Aston Martin has revealed the new DB12, a successor to the DB11 and its first car to feature a connected smartphone app, all-digital driver display and over-the-air software updates.
Although it looks broadly the same as the outgoing DB11, the new DB12 is claimed to be more a driver’s car than its predecessor ever was. Not just a car for long, leisurely drives to the south of France, Aston says the DB12 “delivers a quantum shift” and sets new benchmarks for performance in its sector.
Still a 2+2 car, meaning there are two small seats in the back for children, the DB12 is powered by a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre engine producing 680 PS (670 horsepower) and 800 Nm of torque (590 ft-lbs). Aston says the car can sprint to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and has a top speed of 202 mph.
The company is putting a lot of focus on the DB12’s driving dynamics, and describes it as a ‘super tourer’ rather than merely a grand tourer, or GT. It is the first ‘DB’ car in the badge’s 75-year history to have an electronic rear differential, which combined with electronic power steering, promises to “bring the DB12 alive on the most dynamic of roads," Aston says.
There’s a five-stage traction and stability control system and the DB12 is stiffer than its predecessor, with an all-new suspension system, intelligent active dampers, firmer brake pedal feel and option carbon ceramic brakes for extra stopping power.
The cabin is also entirely new and represents a major technology upgrade that has been a long time coming for Aston Martin. Its current generation of cars — especially the DBX, which doesn’t even have a touchscreen display — have technology that feels rather dated compared to the competition.
The DB12 aims to put that right, thanks to a new, all-digital driver display behind the steering wheel and a 10.25in touchscreen in the centre of the dashboard. The capacitive touch display has a resolution of 1970x720, a 30 ms response time and compatibility for wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Also new for the DB12 is a 4G LTE connection for working with Aston Martin’s first connected car smartphone app. Available for iOS and Android, the app can be used to check the status of the car, and Aston says the DB12's data connection also enables over-the-air (OTA) software updates and remote diagnostics.
We’re pleased to see Aston Martin take a reserved approach to touchscreen integration. The DB12 retains physical controls for the cabin temperature, fan speed and seat heating/cooling, plus a large engine start/stop button and buttons for the active exhaust, suspension and eight-speed automatic gearbox, but uses the touchscreen for navigation, phone connectivity and entertainment.
Speaking of entertainment, the DB12 is available with an optional 15-speaker, 1,170W sound system from Bowers & Wilkins, replacing the car's standard 11-speaker, 390W system. Acoustically engineered for the DB12’s cabin, the B&W system includes dedicated 3D speakers in the headlining and a subwoofer for extra bass. There are also stainless steel grilles available to match the interior colour palette of your DB12.
Although subtle, exterior changes that set the DB12 apart from the DB11 include a larger front grille similar to that of the DBX707, new 21-inch wheels clad in bespoke Michelin Pilot 5S tyres, and a 56% increase in open apertures to allow more airflow for cooling the V8 engine.
Deliveries are scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2023. The DB12 is priced from £185,000 in the UK and $245,000 in the US.