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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

‘Next chapter’ written as Aston Martin debuts new 500 kW DB12

Replacement for the DB11 loses the V12 engine, but gains a more powerful twin-turbo still AMG-sourced V8.

Its last new model having been the farewell tribute to the DBS in the form of the Ultimate 770 in January, Aston Martin has taken the wraps off of not only the replacement for the DB11, but potentially also its final brand-new combustion engine supercar.

Unsurprisingly called the DB12, the latest and most dramatic looking Aston of recent years departs largely from its predecessor’s Vantage inspired styling as it pays tribute not only to the 2000s Vanquish when viewed from the front, but also in places, the DB9.

NOW READ: New colours and a more powerful DB11 part of revised Aston Martin range

While billed as anything but a reworked DB11 by Aston, the DB12’s rear facia suggests otherwise despite the front being mostly new.

New underneath

Still based on the same platform as the DB11, the DB12’s underpinnings have, however, been overhauled and in some cases, renewed to create what Aston calls its “sharpest” and best handling model to date.

The first Aston DB to offer an electronic rear differential programmed in sync with the Electronic Stability Control, the DB12 also boasts a new electronic power steering system with variable speed assistance and adjustment, a bonded aluminium structure Gaydon says has improved tortional stiffness by seven percent, new dampers and stiffer adjustable springs.

New Aston Martin DB12 revealed
The rear has not changed much from the DB11. Image: Aston Martin.

Also new are the cast iron brakes that feature grooved and drilled discs for improved heat dispersion, as well as a new brake booster. An option, though, are the carbon ceramic stoppers that reduces the DB12’s unsprung mass by 27 kg.

Aston Martin has debuted the replacement for the DB11, the new DB12
The new 21-inch alloy wheels are eight kilograms lighter than on the DB11 and wrapped around bespoke Michelin Pilot 5 S tyres. Image: Aston Martin.

The final major external addition besides the actual design are the new 21-inch alloy wheels available in three designs, and wrapped in special Michelin Pilot Sport 5 S tyres designed specifically by the French firm for the DB12.

Poised to never be fitted to any other comparative supercar, the tyres even receive the internal AML code markings and in combination with the alloy rims, represent an eight kilograms weight reduction over the 20-inch wheels used on the DB11.

That look inside and out

For the exterior itself, the DB12 receives a wider track, frameless mirrors, a new take on Aston’s trademark grille, a redesigned front splitter and the marque’s latest corporate logo on the bonnet. The final uptake is the new headlights complete with new LEDs, a revised lower air intake and a new bonnet.

Inside, matters are more extensive as the DB12’s interior has been redesigned to incorporate very little of the final look of the DB11.

Aston Martin has debuted the replacement for the DB11, the new DB12
The interior has almost nothing in common with that of the DB11. Image: Aston Martin.

In addition to a new steering wheel, the dashboard has been redesigned and integrated with the now raised floating centre console to form a single T-shaped design with not only improved materials, but also a new integrated 10.25-inch infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, over-the-air updates and installed navigation.

New Aston Martin DB12 revealed
The new floating centre console accommodates the physical switchgear, as well as a 10.25-inch infotainment system. Image: Aston Martin

Sitting behind the steering wheel is a freestanding 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster Aston says adds to the “driver-centric feel” of the cabin.

Besides the physical switchgear on the console itself, buyers will continue to have a choice of unique colours and veneers via Aston Martin’s Bespoke Q customisation division, plus the standard inclusion of a Bowers & Wilkins sound system designed specifically for the DB12.

More powerful V8, no more V12

Up front, the DB12 continues Aston Martin’s partnership with Mercedes-AMG by retaining the twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 engine from the DB11, albeit with numerous revisions in the form of larger turbos, a new cooling system, two additional radiators and revised engine cams.

The final result is an output of 500kW/800Nm, 53kW/100Nm more than the DB11’s now discontinued 5.2-litre V12, a top speed of 325 km/h and 0-100 km/h in 3.6 seconds.

As with the DB11, drive is routed to the rear wheels through a revised version of the ZF-sourced eight-speed Touchtronic automatic gearbox. Carried over but still revised are the GT, Sport and Sport+ driving modes.

Confirmation awaited

Confirmed to be going on sale in Europe from the third quarter of this year, the DB12 has, at present, not been confirmed for South Africa, but should approval be given, expect it to arrive towards the end of the year.

NOW READ: Aston Martin farewells DBS with power-crazed 770 Ultimate

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