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Aston Martin DB11: 592bhp twin-turbo V12 unveiled

The DB11 is the most significant Aston Martin to be launched in over 10 years. Here’s what you need to know about the 592bhp twin-turbo V12 supercar

Aston Martin has pulled the covers off the DB11 at the 2016 Geneva motor show, signalling a long-awaited replacement for the DB9 model. This is big news for the company, as this car represents the first of its next generation of models.  Featuring Mercedes-Benz AMG-derived electronics, a new in-house twin-turbo V12 engine as well the all-new lightweight aluminium structure, this is the fastest and most fuel-efficient DB road car of all time. 
As was hinted at with the James Bond Aston Martin DB10, the new DB11 looks significantly different to the outgoing models, bringing in a sharper and more defined style for the future. The new platform on which the car is built is an even lighter and stronger version of the company’s long-standing VH platform, which is formed using bonded aluminium sections. 
Although Aston Martin confirmed some time ago that it would be partnering with AMG for its future turbocharged V8 engines and using Daimler electronic architecture, it always planned to keep production of its V12 powerplant in-house. The new engine is therefore related to the existing 5.9-litre Ford-derived V12, although much has changed. Power is quoted at 592bhp and 516lb ft, delivering 200mph performance and a 0-62mph time of 3.9secs.
The reduction in size and addition of two turbochargers only tells half the story though. Much work has been done to make the engine more fuel efficient, and a new cylinder deactivation and stop-start system is said to improve fuel efficiency and emissions by 20 per cent. The system is similar to other high performance engines, and is called ‘intelligent bank activation’.
This is hooked up to an eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox, already seen in the recently updated Rapide S and Vanquish. The ‘box can be controlled by a pair of steering wheel-mounted paddles, or it can simply be left in fully-automatic mode for everyday driving. 
Promising a significantly improved driving experience, the new DB11 combines a mechanical limited slip differential at the rear with active torque vectoring. Chassis guru Matthew Becker of Lotus fame has been tasked with making the DB11 handle. Although a lot can be achieved with electronics, it’s the familiar double wishbone front suspension combined with a new multi-link set-up that is expected to deliver results. 
Aston Martin has also employed some clever aerodynamic devices on the DB11. A lot of work has been put into keeping the DB11 sleek and restrained, and the new ‘Curlicue’ behind the front wheels takes the high-pressure air from the wheel wells and sends it down the side of the car, reducing lift. 
Perhaps the cleverest solution is the car’s new ‘AeroBlade’, which channels air from the base of the C-pillars to a slot on the top of the rear decklid, negating the need for a rear spoiler. 
Does this car spell the end for Aston Martin’s naturally aspirated engines? In the quest for increasing efficiency and lower CO2 figures, as well as outright speed, it’s almost inevitable that the mass-produced models such as the DB11 will go down the turbocharged route. Future special models, such as the One-77 and Vulcan, could continue to offer natural aspiration however.
On sale today, prices for the new Aston Martin DB11 start at £154,900.

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