You'd think after seeing the latest Bugatti, Lamborghini, and Koenigsegg have to offer I would be feeling jaded by this point, but Aston Martin's DB11 has me thrilled and excited all over again. Unlike the extraterrestrial supercars unveiled earlier in the morning, the DB11 is within reach for mortal Earthlings. It has four seats (albeit with negligible leg room at the back), a trunk that can fit two golf bags, and a comfortable interior decorated with a Bang and Olufsen audio system. Oh, and it looks absolutely stunning.
"The Aston Martin press conference will begin in 11 minutes," said the playful public announcer while I was snapping pictures of the DB5 casually hanging out at the front of the British company's stage. Having introduced the DB10 last year exclusively as a film prop for the latest James Bond misadventure, Spectre, Aston Martin has returned to Geneva with even more cinematic swagger. But now that it's getting back to the serious business of building a flagship car that combines sport and luxury into one unique package, Aston Martin has decided to crank all the specs up. The DB11 features the first turbocharged engine in the DB line, with a 5.2-liter V12 design that was developed in-house, and achieves 600hp that pushes it from 0 to 62mph in 3.9 seconds.
The obsessive pursuit of performance is an admirable trait here at the Geneva Motor Show, and Aston Martin joins other sports-car manufacturers in extolling the virtues of a "form follows function" design philosophy. The DB11 is riddled with air inlets, some of which channel air through the inside of the chassis and out of the rear of the car, creating what the company calls the Aston Martin airblade, or an invisible spoiler. Built around a bonded aluminum structure, the DB11 is light and agile, earning the label of being Aston Martin's "most efficient and dynamically gifted" DB model ever. I'm happy just looking at it.
The Aston Martin CEO will personally inspect every DB11 before it's sent out
Aston Martin has priced the DB11 at just under $212,000 and has already collected more than 1,000 advance orders from customers who got an early preview of the car. Company CEO Andy Palmer promised during the DB11 presentation that he will personally inspect every single one of these cars before they are sent out for delivery. Aston Martin is one of the few fully independent luxury carmakers we have left, which means every single launch has to be a success for it to sustain its momentum, but it also allows for that sort of personal touch to distinguish it from the rest of the field.