The Aston Martin DB9, first released at the Frankfurt Auto Show in 2003, is arguably one of the most beautiful cars ever made. Simple, yet muscular. Refined and stylish, it wowed all the journalists. The long bonnet with louvres, the slim front grille and the sculpted, curvy rear made the DB9 a complete package which was not fussy, yet elegant. But in 2016, Britain’s most loved car company released its new beast – the DB11. A brand new car with an all new powerplant – a twin-turbo V12 was released with the DB11, punching out a healthy 600hp and 516lb ft and making it the fastest Aston ever made, other than the limited-run One-77. But how does the newer model stack up against the much-loved DB9?
1: The 5.2 litre twin-turbo V12 engine
Adding two turbos sacrifices some of the aural sparkle from that V12 and instead adds more power and better fuel efficiency. Hints of turbo-lag at low revs and a more muffled sound from those twin tailpipes means it is a different type of engine to its predecessor – surely Aston Martin’s grand tourer has lost some of its character?
Extra fuel mileage and added grunt is very welcome, but for some people the new engine will not live up to the characterful V12 of the DB9.
2: A new design language
The more aggressive and aerodynamic-inspired design language may not be to everyone’s taste. For example, the rear of the DB11 is rather fussy – the C-shaped taillights sit higher up and fit around the pronounced rear lip, but this amalgamation of curves doesn’t seem to flow together in the same way the the DB9 did.
However, the DB11 still bears classic GT proportions, but with new, more angular front headlights and a one-piece clamshell bonnet.
3: A cluttered interior?
Although the craftsmanship inside the DB11 may be exemplary, the dramatic design change of the cockpit differs opinion. The crazy piping on the seats, the square-shaped steering wheel and the touch button-infested centre console might suit some people, but the less cluttered and simpler interior design of the DB9 might appeal to others more.
It’s still very ‘Aston’ – leather, wood, immaculate stitching, but with a slight germanic influence from the new relationship with Mercedes
The DB11 is a huge car for Aston Martin – a revolutionary one at that and one that marks the start of a somewhat new era for the brand. The new grand tourer utilises a new, light and strong aluminium structure, explores Marek Reichman’s new design philosophy and is the first car to be under Aston Martin’s new development with Mercedes-Benz. This business move is undoubtedly good for the firm, allowing them to remove some of the dated Volvo and Ford switchgear used in the DB9 and replace it with brand new tech sourced from Stuttgart. The DB11 is not perfect and some may prefer the DB9’s sound and looks. But perhaps a performance exhaust system may go some way to bringing back the drama and excitement of that V12 engine. Nonetheless, any Aston is still going to be cool, right?