Aston Martin is a brand that brings extravagant design, sportiness and exclusivity together like no other. Positioned somewhere between Bentley and McLaren, it has been an image and style leader for decades. Now the DB11 range, launched in 2016 as a gran turismo, gets a new top model: the even more performance-oriented DB11 AMR.

With this model, Aston Martin elevates the newly developed 5.2-liter V12 twin-turbo to the next stage. Compared to the DB11 V12, power increases from 447 kW/608 hp to 470 kW/639 hp. Maximum torque remains constant at 700 Nm, available from a low 1500 rpm. With this more powerful twelve-cylinder, the DB11 AMR is set apart more clearly from the DB11’s entry-level engine, a 510-horsepower 4.0-liter V8 supplied by Mercedes-AMG.

Despite turbocharging, the DB11 AMR is characterized by its fascinating sound; a twelve-cylinder just sounds much more silky and elegant than the dark rumble of a V-8. Its performance is considerably higher: The sprint from 0 to 100 kph takes just 3.7 seconds, top speed is a lofty 334 kph. There is no manual transmission for the DB11; the engine is coupled to the outstanding ZF-8HP automatic transmission, positioned at the rear axle here in the form of a transaxle design. The reward of this layout is an almost perfect weight distribution of 51:49.

From the outside, the DB11 AMR is another evolution of the styling theme originally launched by Ian Callum; the roof seems to float, depending on the paint scheme. The interior is generously lined with leather, but the company has clearly abandoned the cold, aloof style of the original DB9. The gear selector keys are still made of glass, but the operating concept now takes numerous elements from Mercedes-Benz.

That’s because Stuttgart has bought a share in Aston Martin, and there is considerable overlap not only in the eight-cylinder engines of the entry-level models, but also in the electrical and electronics architecture. By the way: There are two rear seats of a rather symbolic character. But they are ideal for stowing extra luggage.

It’s impressive how easily this gran turismo can move in city traffic, once you got used to its width. On the highway, the DB11 AMR shines with precise steering, a stiff body and benign driving characteristics. Its domain, however, is the autobahn. The rear wing rises, the V-12 emits a howl, and you are off into the horizon.

We all know how much pride Aston Martin takes in the special role they have played in numerous James Bond movies, and yet again, they couldn’t resist: The DB11 AMR rides on Bridgestone tires with the designation “S007”. In the case of this car, the price of exclusivity is at least 218 595 euros on the German market; with the V8 engine, the DB11 comes inat around 35,000 euros less. Of course, while it is lavishly equipped, it is no problem to put down a few extra tens of thousands on individualisation and bespoke materials.

You might as well go for it, in one of the most aristocratic cars on the market today.

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