It must be said that it is in Formula 1 that Aston Martin is currently recording its greatest successes. Admittedly, Fernando Alonso has not yet been able to concretize the speed of his car with a victory but at the Monaco Grand Prix, the Spaniard finished on the second step of the podium. On the field of the series, the situation is more contrasted. Last year, the British manufacturer, which celebrates its 110th anniversary, sold only 6,412 vehicles, half as many as Ferrari. Despite increasing volumes, the English firm could not avoid suffering significant losses, of the order of £528.6 million. The injection of new money had become inevitable because, in addition to the explosion of production, distribution and marketing costs, Aston Martin must find ways to finance the ecological transition. This is how the Chinese Geely, already owner of Volvo and shareholder of Smart, came to the rescue of James Bond's favorite brand. The Chinese giant paid 234 million euros, becoming the third shareholder of Aston Martin with 17% of the capital.
It is in this context that the Gaydon firm renews the flagship of the family of grand touring models. The DB11, the successor to the DB12, is the first in a series of six new features launched over the next two years. The lines are in the continuity of the DB11 but the grille is more aggressive. In total, the DB12 boasts more than 80% new elements, mainly around the stiffened chassis, suspension and powertrain. Contrary to what its designation suggests, the new GT is no longer powered by a V12 but by a 8-liter twin-turbo V4 of Mercedes-AMG origin. If the V12 is not discontinued, the DB12 will not be entitled to it. As for the V8, it is a slightly deflated version of the DBX 707's mechanics. Under the hood of the berlinetta, it still delivers a power of 585 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and a torque of 800 Nm between 2,750 and 6,000 rpm. It remains paired with an 8-speed ZF automatic transmission. The 100 km/h is reached in 3.6 seconds instead of 4.1 seconds previously. The top speed increases to 325 km/h.
On the chassis side, the latest Aston Martin berlinetta succumbs neither to all-wheel drive nor to the rear steering wheels but for the first time in Gaydon, the E-Diff electronic rear differential makes its entrance.
Finally, designers have not forgotten that the DB12 is above all a travel berlinetta. The interior space has been completely redesigned around a new dashboard and a raised center console. The latter accommodates, below the ventilation nozzles, the multimedia touch screen. As for the digital instrument handset, it is fully customizable. This allows the needle dials to be preserved.
The DB12 will launch in the third quarter of 2023. By then, Aston Martin will have presented at least one other model.