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First drive: Aston Martin DB11 AMR. Image by Aston Martin.

First drive: Aston Martin DB11 AMR
Aston applies AMR treatment to the DB11 V12 coupe - with pleasing results.

 



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Aston Martin DB11 AMR

5 5 5 5 5

Are you one of the lucky 4,000 or so buyers that bought the V12-engined Aston Martin DB11 since it was launched in 2016? Fancy something new, but still love the charismatic V12 engine? Aston has just the ticket in the new DB11 AMR, with more power, more equipment and an enhanced chassis. One for the collection, that's for sure...

Test Car Specifications

Model tested: Aston Martin DB11 AMR
Pricing: 174,995
Engine: twin-turbocharged 5.2-litre V12 petrol engine
Transmission: eight-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive
Body style: two-door, 2+2 coupe
CO2 emissions: 265g/km (VED 2,070 first 12 months, then 440 annually thereafter)
Combined economy: 24.8mpg
Top speed: 208mph
0-62mph: 3.7 seconds
Power: 639hp at 6,500rpm
Torque: 700Nm at 1,500rpm
Dry kerb weight: 1,765kg

What's this?

The Aston Martin DB11 AMR effectively replaces the original DB11 V12 Coupe in the line-up, sitting alongside the V8-powered Coupe and Volante. While the AMR branding suggests that its specification has been 'inspired by Aston Martin Racing,' this is no stripped-out track day special; it's still a GT car in the traditional sense. That said, Aston has given the DB11 AMR a distinctly sporty personality. To start with, the twin-turbocharged 5.2-litre V12 under the bonnet now produces 639hp at 6,500rpm (up from 608hp at the same speed), though the 700Nm torque output is unchanged. This means a 0.2-second quicker 0-62mph time of 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 208mph.

Connected to that V12 via a torque tube and carbon fibre propeller shaft is an eight-speed automatic transmission (with a new calibration to make it sharper), driving the rear wheels through a mechanical limited slip differential, as before. Also carried over is the suspension layout, including independent double wishbones up front, a multi-link design at the back, coil springs, anti-roll bars and three-mode adaptive dampers. The rear, however, has been considerably changed, in a bid to make the DB11 AMR even better to drive. As standard, the AMR model gets a set of gorgeous 20-inch forged alloy wheels, on Bridgestone S007 ZR20 tyres (255/40 front, 295/35 rear).

Visually, the AMR version is defined by its dark palette of highlights, including carbon fibre bonnet blades and side strakes, plus dark headlight surrounds, smoked tail lamps, a dark front grille and tailpipes, gloss black roof, roof strake, side sills and splitter. Buyers, of course, can customise the car to the nth degree, or choose one of the three new Designer Specifications. At launch, 100 examples of the AMR Signature Edition are offered, finished in Stirling Green with lime accents and lots of other exclusive detailing. That costs 201,995, where as the standard DB11 AMR starts at 174,995.

How does it drive?

It's not as if the V12-engined DB11 needed more power, did it? It's rapid, by any measure. What's more, Aston has tweaked the variable exhaust system, too, so it's more vocal when you choose the Sport driving mode, bringing you closer to the wonderfully hard-edged V12 note as it homes in on its rev limiter. Not that you ever need to extend this engine that far, such is the monumental torque on tap in the midrange. Still, that sound... It's reason enough to buy this car.

Apparently, the first iteration of the DB11's chassis was incredibly sensitive to the accuracy of its geometry, and Aston Martin learned a lot in creating the V8 model. Those lessons have been carried over to the AMR model, resulting in a car that flows with more consistency than before. It's still a GT car, but one that you'll choose to take the long way around in more often perhaps, even if that means a gnarly B-road. In tight and twisty confines, with lots of well-sighted slow-speed corners, it's a real giggle. You can sense the rear diff locking and, in the dry, there's no fear of turning the traction control off completely (there's a mid-setting too - all accessed via the infotainment's sub-menus). Even with 700Nm of torque, it takes provocation on the public road to unstick the rear tyres for any length of time, thanks no doubt to the seriously wide rear track. Indeed, pushing on, the DB11 exhibits a pleasing neutrality, obviously using all its tyres well.

Throughout all of this, there's good communication through the steering wheel, so you can push the AMR to its limits with confidence. That steering is direct, but not 'darty', while the throttle has long travel and is only too responsive in Sport+ mode when dealing with stop-start traffic. As ever, the selectable driving modes allow the driver to customise the car's dynamics to their preference and the road conditions, meaning the DB11 is perfectly amenable to long distances on the motorway if needs be. Saying that, it's sportier to drive than most GTs on the market, so we'd always take the more interesting road. If you do too, then you'll like this a lot.

Verdict

There's no logical reason for a V12-engined Aston Martin DB11 to exist, but we're mighty glad it does, as it endows the 2+2 coupe with a personality that's quite distinct from the V8 models in the range and yet it's just as good to drive. If you've been wondering which version to buy, and money really isn't the sticking point, then we suggest you go for this, the very special new DB11 AMR; you won't be disappointed.

5 5 5 5 5 Exterior Design

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Interior Ambience

4 4 4 4 4 Passenger Space

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Luggage Space

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Safety

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Comfort

5 5 5 5 5 Driving Dynamics

5 5 5 5 5 Powertrain


Shane O' Donoghue - 30 May 2018









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2018 Aston Martin DB11 AMR. Image by Aston Martin.2018 Aston Martin DB11 AMR. Image by Aston Martin.2018 Aston Martin DB11 AMR. Image by Aston Martin.2018 Aston Martin DB11 AMR. Image by Aston Martin.2018 Aston Martin DB11 AMR. Image by Aston Martin.

2018 Aston Martin DB11 AMR. Image by Aston Martin.2018 Aston Martin DB11 AMR. Image by Aston Martin.2018 Aston Martin DB11 AMR. Image by Aston Martin.2018 Aston Martin DB11 AMR. Image by Aston Martin.2018 Aston Martin DB11 AMR. Image by Aston Martin.








 

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