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

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

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


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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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.  


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



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. 


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. 

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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… 

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 


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]

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. 




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