Cars/ First-drive/ Do You Really Need A 911 Turbo | Aston Martin DB12

Do You Really Need A 911 Turbo | Aston Martin DB12

Aston knows how to design a handsome machine

For

Looks, no modern electric interferance

Against

Slow screens, cramped rear seats

Driving

Things don’t look as tempting as you start her up. But then, as the car moves along, there are a few things that come to mind immediately - there is a lot of heft that it carries, there is no 4WD or NASA level of technology to manage traction, and neither is there any holding back in terms of how the power is put down. It’s immediate, it’s unrestricted, and it’s ballsy. On a wet day, this is just as scary as a…

The front-mid engine sends all of those 800Nm of twisting forces to the rear wheels. There is no electrification, so the soundtrack from the engine directly translates to brute performance. The Mercedes-sourced engine benefits from modified camshafts, an 8.6:1 compression ratio, overhauled cooling, plus – naturally – bigger turbos; it has gained over 150bhp, and the final figures are more than either the Porsche 911 Turbo or Ferrari Roma can muster.

All of that charges to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox that now boasts a shorter final drive for better sprinting. 0-100kmph in 3.6 seconds, since you’re asking, and still a 325kmph top end. It’s proper fast. More speed than it needs, enough to give the traction a real workout below 100kph and the kind of high-speed thrust to outstrip almost anything. Extra bracing means the all-aluminum bonded platform is seven percent stiffer, but it’s work that’s gone into the damping and body control that has really transformed this Aston.

The engine and chassis work far more harmoniously than before and because the handover between the two is so clean, you can’t tell where the chassis ends and the engine begins. It doesn’t matter how tight or open the corner is; from the moment you turn in, you feel the rear axle compressing and supporting the car’s weight. And it’s engaging, richly satisfying. It gets into a real rhythm, and although it’s not the most dramatic machine to drive, you can’t catch it out.

Anyone who’s driven an Aston Martin before, barring the DB12, will tell you how counterintuitive the interiors felt. Nothing seemed in the right place.



TopGear Magazine June 2024