The DBS 770 Ultimate (pictured) offers the guiding philosophy for the new DB12
Aston’s most recent outing for this kind of car was the superb DBS 770 Ultimate, and V8 power should enhance the handling
There are two reasons to be optimistic about the new DB12, at least so far as what it means to those of us who care first and foremost about, yes, the driving experience.
Reason one is the existence of the recent Aston Martin DBS 770 Ultimate. Sure, different model line. But the DBS was built on the same platform as the Aston Martin DB11 and that platform now underpins the DB12, so there are synergies.
The point here is that the 770 Ultimate was the last car out of the mould that we’ve so far driven and it is exceptionally good, owing to small optimisations designed to heighten precision and also pliancy, as well as making the powertrain more exploitable. The 770 Ultimate is an exhibition in controlled aggression and fitness for purpose, and learnings will have been carried forward into the DB12. The guiding philosophy of the car is close to perfect. I’ll just temper all this enthusiasm by highlighting that the DB12 is getting a Vantage-style e-diff, whereas the DBS used an old-fashioned fully mechanical part, which was always predictable and effective (it was 664lb ft that sometimes made the car snappy). I only hope it feels natural.
Reason two is, a little counter-intuitively, to do with the loss of the twin-turbo V12. Yes, the loss. When it came to the DB11, the V8 version was without doubt sweeter to drive than its bigger sibling.
Part of that was down to the fact that the Mercedes-AMG-engined DB11 was the first Aston that then chief engineer Matt Becker got his chassis-whisperer hands on, and of course this improved set-up was later rolled out to the V12.
But the smaller engine made the car naturally more vivacious and accurate. It was the better engine on the road, if not in the brochure, and the DB12’s lighter wheel-and-tyre package and stiffer front edge should enhance matters further.
Aston Martin normally needs a good few years to wring the best out of its products, but there’s a sense that this time round, its latest “super tourer” could be a banger straight out of the box.