It’s good to be Aston Martin at the moment — fresh after the technical partnership with Mercedes-AMG, Gaydon has shifted over 5,000 cars last year for the first time in a decade for a record year of sales and profits.
The new Vantage has just rolled out to singing praise from motoring journalists everywhere, and the DB11 flagship is leading the way with offering a choice of a V8, a drop-top, and headlining V12 model.
The trouble is, that lighter, stiffer DB11 with the German V8 engine under its expansive bonnet, just happens to be uncomfortably close to the V12-engined flagship car in terms of performance and lap times. Aston Martin pinned itself into a corner with its own car, the entry-level V8, and now the Brits have had to rectify that situation with an updated DB11 flagship replacing the car that rolled out only two years ago in late 2016.
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Called the Aston Martin DB11 AMR, it’s now the ‘full-options baba’ car in the range, with power from the Gaydon-built V12 hiked up by 30bhp and everything sharpened up to make sure the house hierarchy isn’t challenged any more by any pesky AMG engines.
Lessons learned on the V8 were implemented here too, like the new DB11 AMR’s stiffer rear subframe which comes pretty much directly off the V8 car. Aston’s dynamics boss and former Lotus-man Matt Becker also played around with the dampers to cull body roll but crucially, the company says the car’s Grand Touring ability hasn’t been compromised.
Now making 630 horsepower and the same 700Nm of torque, the DB11 AMR is some 130bhp stronger than the V8-engined car, and does zero to 100kph in 3.7 seconds, which is two-tenths better than before with the 600bhp early cars.
Finally, engineers also sharpened up the transmission mapping and increased the exhaust noise slightly, and visually designers went with more exposed carbon fibre and extra standard specifications.
In the US market at least, the new DB11 AMR will roll out this summer with prices starting form the equivalent of about Dh885,000.