The V12 Aston Martin DB11 is dead. If you want a DB11 you’re stuck wit the AMG-sourced 4-litre twin-turbo V8. That’s not the worst thing in the world, it’s still a wonderful engine and Aston’s exhaust tuning still makes it sound quintessentially Aston.
Except, that’s not entirely true because the DB11 AMR exists. If you prefer your British grand tourer to have no less than 12 cylinders this is just for you. The DB11 AMR is a sort of ‘in-between’ model filling in the gap left by the standard V12 DB11 sitting above the V8 DB11 and the V12 DBS Superleggera. Confused? I am. The AMR is touted as a sportier adaptation of the DB11 line but without going full flagship ‘Super GT’; that’s the job for the DBS.
So here are five things I liked and five things I didn’t like after spending a few days with the Aston Martin DB11 AMR.
1. That wonderful wonderful engine
Sharing the same 5.2-litre twin-turbo V12 engine as the DBS, the AMR gets that intoxicating 12-cylinder soundtrack we’ve come to know and love from Aston Martin’s finest. It’s a creamy smooth engine that, thanks to the pair of turbos, also packs a brutal punch. In the DB11 it’s got 470kW and can get from 0-100 km/h in just 3.7 seconds. Top speed is 335 km/h, which no matter how you look at it, is mighty impressive. Oh, and let’s not forget the noise. It’s got a lovely deep bellow which turns into a howl the more your climb the rev range. Mandatory downshift pops and bangs are also present.
2. Feel good factor
Nothing makes you feel like a million dollars quite like an Aston Martin. The slightly more elegant design of the DB11 compared to the thuggish look of the DBS just adds to the feel good factor of getting in and out of this car. It’s quite possibly one of the classiest cars out there right now and that’s what you want in a Grand Tourer.
3. It’s so so comfortable
Another thing you want in a car meant for covering long distances is comfort and this has bags of it. It’s actually not all that soft compared to the DBS, that’s a testament to Aston’s suspension tuning, but the DB11 does sort out bumps just that little bit better than the DBS. Either way, miles will fly by in the blink of an eye in one of these.
4. Considerably less expensive than DBS
While the DB11 AMR will make you feel like a million dollars it actually doesn’t cost anywhere near that. In Japan, the DB11 AMR starts from a mere ¥27,183,000 ($374,000) compared to the DBS Superleggera’s starting price of ¥34,342,333 ($474,000). That’s a $100,000 price gap for what’s essentially a a 74.5kW bump in power and a different (albeit prettier) body panels.
5. Just look at it
Not that the DB11 AMR isn’t looker because just look at it. Even in this test spec in white with green callipers (an AMR trademark) it still looks special.
1. Rear seats and boot smaller than it should be
No, seriously the rear seats practically useless for human use. You could probably put a small dog or some luggage back there instead. Which you’ll need as the boot is just big enough for a couple of weekend bags. Though, I suppose for most DB11 owners that’ll be more than enough.
2. Not a mountain blaster
The AMR moniker might suggest this is a racy coupe but it’s far from it. It’s still a GT first and foremost and while it’ll happily go around corners you can just feel it’d much rather spend most of its time crushing miles on motorways. The DBS felt the same except the extra power going to the rear wheels made it a bit more thrilling.
3. No Volante option for AMR
Its lack of mountain driving precision might make it the perfect case for a drop-top cruiser but unfortunately you can’t get the DB11 Volante body style with the AMR V12. If you want a 12-cylinder Aston Martin convertible you’ll have to fork over many more monies for the DBS Volante or ‘settle’ for a mere 8 cylinders with the V8 DB11 Volante.
4. Cost an arm and leg to run
That goes without saying but if you’re in a position to be able to buy a DB11 AMR with as many cylinders as Jesus had disciples then you’re not going to be too concerned about running costs. I just thought I’d mention it because even cruising that V12 isn’t a light drinker.
5. Constantly having to explain its a V12 not a V8
Perhaps one of the most annoying thing with Aston Martin’s new DB11 lineup is having to explain to people this has the superior V12 engine and not the V8 model. There’s no exterior badging to show this is a V12 or AMR. Instead people will have to rely on the bright green callipers (which can easily be changed) or have a keen ear. On the other hand, some people might like the sleeper factor of the AMR. Just don’t go overboard with the AMR Package that includes a bright green stripe across the middle of the car.