The Aston Martin DB12 Is Here, And It Stays Electric-Free

It has only been seven years since the Aston Martin DB11 hit the road. Its predecessor, the DB9, was around for 14. And yet, the iconic British carmaker has just announced the DB12. A final shout-out before electrics rule supreme, or perhaps to appease a consumer base that’s more and more accustomed to an ever-changing world?

Most notable about the DB12 is what it is missing. Electric motors, for one—there is not a trace of hybridisation here, just good old-fashioned explosive combustion. Unfortunately for the die-hards, four cylinders were also left behind—this, then, is the compromise. The V12 is indeed an endangered species, as the DB12 hosts a ‘mere’ V8, which generates 671bhp from its twin-turbo, 4.0-litre powerplant, good enough for 0-100km/h in 3.6 seconds. It probably sounds fantastic, too.

Aston Martin calls the DB12 a ‘Super Tourer’, which is more a statement of its ambitions rather than anything concrete. It has an electronic rear differential, a first for a DB, which promises faster and more consistent response. Its bonded aluminium structure sees a seven per cent increase in overall stiffness, and the latest in adaptive dampers and other iterative improvements. Performance is not the be-all and end-all, of course—especially not for an Aston Martin DB—and the steering system is carefully calibrated to avoid aggression and hyperbole, and instead encourages a confident, intuitive driving style. The tyres are another example: they will be the first OEM implementation of the Michelin Pilot Sport 5 S, albeit one with a bespoke Aston Martin compound, and were chosen not only for grip and precision but also for the noise-dampening materials within them that is claimed to reduce audible tyre hum by 20 per cent.

Seven years is short for motoring but an eternity for consumer technology, as Aston Martin is clearly aware. The next-generation infotainment system was, for the first time, developed in-house and includes a 10.25-inch touchscreen. It supports both Apple and Android flavours of phone integration, as well as a first-party app for monitoring, convenience and security. New audio partner Bowers & Wilkins provides the option of a 15-speaker, 1,170-watt surround system. Needless to say, the interior package will be swathed in hand-stitched leathers—or Alcantara, if one prefers—and fine woods to temper the driver-centric focus with a bit of pampering and luxury. This is a tourer, after all, meant for comfort and long distances as much as performance and dynamics. Whether ‘grand’ or ‘super’, we will find out in the latter half of this year, when the first DB12s should roll off the line.

Aston Martin

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