By on 2023-11-03 -
Aston Martin DB11 -
Used Car Review
THE first Aston Martin I got to drive was a marvellous DB2 from 1952, which a friend found in a barn many years ago and refurbished.
It was powered by a W.O. Bentley-designed 2.6-litre straight six engine that had the most gorgeous sound, and endowed it with - for those days in the late 60s - supercar performance.
The DB in the name is still in use today, not least for the DB11, having passed through such famous names as the DB4, and of course, the iconic DB5 made famous by James Bond.
The initials stand for David Brown, owner of the Aston Martin Lagonda brand for many years, and prior to that, making his fortune as a manufacturer of tractors.
That humble 2.6 engine has now grown to turbocharged 4.0-litre V8s and 5.2-litre V12s, bringing superb performance.
And that's just as it should be. After all, the Aston Martin name is synonymous with the very finest hand-built engines as well as the most sumptuously luxurious interiors.
The familiar Aston grille shape has been around in one form or another since those early days and it's still there on the nose of the DB11.
The company says that the 11 is really a long distance Grand Tourer, happy crossing continents while keeping occupants relaxed and cosseted.
But don't let that fool you. The smaller of the two engines is sourced from Mercedes, and produces no less than 503bhp in its most basic form.
That's enough for a zero to 60 miles an hour time of 3.9 seconds while managing 25 miles per gallon.
There is also a 528bhp version of the same unit that has the same sprint time.
The 5.2 V12 is made by Aston themselves and produces a huge 600bhp, giving a 60 sprint of 3.8 seconds and yet still a rating of 24mpg.
And finally, the daddy of them all is the same power unit with 630bhp. This one reaches 60 in 3.6 seconds and can do 21mpg.
Both engines drive through an eight speed automatic gearbox that suits them perfectly and the smaller unit gives instant response from low revs and electrifying acceleration from any speed.
But the V12 takes performance to another level and will keep on going to a top speed of no less than 208 miles an hour where the law allows.
And it comes with an aural symphony few other cars can match, and in my opinion, one which betters even that provided by Ferrari V12s.
Yet there is even a quiet start mode, so that you don't annoy the neighbours when making an early start.
There are three driving modes: GT, Sport and Sport Plus. GT is for everyday use and gives relaxed and serene progress.
But in the other two modes, gear changes, response to the accelerator and the exhaust note become more aggressive and sharper.
Double glazed windows help keep the noise level down at speed, and the cockpit is a quiet and comfortable space unless you wind the engine up.
The whole interior is wrapped in beautiful leather with added touches of wood and polished aluminium to set it off perfectly.
The dash is digital - as you might expect these days - and in the centre is a massive rev counter which changes colour and design depending on driving mode.
Excellent front to rear weight distribution makes for delightful handling, aided by quick and positive steering.
Buying or leasing one of these marvellous cars secondhand, you will have to accept the original owner's choice of equipment and extras from the very long list.
Suffice it to say that there will be many items included you will probably never use!
Pay about Â£65,000 for a standard '18 18-reg V8, or Â£88,000 for a '20 20-reg AMR V12 from the top of the range.
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