Aston Martin's DB models date back 75 years; the retrospectively named DB1 was the first car introduced under David Brown's leadership in the late 1940s, and the lineage has lasted nearly as long as Aston Martin itself. The 2024 Aston Martin DB12 is the latest iteration of Aston's ultra-luxe grand tourer, and it's the most compelling DB in many years.
The DB12 is a subtle but effective evolution of the outgoing DB11. The rear end looks largely the same, but the front features a completely new, more aggressive front end that presides over new wheel designs. While an enlarged grille doesn't necessarily show well in pictures, it looks better in person. This is a beautiful automobile in Aston's grand tradition.
It's tempting to think of the DB12 as a just refreshed DB11, and indeed, there are significant carryovers beneath the skin. However, between its new engine, updated gearbox, comprehensively reworked suspension and all-new interior, the DB12 presents and drives as a new and altogether better automobile.
Aside from the reworked Mercedes-AMG-sourced V8 — that's right, the DB's signature V12 is no longer on the menu — there's a new electronically controlled rear differential that can go from fully locked to fully open in milliseconds. The diff is linked with the reworked stability control system to give both car and driver a longer leash before the electronic bacon-savers curb any unwise antics.
The bonded aluminum structure that makes up the DB12's body is 7% torsionally stiffer thanks to new bracing, a revised rear bulkhead and different undertrays. That extra rigidity (both torsionally and laterally) enables firmer anti-roll bars too.