For 2018, the hand-built Aston Martin DB11 expands its portfolio with a new V8 engine and the return of the convertible Volante model. Visually stunning from every angle, the DB11 supercar is a formidable argument to the Ferrari California T, Porsche Panamera Turbo and Bentley Continental GT.
You'll Like The 2018 Aston Martin DB11 If...
If you love getting admiring glances from complete strangers, the 2018 Aston Martin DB11 will gain you numerous new friends. Those seeking both beauty and brawn will find much to like about this sleek 4-seat coupe. A limited number of vehicles and dealers provide an added level of exclusivity.
You May Not Like The 2018 Aston Martin DB11 If...
The DB11’s less-than-linear power delivery and overly eager steering are a far cry from the refined performance of a Porsche or Ferrari. Charming quirks such as a slightly offset steering column, incoherent capacitive touch controls and the omission of an exterior trunk release may not be to everyone’s liking.
For 2018, a new twin-turbocharged V8 good for 503 horsepower joins the DB11 family, while the Volante convertible (exclusively outfitted with the new V8) returns to the fold. Visually, the V8 cars differ from their V12 stablemates with unique wheels, darkened headlight bezels and twin hood vents, as opposed to the quartet found on the V12.
With flowing lines and elegant materials, the DB11’s cabin is a highly customizable, inviting space that aligns with its lofty price and persona. To be clear, though four seats exist, the cabin is made for two. The micro-sized rear seats are utterly inhospitable cocoons but whatever luggage can’t fit in the small 9.5-cubic-foot trunk should feel right at home. Comfortable, supportive seating is available, just be sure to sit up front. Less impressive are center A/C vents that aim no lower than head height and capacitive audio and climate controls that visually blend, creating a hunt-and-peck experience.
From its tasteful Aston grille, past the curlicue front-fender treatment, along flowing roof strakes leading rearward to blacked-out C-pillars, the DB11 is crafted for maximum aerodynamic and emotional effect. That seductive shape is formed atop an advanced bonded-aluminum platform featuring “Hot Form Quenched aluminum.” Advanced technology though it may be, the listed dry weight is still a hefty 3,900 pounds. To be clear, though, the Aston’s heft does not spoil its ability to have fun.
Let loose the DB11’s turbocharged 12-cylinder engine and you’ll reach 60 mph in just under four seconds. Keep your foot planted, and the Aston Martin coupe will accelerate up to a ridiculous 200 mph. Although the latter achievement can only be done legally on an enclosed track, it’s nice to know your $200,000-plus investment has such potential at any given time. With the V8, a lighter weight yields nearly identical performance figures, making the less expensive 2018 Aston Martin DB11 the better value. As a touring car, the DB11 has a leg up on some of its more raucous competitors, with a quiet cabin and 3-mode adaptive dampers that smooth out road imperfections with surprising efficiency. While we enjoyed the DB11’s stability, its quick-ratio electric-assisted power steering was a bit too quick to respond, leaving us somewhat guarded when making minute corrections at high speed.
With a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $198,995 including a $2,825 destination charge but no gas-guzzler tax, the 2018 Aston Martin DB11 is not cheap. The V12 model bumps the price to just under $216,500, while the Volante convertible comes in around the same $216,500 range. Customize without restraint, though, and you can easily add an extra $100,000 to the asking price. Similarly lofty cruisers include the slightly cheaper Ferrari California T, which also boasts a retractable hardtop, or the slightly more expensive Bentley Continental GT, a rapid, opulent coupe that is, nonetheless, nearing the end of its life cycle. For a value-priced alternative, consider the 2018 Lexus LC 500, which drives wonderfully, turns heads, comes backed by legendary Lexus reliability, and costs a comparatively paltry $93,000. Given Aston Martin’s limited sales volume, resale values for the DB11 are not currently listed. You can, however, check KBB’s Fair Purchase Price to see what the DB11 is going for in your area.
Beyond a meticulously appointed cabin the 2018 Aston Martin DB11’s standard-equipment roster includes front and rear parking sensors, a 360-degree camera system, dual-zone climate control, an 8-inch infotainment system, and 20-inch wheels shod in grippy 255/40 tires up front and 295/35s in back. The Volante convertible gets wood or carbon covers on the seatbacks, and a cloth-top choice of red, black or silver, plus a heated steering wheel and rear-seat ISOFIX attachment points.
For a more sophisticated Aston Martin experience the option sheet includes ventilated seats, a powered armrest of questionable value, a vast range of interior and exterior customization options, a 1,000-watt Bang & Olufsen audio system, and a gesture-controlled touch pad (cribbed from the Mercedes-Benz parts bin) that’s used to control the infotainment system. Interestingly, you cannot equip your DB11 with modern safety aids like dynamic cruise control, forward-collision alert or lane-keep assist. For reference, each of those features can be found on entry-level cars like the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic.
BANG & OLUFSEN AUDIO SYSTEM
The 2018 Aston Martin DB11’s Bang & Olufsen audio system is worth every penny of its $8,330 asking price. Booming bass, crystal-clear highs and speaker grilles worthy of a showing at the Guggenheim fit the DB11’s image as a one-of-a-kind car.
The DB11’s steering wheel houses two very important buttons. Press the first and you’ll cycle through three powertrain settings, the most aggressive being the GT mode. The second button activates similar modes for the adaptive dampers, transforming this elegant touring car into a <i>force majeure.</i>
Under the Hood
With 12 cylinders and a sizable 5.2-liter displacement you might think turbo lag would be a non-issue. Not so. Press the throttle and after a momentary delay power kicks in…hard. Finesse might not be the V12’s strong suit, but the new twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 does a better job of it. Both engines are paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Though it’s a traditional automatic the refined 8-speed shifts so quickly you might mistake it for a modern dual-clutch transmission. Manual control is achieved through easy-to-use steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters; left for downshifts, right for upshifts. Hold the right paddle and you’re back to automatic mode. Simple. From the transmission power is routed through a limited-slip differential, helping best apportion traction to each of the rear tires.
4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8
503 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
513 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/24 mpg
5.2-liter turbocharged V12
600 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
516 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/19 mpg
For 2018, the hand-built Aston Martin DB11 expands its portfolio with a new V8 engine and the return of the convertible Volante model. Visually stunning from every angle, the DB11 supercar is a formidable argument to the Ferrari California T, Porsche Panamera Turbo and Bentley Continental GT. Yet, unlike its rivals, the DB11 carries a more alluring image partly due to its not-so-subtle association with the James Bond franchise. Of course, the available turbocharged 12-cylinder engine, sleek design and wealth of Aston Martin luxuries and quirks also draw the well-off to this car. An adaptive 3-mode suspension allows the DB11 to behave like a luxury car when casually cruising and a performance terror when the road begins to bend.