Aston Martin DB11: 12th Place – 2017 Motor Trend Best Driver’s Car
The first all-new Aston Martin in more than a decade and the launchpad for an all-new lineup, the DB11 carries as much weight on its shoulders as it does on its tires. The 4,194-pound luxury coupe is equal parts grand tourer and sports car, but with 600 horsepower and a former Lotus engineer in charge of handling, don’t let its heft and size fool you.
Power comes from an all-new 5.2-liter twin-turbo V-12 with 516 lb-ft of torque. It’s fed exclusively to the rear wheels via a rear-mounted eight-speed automatic transaxle. Together, they hurtle the DB11 to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds and through the quarter mile in 11.9 seconds at 124.7 mph.
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After, Brembo brake calipers clamp big steel rotors and haul the car to a stop from 60 mph in 105 feet. Providing the grip are Bridgestone Potenza S007 tires (yes, really, a Bond reference) that use an exclusive rubber compound, and keeping them pressed to the ground are three-mode electronically adjustable Bilstein shocks. Altogether, they allow the DB11 to pull 0.98 average lateral g on a skidpad and post a 23.9-second figure-eight lap at 0.84 average g.
“Absolutely exquisite twin-turbo V-12, which revs as sinfully smooth as a rotary. It just begs to be wrung out, and it delivers such a decadent, satisfying feeling. DB11 delivers a double dark chocolate cheat day driving experience. But it’s not perfect. It doesn’t handle 198’s big/fast bumps with the aplomb of others here. The chassis bucks back after a big hit, and if you’re in a position other than straight ahead, this secondary motion often heaves from across the chassis (as in, front right to left rear).” – Ed Loh
“This is a car designed for five-tenths driving. At a fast clip, it’s fun, fluid, and rewarding. Really drive it hard on a good road, though, and it falls apart. The ride, although soft, porpoises over itself, skipping over bumps. The transmission, even in its most aggressive setting, upshifted early and downshifted late. Steering is light and linear, but it’s missing the delicacy of the V12 Vantage from last year. This car needs more brakes. It’s certainly fast, but doing something like we are doing over-taxes them because of the weight of the car.” – Christian Seabaugh
Read about other 2017 Best Driver’s Car contenders:
“It’s an achingly gorgeous shape wrapped around a superb engine, but the rest of the performance cannot match the promise of these two shining gems. I expected greatness, and instead I got glimpses of greatness. This is a car I really wanted to love, and I was so let down by it. It’s all over the place. The Aston hates sudden directional changes, especially when they’re in a combination. It takes forever for the chassis to recover after a sudden bump, and it becomes even more flustered if you change directions before it settles. I’m glad the stability control thresholds are low. It’s a car that second-guesses itself.” – Derek Powell
“I’m heartbroken that such a fine, high-quality automobile is coming in dead last. But, this is Best Driver’s Car, and the magnificent DB11 simply wasn’t.” – Jonny Lieberman
“I was pleasantly surprised. It was not what I expected. It was good. It was reasonably well balanced, and I could power oversteer it, but it was generating some acceleration g before that happened. Some cars power oversteer easily but don’t generate acceleration G. They just spin it but not gripping. So that was really good.
“The braking power was good. The first lap, it stopped well. I could brake light, and that pleased me. The reason I’m pleased is the car was really different from my expectations. I didn’t think it would be as sporty as it was. It was well damped, and it felt good entering the corner. Very balanced. A little bit of push in the middle of the corner. A little bit of understeer would show up in the middle of the corner, but then on the exits I could just roll the throttle, and I felt it was predictable.
“I enjoyed the engine a lot. It was really powerful as a 12 cylinder note. The shifters were good, and I was just in the GT mode and had no complaints. The long pedal was the only complaint on track—the brakes started to get hot, and never faded, but the pedal travel got long.”
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September 18, 2017 at 04:05AM