You'd be forgiven for not seeing much of a difference between the new 2024 Aston Martin DB12 and the DB11 it replaces. Calling the new DB12's design evolutionary would be overstating it. It features an almost identical silhouette, the same floating C-pillar, and the same front fender vent that cuts into the wheel arch. It's all shockingly similar. However, under the skin, Aston has made many considerable changes that should improve upon the old DB11 in every measurable way.
Gone for now is Aston Martin's twin-turbo V12 engine, but there's a chance it could make a comeback at some point—perhaps in a more expensive model variant. This new DB12 makes do with AMG's 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8. Aston Martin gave it bigger turbos, revised cam profiles, and improved engine and oil cooling. The result is 671 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. That's an increase of 41 horses and 74 pound-feet over the standard DB11's V12. The DB12 still uses an eight-speed automatic transmission but a new electronic limited-slip differential puts power to the rear wheels. Aston also gave the DB12 a shorter final drive (3.083:1) and sharper shifts.
According to Aston Martin, the new DB12 can get from zero to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and hit a top speed of 202 mph. It's also 7% stiffer than the DB11, thanks to a new engine cross brace, new front and rear under trays, a new front cross-member, and stiffened rear bulkhead. It also gets new adaptive dampers, stiffer anti-roll bars, and a recalibrated electric power steering setup. The latter now features a fixed 13.09:1 ratio steering rack with variable, speed-sensitive assistance. Aston claims the those additions improve on- and off-center steering feel and responsiveness without ruining comfort.
Aston Martin is also the first manufacturer to offer bespoke Michelin Pilot Sport 5 tires—275/35/21 up front and 315/30/21 out back. The Michelin Pilot PS5 is the successor to the highly successful PS4 and the DB12's specific compound, marked "AML," was tuned by Aston Martin. They also feature noise-canceling polyurethane foam inserts to reduce tire noise by 20%.
There are three different 21-inch wheel designs: five-spoke (standard), multi-spoke, and Y-spoke. The five-spoke wheels only come in gloss silver, the multi-spoke wheels get Satin Platinum, Satin Black, and Satin Black Diamond-Turned, and the Y-spoke wheels come in Satin Bronze, Satin Black, and Satin Diamond-Turned. Despite being larger than the DB11's 20-inch wheels, these new units are 17 pounds lighter.
While the exterior might be familiar, the interior is radically different. Most notably, Aston Martin finally ditched Mercedes's old infotainment system and replaced it with its own. It's the first infotainment system designed in-house by Aston Martin and it features a combination of both physical and touchscreen controls. The main touchscreen controls most of the system, while there are physical buttons and dials for volume, climate controls, heated/cooled seats, exhaust, and suspension. Mercifully, Aston Martin felt that controls used most often should be physical buttons that are easy to find and use. The entire center console setup looks great and far better than the outgoing DB11's. I especially like the roller knobs for the climate controls, which look high quality and easy to use. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also standard.
The rest of the cabin is updated, too, with a new digital gauge cluster, a slightly updated steering wheel, and new seats. The latter of which are thin carbon fiber buckets with strategically placed padding outlined in hand-stitched Bridge of Weir leather.
Anyone hoping for radical new looks from the DB12 might be disappointed but the new interior, drastically upgraded infotainment system, and—most importantly—its big power and performance bumps should make it a worthy addition to the DB nameplate. There's no word on price just yet but deliveries will start in Q3 of 2023.
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