Aston Martin DB12
New V8-only Aston Martin DB12 celebrates 75 years of the British brand and has a license to thrill. Check it out. Photo: Aston Martin

Breaking cover for the first time, the new Aston Martin DB12 takes over the baton from the DB11 grand tourer that’s been in service for the better part of a decade.

It’s not an all-new model, mind you, but so extensive is the overhaul that it might as well be a from-the-ground-up replacement that makes a stunning company car for the next 007.

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Okay, now that we have the obligatory James Bond reference out the way, we can report that there are significant changes to the engine, chassis hardware and interior aesthetic. This is the first Aston Martin to qualify as a connected car in that it features the company’s all-new inhouse infotainment system boasting over-the-air updates, apps and remote services. If you love your tech, you’ll love this Aston Martin.

Beneath the exotic metal, it uses the latest iteration of the familiar lightweight aluminium Aston Martin architecture, to keep weight down and increase rigidity. Special attention has been paid to ensure it is 7% stiffer than the DB11. The DB12 is shorter and narrower than the outgoing DB11 – a rare feat these days – even if the 1685 kg kerbweight is still on the heavy side.

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In line with emissions requirements the world over, the V12 option has been dropped, leaving just Mercedes-AMG’s potent twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8. Here the motor produces 500 kW on the nose, and a brawny 800 Nm of torque, all good numbers in this svelte GT sports car.

The zero to 100 km/h sprint is dispatched in 3.5 seconds, which is impressive for a two-wheel drive, and the top speed is on the correct side of 320 km/h. The extra shove is credited to larger-diameter turbos, reprofiled cams and other detailed tuning to the AMG engine. While not on the cards for the DB12, there is talk of hybridisation in the coming years, courtesy of AMG’s knowhow in hybrid/EV tech.

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Power, performance and stunning looks was rarely an issue for Aston Martin, where the brand did suffer, however, was with its interiors. Now, out goes the dated Mercedes Comand systems in favour of Aston Martin’s first inhouse infotainment system.

The screen is a modest 10.25 inches in diameter, so it doesn’t overpower proceedings, however, Aston claims it offers the best pixel definition in the market and has a 30-millisecond response time. Wisely, Aston Martin has stuck with physical controls for ventilation and minor switchgear. Hooray.

The new DB12 ushers in the next generation of sports cars and grand tourers under new chairman Lawrence Stroll, with increasing influence of the Geely group which increased its stake in the company recently.

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We expect to see it in showrooms before the end of the year, priced slightly above that of the current DB11.

Go ahead and configure your own Aston Martin DB12 here.