The Aston Martin DB12 Is More Familiar Than New
With 2023 representing both the 110th anniversary of Aston Martin and the 75th anniversary of the brand’s DB model lineup, we knew this year would bring something of real excitement from Gaydon. The wait is finally over, as the automaker has just pulled the cover off of the 2024 Aston Martin DB12 lineup, complete with a more potent engine, new exterior and interior designs, and an improved suspension.
To call the Aston Martin DB12 an entirely new grand tourer isn’t exactly accurate. Despite the new looks inside and out, it is clear that the new sports car carries over a lot of hardware from its predecessor in DB11. The chassis structure is borrowed from the older car for example, though the bonded aluminum structure now has 7 percent more torsional rigidity to work with. That comes as the result of a number of reworked underbody components, including the engine cross brace, the front crossmember, new undertrays at either end, as well as beefier strut towers front and rear. The 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 engine is also the same AMG-supplied unit as found in other Aston Martin products, but it gets a bit of a rework for DB12. Aston has fitted the V-8 with new camshafts with different profiles, installed larger diameter turbos, completely reworked and replaced the cooling system, and optimized the compression ratio for more performance. The end result is 671 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. Perhaps even more impressive is the 34 percent gain in output between 2750 and 6000 rpm. The engine comes exclusively mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox, which now features a shortened final drive of 3.083:1. Aston says the DB12 will do 0-60 mph in just 3.5 seconds, and should reach a top speed of 202 mph.
In order to make better use of that hot-rodded V-8, Aston Martin brought an entirely new approach to the DB12’s suspension setup. Not only do the stronger strut towers bring gains in isolation and overall performance, but they now house intelligent adaptive dampers. The dampers provide a much larger window of control than the outgoing units, with a 500 percent increase under the force distribution curve. This allows for softer responses on the comfort end of the drive mode spectrum while also providing all of the track-ready grip you could want. The DB12 features five drive modes with unique damper settings: Normal, Sport, Sport +, Wet, and Individual. Putting all that suspension hardware to the ground is a set of 21-inch wheels, of which customers have the choice between three designs and five finish options. Despite being larger than the DB11’s rollers, these new wheels are actually almost 18 pounds lighter than the outgoing units.
Wrapped around those lighter wheels come a set of Michelin Pilot Sports 5S tires, making the DB12 the first production vehicle to get the new rubber. These aren’t off the rack units either, with Aston and Michelin developing a bespoke compound for the car. An electronic rear differential is also featured for the first time on a DB model, working in conjunction with the brand’s updated stability control system. The pairing should help make the DB12 feel more agile than its predecessor in low speed scenarios without sacrificing high-speed stability.
The DB12 will come standard with cast-iron brakes front and rear, measuring 15.7-inches and 14.2-inches, respectively. A set of carbon ceramics will be available for those who need ultimate stopping power. When fitted, the carbon brakes save just under 60 pounds of unsprung weight. A newly refined brake booster aims to improve feedback compared to other models in the range.
There is clear visual continuity between the DB11 and DB12 models. The styling is largely unchanged thematically, though some details have been adjusted to freshen up the GT car. The fascias have been slightly tweaked, with a larger front grille opening and new lighting elements highlighting the adjustments. The grille itself brings a bit of DBS Superleggera and One-77 to the new DB12, which is a welcomed change over the outgoing grille. The profile and rear of the car look almost identical, though those areas were already fairly successful with the older model. It is worth noting that front track is now a ¼-inch wider, while the rear has grown by 0.86-inches. Smaller frameless mirrors also replace the old units.
Things are dramatically different inside the car however, where Aston Martin has spent significant effort in updating and improving the car. This starts with the brand’s new bespoke infotainment system, ditching the Mercedes-based system of the past. The system runs through a 10.25-inch capacitive touch screen, though Aston has been sure to retain hard buttons for a number of important features. The system comes bolstered by Wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay functionality, as well as an all-new integrated navigation system. An 11-speaker audio system comes as standard equipment, but a 15-speaker, double-amplified Bowers & Wilkins system is on offer. The system was co-developed between the two companies, with Bowers and Wilkins being sure to dress the hardware up in proper Aston fashion. The grilles are made from stainless steel and match accents through the interior. Hand-stitched Bridge of Weir leather lines the interior surfaces, and we'll come with a new quilting pattern in DB12. The interior is driver focused overall, and looks like a more appealing place to spend time than previously.
The Aston Martin DB12 is expected to begin initial deliveries during the third quarter of the year, which ensures its arrival in time to participate in the anniversary celebrations. The brand has yet to share any pricing information about the high-performance grand tourer, but it won’t come cheap. For reference, the outgoing DB11 V-8 carries an MSRP over $220,000.
You Might Also Like