2024 Aston Martin DB12: Lots of Change; Little Change

The 2024 Aston Martin DB12 seen from a front quarter angleAston Martin’s top-of-the-line grand tourer is brand new for 2024. But Aston Martin’s top-of-the-line grand tourer is unchanged for 2024.

The Maserati Gran Turismo has gone (optionally) electric. The Jaguar F-Type is on its way out after 2024, with a probably-electric replacement still pending. Bentley is toying with an electric Continental GT replacement. The pricey grand touring segment is modernizing.

But the all-new Aston Martin DB12 is sticking with what has worked for Mr. Bond’s brand for decades. Park the DB12 next to the DB11 it replaces, and everyone would instantly know which one was new. But its blueprint is decidedly old-school. Practiced. Refined.

“Super Tourer” with A 671-Horsepower V8

As if to prove there’s really something new, Aston insists the DB11 was a grand tourer, but the DB12 is “the world’s first super tourer,” which “delivers a quantum shift.”

A super tourer, apparently, follows the model of a grand tourer. The DB12 uses a big, front-mid-mounted engine powering the rear wheels. For the 12, Aston Martin has dropped the V12 that powered the previous model.

In its place is a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 sourced from the Mercedes-Benz AMG high-performance shop. With bigger turbos and a redesigned cooling system, it now makes an impressive 671 horsepower. That power goes through an 8-speed automatic gearbox. Aston Martin says it gets from 0-60 mph in just 3.5 seconds and tops out at 202 mph.

Twenty-one-inch wheels are sprung by a new suspension system with active dampers and stiffer anti-roll bars.

The 2024 Aston Martin DB12 seen from a low angle

The Classic Aston Martin Look, Slightly Cartoonified

All that power sits in a body that looks like what you’d get if an animator drew a future Aston Martin DB car. It touts a larger, more sharply canted grille, smaller wing mirrors, and a wider track.

The hood is more organically sculpted, and the headlights are larger and more dramatically swept back.

There’s no denying it – the super tourer is a gorgeous car. But appearance has always been the DB line’s strongest suit.

The cabin of the 2024 Aston Martin DB12

Inside, designers have made big changes. Aston Martin designed its own infotainment system for the first time, ditching the Mercedes system they’ve used in the recent past. A 10.25-inch high-resolution touchscreen is mounted at a much gentler angle than most, above rows of tactile buttons so that using the touchscreen seems almost entirely pointless. Designers, Aston says, focused on “the need for balance between touchscreen commands and the positive tactility of physical switches.” Roller dials for HVAC are a twist we haven’t seen often.

Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard.

The center console is high, lending a cockpit feel to the driver’s seat. The driver gets a  display screen in place of the usual gauge cluster. But Aston Martin’s press materials don’t even bother bragging about its size – this is old-school luxury with modern technology integrated but not emphasized.

The seats of the 2024 Aston Martin DB12

The seats look spectacular – thin carbon fiber buckets padded with hand-stitched Bridge of Weir leather everywhere you need support.

A Gamble on Tradition

All told, it’s simply a beautiful interpretation of the classic Aston Martin design themes. If you lusted after a DB7, a DB9, and a DB11, you’ll feel the same magnetic pull toward the DB12.

But it’s also strangely old-school – we were tempted to say out of date – before it gets here. With all the competition leaning into electricity, Aston Martin built the kind of GT car high-end automakers stressed a decade ago.

The 2024 Aston Martin DB12 seen from a rear angle

That will doubtless prove to be just what some buyers wanted. And Aston Martin thrives on low-volume models, so it can afford to evolve slowly.

Amedeo Felisa, Chief Executive Officer of Aston Martin, introduced the new car by saying, “When a brand has as much history as Aston Martin it is important to honour the past.”

That’s undeniable. But he also said this car is “reinvigorating the DB model line.” That’s in much more question.

The DB12 is a refinement of everything Aston Martin is good at. But how long can they refine the same ideas when the competition has new ones? We can’t help but wonder if, in two or three years, the DB12 doesn’t seem too traditional next to its competition, “super tourer” claim or no.

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