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Presentation of the new Aston Martin DB11 (2016) + seat sample

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Geneva Motor Show 2020
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B e Aston Martin you never tire of stressing which ' they took a big step with the DB11. The engineers redeveloped practically everything over the past five years: the chassis, the engine, the suspensions, the differential. In addition, there is the new eight-speed automatic, which comes from the specialist ZF - instead of the six-speed automatic from the predecessor DB9, also from ZF. Plus the new electronics platform from Mercedes for infotainment and assistance systems. And so that customers are also satisfied, CEO Andy Palmer will personally inspect the first 1,000 copies of the Aston Martin. His signature will even be attached to a sticker in the engine compartment.

Aero trick for downforce and optics

Die A relatively small traditional British company with around 1,800 employees is proud of its latest plant. And an aerodynamic trick in particular. In any case, this is the impression you get from the conversations with those responsible during a visit to the factory in Gaydon (England). 'For the first time we are using the side air outlet for aerodynamics,' they proudly announce at Aston Martin.

The air outlet on the front fenders has graced the majority of Aston Martin models since the 1967 DBS. In the new DB11, which will be launched on the market in the fourth quarter of 2016, the neatly designed part with the aluminum cross strut primarily serves aerodynamic purposes. And this in turn helps the optics.

Aston Martin cleverly guides the fresh air, which flows through the wheel arches and mixes with the waste heat from the carbon-ceramic brakes, around the sideline of the new DB11 and captures it in one Channel between the rear side window and the C-pillar. With a snorkel that sticks to the chassis. The air only exits through a grille at a right angle immediately in front of the spoiler edge in the rear.

This creates an invisible curtain - air curtain - which the air sliding over the roof meets. The effect: the vertically exiting air - the air curtain - takes on the role of a fixed spoiler, which is flowed over and thus generates contact pressure. This also helps the optics: “We can do without a rear wing that would not have fitted into the picture.” Only at higher speeds, from 145 km /h, does a small wing element automatically extend to strengthen the aerodynamics. They have their own wind tunnel at AstonMartin in Gaydon doesn't. To do this, tests were carried out with a 40 percent model in the wind tunnel of an English university after simulating the flow via CFD.

Aston Martin DB11 with 5.2-liter twin-turbo V12

The new Aston Martin DB11 makes a coherent picture. Nothing else could be expected from the DB9 successor. The designers started with a white piece of paper, as they say, but the relationship to the DB9 remains recognizable. Outwardly it is more an evolution than a revolution. The new GT now looks through LED headlights, previously it was BiXenon units. At the front it has a larger splinter, the bonnet has four air outlets, the lines on the side have been modified, the narrow rear lights are divided into two by the spoiler lip. Particularly striking: the aluminum roof pillars, which are colored either black or silver.

The hood of the new DB11 opens in opposite directions. A new heart beats underneath in a front-center arrangement. One that is supplied with pre-compressed air by two superchargers. Instead of a naturally aspirated V12 with a displacement of six liters, Aston Martin switched to a 5.2-liter twin-turbo V12. The unit was developed at Ford in Cologne, where the British have stationed their own engineers.

The turbo boost increases the power of the DB11 from 517 to 608 hp and increases the torque from 620 to 700 Nm. Apart from the limited special models GT12 and Vulcan, the DB11 is the most powerful Aston. The power flow is picked up by a new eight-speed automatic from ZF and directed to the rear axle. A new mechanical limited-slip differential should ensure that the power doesn't go up in smoke. The 100 km /h should be collected after 3.9 seconds. Before that, the stopwatch was 4.6 seconds. Top speed 322 km /h.

Aston Martin
The DB11 draws 608 hp from a 5.2-liter V12 biturbo.

11.4 liters of fuel consumption over 100 km in the Aston Martin DB11

Downsizing, turbo support, start-stop and cylinder deactivation in the partial load range have, as usual, a positive effect on fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Aston Martin states that the new GT is average11.4 liters per 100 km and spits 265 g /km out of the tailpipes. The figures for the DB9: 14.3 liters and 333 g /km.

The new Aston Martin DB11 has a completely redeveloped chassis. It is based on the new lightweight aluminum platform, which will also replace the VH architecture in the coming models. For example the next Vantage. The aluminum chassis of the DB11 now weighs 39 kilograms less than its predecessor - a total of 240 kilograms - and is still 15 percent more torsion-resistant.

Despite the weight savings in the chassis, the DB11 has become heavier. Because the turbos, new coolers, the aero trick and the new electronics platform cost money. The weight distribution is practically balanced at 51:49 thanks to the transaxle design (front engine, rear gearbox). It is speculated that the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 from Mercedes will come as an alternative to the heavier V12 in the course of the model cycle. 'We just want to talk about the new V12,' says Aston Martin.

Aston Martin DB11 seat sample

In order to make the new DB11 attractive to its customers, Aston Martin invited them to Preview events in the weeks leading up to the official launch. There were several daily, seven a week at the company location in Gaydon (England) and in Japan. Effort that has to be worthwhile: After all, the brand's total sales figures with the DB11 and the new Vantage V8, which will come later, should climb from currently around 4,000 to over 7,000.

The mobile phone must be handed in at the entrance. Everything is 'confidential', as the English say, i.e. strictly confidential, and zero chances of infiltrating the cell phone like in a secret agent film. Only the photographer booked by Aston Martin may take the pictures. The preliminary skirmish is quite unspectacular. Dark room, a DB11 logo that slides over the wall, spiced with sound samples from the new 5.2-liter V12 biturbo and technical explanations of a recorded voice.

Sergej Falk
Everything fits tip-top in the new GT.

Leather seats as soft as a baby's bottom

Lights on, the curtain falls, here it is, the new Aston Martin DB11 in Magnetic Silver. Ready for a first seat sample. The driver's door opens at a slight angleabove, maybe 25 degrees. Left leg over the sill with the badge “Built in England”, pull the other leg up, then flop your buttocks onto the leather seat. Soft like a baby's bottom. Longer distances, which a sporty GT is used for, can be scrubbed painlessly without any problems. Especially since the comfort has been strengthened by new dampers.

The seating position is low, but not too much. This is for a better overview. The dimensions of the DB11 have changed compared to the DB9. The overall length has grown by 1.9 centimeters and the wheelbase by 6.5 centimeters (2,740 mm by 2,805 mm). It measures one millimeter less in width and three in height. Overall, this means for the interior: more freedom of movement. “We pushed the front axle a bit forward. That also creates more space, ”says Ian Minards, Director of Product Development. With a height of 1.87 meters, there is not a sheet of paper between the head and the Alcantara headliner, but two blocks.

The jump between DB9 and DB11 is not only noticeable in the name. After all, there are 12 years between the first DB9, which was refreshed in between, and its successor. The new Grand Tourer looks tidier, a bit more elegant, more focused. The material mix of leather, Alcantara and crushed carbon with a special surface treatment on the inside of the center console and doors makes the DB11 a noble GT. One that can be configured in umpteen colors, different seams and patterns. Actually, in return, you should only enter it in chic thread. Fortunately, the DB11 also tolerates jeans during the seat test.

Mercedes electronics architecture in the DB11

The leather steering wheel - For the first time, Aston Martin relies on electromechanical power assistance - lies comfortably in the hand, the grown aluminum paddles sit ergonomically in the right place. In front of him, the driver no longer looks at analog instruments, but at digitized ones. The three-part display measures 12 inches, depending on the driving mode (GT, Sport, Sport +), which can be determined via the steering wheel, the feed changes. Criticism: The leather on the upper side of the carrier seems to be smacked, does not fit the overall harmony.

If you look at the lower part of the center console, you would think you were in a Mercedes. The controls for automatic air conditioning, radio, telephone, navigation system, rear window heating, 360-degree camera and the like correspond to the models with the star. The Comand Controller with the padded palm rest as well.

With the DB11, Aston Martin benefits for the first time from the technology partnership with Daimler, which holds a 5 percent stake in the traditional British company in the form of non-voting shares. Aston Martin did not do everything one-to-one. 'We use the Daimler electronics platform and tune it for ourselves,' explains Minards.That means: The components for the electronics of the infotainment and the sensors of the assistance systems come from Mercedes, the display on the monitors takes place in the Aston Martin style.

The children are allowed to ride

The designers integrated a free-standing 8-inch display into the wide center console above the rectangular ventilation nozzles. The resolution of the imported navigation maps is razor-sharp. Halfway up there are the Aston-typical round switches made of real glass, which can be used to start the engine and control the transmission.

The DB11 has also gained space in the rear - thanks to the more compact transmission packaging below the armrests . Of course, the 2 + 2-seater GT will not take any adults in the rear leather seats without later straining the whole body. Whereby: Agile gymnasts who put their feet behind their heads could quite easily roar for a few kilometers. Joking aside, let's get down to the serious facts: Parents can secure the Isofix seats without worrying so that the children can cruise along. Two travel bags can be stowed in the small trunk. So weekend trips for the family of four are no problem.

The Aston Martin DB11 will be launched this year and will cost from 204,900 euros.

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