The landscape of grand tourer cars has traditionally been defined by ultra-luxurious land yachts that are best suited to gentle bends and coastal stretches. Preferably along the French Riviera at dawn or by dusk, depending on the affluent and discerning connoisseur. But that tune is set to change with the launch of the Aston Martin DB12, a self-styled ‘Super Tourer’.
Making its formal debut in the Malaysian market on 28 July 2023, the latest iteration of the heritage British carmaker’s flagship nameplate seeks to redefine the parameters by which grand tourers of its kind are often weighed with. The unveiling, which was held at Aston’s showroom in the very heart of Kuala Lumpur, saw the local automotive press reveling in a new chapter of DB history.
Aston Martin Malaysia debuts the new DB12 ‘Super Tourer’
Speaking on account of the launch, Aston Martin Malaysia General Manager Mr Kumara Sooriar Sivanasan assures the audience that the DB12 is not an iterative update on a tried and tested formula. For one, Aston doesn’t do iterative updates, he notes. Instead, the Aston Martin DB12 is a completely new generation to take on the famed mantle. And coincidentally, the model will also mark Aston Martin’s 110th anniversary as well as the 75th anniversary of the DB lineage.
From a visual perspective, the DB12 is immediately recognisable as an Aston Martin, especially by way of the carmaker’s signature grille that harkens back to the DB Mark III that originated the design. While there are no shocking surprises in the DB12, it is clear that refinements have been made between predecessor and successor.
This is especially apparent with the considerably larger grill size, as well as hood scoops that add a more menacing sense of aggression to its no less sultry but otherwise understated lines. The suggestion here is apparent: this is a DB meant to set pulses racing behind the wheel.
A meaningful overhaul in performance
But naturally, the improvements extend beyond sheet metal as the DB12 is now powered by a 4.0-litre Twin-Turbo V8 sourced from the mavericks at Affalterbach’s AMG with a class-leading power output of 680PS at 6,000RPM and 800Nm in a wide torque band spanning between 2,750rpm and 6,000rpm. This marks a 34% increase in performance against the DB11.
Additional tweaks on the engine were also made to bolster power output in the new DB model, which includes modified cam profiles, optimised compression ratios, and larger diameter turbochargers. To cope with increased thermal demands, the engineering team set about redesigning the cooling system by adding two additional auxiliary coolers and an additional low-temperature radiator for the charge cooler water circuit.
This added oomph is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission with a torque converter and, for the first time on an Aston Martin DB model, an Electronic Rear Differential (E-Diff) which can go from fully open to 100 percent locked in a matter of milliseconds for maximum response and precise throttle control. Needless to say, this gain in driving performance translates into real-world numbers, with the car now able to sprint from 0-100km/h flat-out in just 3.6 seconds.
“We have pushed every aspect of this car to be best-in-class. The result is more power and performance than its rivals. Combined with exceptional handling and an exciting soundtrack, it is a car with passion and a truly sporting character.
Crucially, thanks to its breadth of capability we have achieved this without compromising refinement, comfort and luxury. Together with our use of industry-leading dynamic control and infotainment systems, DB12 is the start of Aston Martin’s most exciting new era” said Roberto Fedeli, Group Chief Technology Officer of Aston Martin.
Improved handling dynamics on the Aston Martin DB12
Where handling is concerned, a new generation of intelligent adaptive dampers has been fitted to the wheels, in addition to refinements made to the Electronic Power Assisted Steering system (EPAS). In its latest guise, the EPAS on the DB12 has a constant 13.09:1 ratio rack with variable, speed-sensitive assistance and 2.4 turns lock-to-lock.
As standard, beefy cast-iron 400mm front disc brakes and 360mm rear disc brakes with grooved and drilled faces for improved thermal capacity provide ample stopping power. But for those looking for added performance, they can be upgraded to optional Carbon Ceramic Brakes (CCB). Speaking of the wheels, the DB12 now comes with three 21-inch forged alloy rim designs for your choosing, wrapped with Michelin Pilot Sport 5S rubbers tailor-made for the car.
As for tech, the DB12 will be the first new car from the brand to utilise its updated infotainment operating system developed in-house from the ground up. Given the connected nature of today’s world, expect it to come complete with wireless Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ connectivity via its 10.25-inch high-resolution touchscreen as standard. Audio is supplied by an 11-speaker setup but can be upgraded to an optional 15-speaker array from Bower and Wilkins.
Athletic as it may be, the Aston Martin DB12 continues to remain an elusive luxury and comes with a price tag to match. Priced at MYR 1,088,000 before duties and taxes, this figure can naturally inch much higher with any optional extras you may decide to spec your car with. Additionally, buyers may further add a 20-year factory warranty coverage for their DB12. The DB12 is now available for viewing and bookings at the Aston Martin Kuala Lumpur dealership.
Feature and hero image credit: Aston Martin Malaysia