rival the Ferrari 488 GTB is in development.
There is much more besides, too — all of which qualifies Aston as one of the most active performance car makers on the planet right now. In among all of that noise, this DB11 AMR isn’t much more than a whispering voice.
That doesn’t mean Aston has hurried it through, however. Quite the opposite. This has been a considered and attentive development process that has paid dividends. The DB11 AMR is such a night-and-day improvement over the original V12 that you can’t help but feel a pang of sympathy for owners of those early cars.
For one thing, the slightly patchy interior quality that afflicted many of those first-batch DB11s has been put right. The cabin is now as solid and well finished as it always should have been. Even more significantly, the car now drives the way it always should have done, too.
Gone is the harsh, hollow quality to the damping; the new version is beautifully suspended. Its ride may be tight and firmly controlled, but even on very bumpy roads there is enough composure in the damping that it never gets uncomfortable. Body control has been improved, too.