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First Drive: 2024 Aston Martin DB12

by | July 5, 2024

The 2024 Aston Martin DB12: Just another stunning Aston Martin sure to shake and stir you.

We never tire of the DB12’s classic lines.

There are many brands that have left this mortal coil. And while any number of diehards mourn their passing, most of us do not, if we remember them at all. Others survive, sometimes miraculously, as they are too wonderful to die. One automaker that qualifies is Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings PLC, maker of the Aston Martin. This is a company that’s been through bankruptcy seven times. But it survives unscathed, like a freshly-made martini. Aston’s beauty is eternal, an essential part of a corporate DNA that has yet to produce an ugly Aston Martin. Um, maybe the Aston Martin Cygnet comes close. But it’s a Toyota with an Aston grille plastered on its proboscis.

Call it an aberration, a promise kept after a nasty night of heavy drinking. For the company founded by Robert Bamford and Lionel Martin has long adhered to traditional sports cars values. It’s something that’s apparent from the minute you step up to the 2024 Aston Martin DB12.

DB12 is latest in long line of GT cars

We never get tired of the DB12’s classic sports car lines.

The latest in a long line of grand touring cars, the DB12 arrives in time for the 75th anniversary of the DB1. Looking much like the DB11, the DB12 uses its predecessor’s doors and the DBS’ roof. With a bigger grille, the DB12’s front end is taller than its predecessor. It boasts a new front splitter, side mirrors, and headlights. You might be excused for missing the changes; they’re slight.

Lift its sheet metal frock and you’ll find its underlying architecture is still built of bonded and riveted aluminum, but it’s seven percent stiffer than in the DB11. Its track is wider as well, 0.2 inches up front and 0.9 inches out back. You might also notice a new suspension, one consisting of the latest adaptive dampers, electronic power-assisted steering, and an electronic rear differential. Yum.

Tech filled interior

The cabin features a new infotainment system on a redesigned instrument panel.

Inside, the center stack is improved from the DB11. The circular shift buttons located at the middle of the instrument panel have been axed, with the shiny trinkets replaced by a small toggle shifter. An updated 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen finally replaces the outdated Mercedes-Benz COMAND system that Aston Martin used for years. It sits next to a 10.25-inch digital instrument panel. It lends the DB12’s cabin a sharp, contemporary ambiance that expertly complements its exceptional exterior.

And despite the fact that’s called the DB12, it’s no longer powered by one. But you won’t miss it. In its place is an Aston-Martin-revised Mercedes-AMG twin-turbocharged 4.0 V8 engine. It mates to a ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox, funneling 671 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels. That’s 37 percent more than the DB11.according to the automaker. It’s no surprise that it runs 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds; top speed is 202 mph. To assist in providing the proper power curve, there are GT, Sport, Sport+, Individual, and Wet driving modes.

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Performance thy name is Aston

Prices start at $245,000.

I sampled the 2024 Aston Martin DB12 for the first time at The Concours Club, an automotive country club near Miami in the Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport. It was followed by a magical weekend a few weeks later in Greenwich, Connecticut. The DB12 has far more of a sports car edge than any DB that preceded it. Not that the DB12 can’t handle the role of a grand tourer. It certainly can, and in a lovely way. The Aston Martin growls with a knowing threat as it approaches triple-digit speed on The Concours Club’s 2,100-foot straightaway. The car eagerly obeys the driver’s commands, slicing through bends with little sign of slop and with linear, fast, and direct handling. Drifting? It’s simple since you can effortlessly twist this automobile around curves to your preferred shape. It’s incredibly communicative and simple to control.

When the DB12 is off the track, it becomes simply another attractive, well-groomed supermodel, just like Superman becomes Clark Kent. We know the reality, despite its good, upstanding appearance. It makes for the perfect conveyance to be seen in along Greenwich Avenue. Yet it’s just as happy driving to the other end of the state to tackle the twists and turns at Lime Rock.

Its perfection in both realms makes it a rarity, the ideal offering for those who prefer the finest in GTs.


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