Aston Martin DB11 vs. DB12: No Revolution, Just Evolution

For Aston Martin, 2023 represents its 110th anniversary. And what better way to celebrate blowing that many candles off the birthday cake than by launching a new car? Technically it's not new from the ground up, but a comprehensive mid-cycle refresh of its predecessor. We're talking about the DB11 that has just evolved into the DB12, promising improvements all around, especially in the performance category.
Aston Martin DB11 vs. DB12 11 photos
Photo: Aston Martin
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Web surfers have seen images of it these past couple of days, and they've read all about it, as the grand unveiling took place earlier this week in the online realm, accompanied by a photo shoot of the car and numerous technical details. Thus, this model is the new talk of the town when it comes to the Aston Martin fanbase. But there's a difference between liking a vehicle and affording it, so is the new one worth the upgrade over the DB11? That's what we're here to discover, so let's kick it, starting in the looks department.

You see, the DB11 was already a sexy beast no matter which engine you opted for because it came fitted either with a bi-turbo V8 sourced from Mercedes-AMG or a V12 that uses as many turbos. Thus, the British company's designers had to make sure that they were not ruining a winning recipe. And they haven't. If anything, the DB12 is even sexier, thanks to the taller grille. In fact, this is one thing that clearly sets them apart, as the headlamps may be new, but they have a similar style to them. The same goes for the back end, as both models have a pair of C-shaped taillights that are identical.

Big wheels are a must on every high-end new car, and the DB12 ticks this box, too, with the 21-inch alloys. They are 8 kg (17.6 pounds) lighter than the 20-inch set equipping the DB11, and they were wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 5 S tires tailored especially for this model. Other improvements include the increased torsional stiffness of the chassis by 7%. It features new intelligent adaptive dampers and revised anti-roll bars, with the stopping power coming from the standard brakes, upgradable to carbon ceramic as an option. The press release mentions the electronic power-assisted steering and the electronic limited-slip differential.

Aston Martin DB12
Photo: Aston Martin
Moving to the interior of both cars, we can see that the DB12 kind of sends Porsche 918 vibes due to the floating center console. It's a neat design that proudly incorporates a brand-new infotainment system at the upper end, right below the small central air vents. Developed by Aston to be a more British proposal over the old unit equipping the DB11, which came from Mercedes, it has a 10.25-inch display. It features a voice assistant, smartphone connectivity, 4G, and supports over-the-air updates, so getting that new software version won't necessarily require taking a trip to the local dealer. The steering wheel is new and hosts a digital instrument cluster behind it. The usual amount of carbon fiber is present, alongside high-end leather upholstery, because this is still a grand tourer.

Mind you, it is a very fast one, with the 0 to 60 mph (0-97 kph) acceleration being a 3.5-second affair. This is aided by the new bi-turbo 4.0-liter V8, which kicks out 670 hp (680 ps/500 kW) and 590 lb-ft (800 Nm) of torque. The DB11 had 528 hp (535 ps/394 kW) and 513 lb-ft (695 Nm) to play with, so the boost is truly impressive. On top of that, it's punchier than the old one's twin-turbo 5.2-liter V12, which was good for 630 hp (639 ps/470 kW) and 516 lb-ft (700 Nm). But why talk about it in the past tense? Because it's not available on the DB12. That's right, Aston Martin chose to launch the new model, which can do 212 mph (325 kph) flat-out, with a V8 engine only, and it is hooked up to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The V8-powered DB11 has a 192 mph (309 kph) top speed and is half a second slower to sixty.

Overall, the new DB12 promises to be a better car than the DB11, but we will find out if that's indeed the case when Aston lets us have a go in it. Until then, we will remind you that production will start this summer, and the first units of the car will reach their rightful owners in the third quarter of the year. Pricing is unknown, but we bet it will be more expensive than its predecessor. As a reminder, the 2023 Aston Martin DB11 has an MSRP of roughly $220,000, and we expect the new one to be some $10,000 or $20,000 pricier. So, would you upgrade to it if you had a DB11 parked in the garage, or would you stick to the old one instead? We'd recommend at least waiting for the first reviews of the car until you place a deposit.
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About the author: Cristian Gnaticov
Cristian Gnaticov profile photo

After a series of unfortunate events put an end to Cristian's dream of entering a custom built & tuned old-school Dacia into a rally competition, he moved on to drive press cars and write for a living. He's worked for several automotive online journals and now he's back at autoevolution after his first tour in the mid-2000s.
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