The DB11 has been puzzling me for a while now. And here’s why: it rides too well. I know, I know, this sounds mad, but we’ve long been fed cars that compromise comfort for schportiness. The DB11 doesn’t do that – it’s a big GT cruiser and it rides like a big GT cruiser should.
It’s wonderfully plush, the rear axle has plentiful travel and the whole thing soaks up punishment like a sponge. It’s one of those cars that feels calm and effortless. As long as you don’t drive it too hard. It’s majestic around big, wide, smooth sweepers, but tight corners and roundabout exits?
Well, there the softness counts against it and what you get, even with the suspension in Sport+, is lateral heave at the rear, followed by a porpoising 3D roll through the chassis and then the abrupt intervention of the stability control. This behaviour is exacerbated by the V12, because a) it’s a big, heavy mass in the car and b) it’s got more torque than the chassis can happily deal with.
So, as you do, I called Matt Becker, Aston’s chief engineer for vehicle attributes. “The priorities [for the DB11] were comfort, compliance and then a level of fun factor. The DB11 is not a car that owners thrash around, and the brief from Andy [Palmer, Aston’s CEO] was that the dynamics should match the way it looks.”
The upshot of this is a realisation that a) almost all its rivals ride too hard, and b) although initially I was uncertain about the way it drove, I’m increasingly coming around to the DB11’s way of thinking.