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Aston Martin DB12 First Look: Grand Touring, Sans V12

Aston says this is its first Super Tourer

2024 Aston Martin DB12 front 3/4
  • A new DB car is a rare thing, but the DB12 is here to take the DB name to new heights.
  • It no longer features a V12, but the V8 has been hitting the gym.
  • It also gets a fresh interior the DB11 desperately needed.

Aston Martin's DB models date back 75 years; the 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 looking to be the most compelling, complete and competent DB product to date.

While the DB12 isn't a massive departure in terms of design philosophy, it's a definite evolution of the current DB11. The rear end looks largely the same, but the front features a huge new mouth, more aggressive headlights, and redesigned front fenders that sit over new wheel designs. We aren't 100% sold on the new sheetmetal, but we're hoping it grows on us.

2024 Aston Martin DB12 rear 3/4

There has been a lot of work done underneath that new sheetmetal, though. Aside from the reworked V8 engine (and the death of the DB's signature V12), 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 that, says Aston, should result in more agility in tight, low-speed corners and more composure in high-speed stuff.

Even further under the skin, the bonded aluminum structure that makes up the DB12's body is 7% torsionally stiffer thanks to new bracing and more rigid undertrays. Thanks to the extra stiffness (both torsionally and laterally), the anti-roll bars can be stiffer, too. That, in combination with electronically adjustable dampers that have a greater breadth between comfort and sport, should mean this new Aston can be firmer when you want to drive quickly and softer when you just want to cruise along.

Underhood is a tweaked version of the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 that powers the DB11. It now makes 671 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque, with the power sent to the rear wheels via a rear-mounted eight-speed automatic transmission with that aforementioned e-diff worked into it. All that extra grunt in combination with a shorter final drive ratio means even quicker acceleration, and Aston quotes a 0-60 mph time of 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 202 mph.

2024 Aston Martin DB12 steering wheel

The DB12 takes an almost Bentley-esque approach to its new interior. The interior was always a sticking point for the DB11, and it just didn't feel quite as expensive or as special as it should have. Aston paid special attention to redesigning the cabin, and the end result is nothing short of impressive. There are huge swaths of carbon fiber, Alcantara and leather — even the seatbacks look entirely molded out of carbon. Every detail feels like a major improvement over the DB11, and it's exactly what the DB12 needed.

A massive center console area is nestled between driver and passenger and rises up to meet the dashboard. It houses an array of buttons, knobs and scroll wheels that control the DB12's various primary functions. Just above all those buttons is the new center display. No longer mounted atop the dash, the new 10.25-inch infotainment display sits at a rakish angle away from the driver, just below the air vents.

There's also a new, fully digital gauge cluster that's now one screen instead of the DB11's three screens that were separated by physical partitions. Overall, the DB12's interior looks like a solid step up from its predecessor, and that's all it needed to do. The only questionable decision is the new steering wheel, which appears to have capacitive touch buttons on it (we'll reserve judgment until we get behind the wheel ourselves, but other automakers have fumbled when going this route).

2024 Aston Martin DB12 profile

Another gripe we had with the DB11 was its general lack of tech features that were available on most of its rivals. But the DB12 fixes this and adds goodies like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and the user interface can now receive over-the-air updates. The DB12 also comes with a suite of advanced driver assistance systems. They include:

Forward collision warning

Autonomous emergency braking

Adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go function

Lane departure warning

Lane keeping assistance

Automatic high beams

Traffic sign recognition

Blind-spot warning

Rear cross-traffic warning

Driver drowsiness detection

360-degree 3D surround camera view

Aston wont say how much the DB12 costs, but we're assuming it'll represent a significant premium over the $210,000 DB11 — think in the $240,000 range to start, with a load of customization options to drive the price ever skyward. Expect to see these in your fanciest hotels valet by the end of the year.

2024 Aston Martin DB12 front

Edmunds says

This might be the best DB in years, but we won’t know until we drive it. Stay tuned.