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2021 Aston Martin DB11

Overview

The 2021 Aston Martin DB11 provides a special type of theater, with breathtaking visuals and entertaining performance. The astonishing Aston Martin comes as a graceful coupe or a gorgeous convertible that the Brits call Volante. Both body styles are powered by a 503-hp twin-turbo V-8, while a 630-hp twin-turbo V-12 is reserved for the fixed-roof AMR model. Despite different cylinder counts and power ratings, each engine belts out a distinctly terrific tune and provides thrilling acceleration. Regardless of what hardware lies under the Aston’s long and low hood, the 2+2 two-door is a pure grand tourer that’s comfortable cruising through mountainside tunnels or blitzing apexes when the road becomes jagged. Its confident ride and responsive controls play an important role, but it’s the balance of beauty and brawn that makes the 2021 DB11 so gratifying.

What’s New for 2021?

For 2021, the DB11 adds a special Shadow Edition that adds blacked-out exterior details for a more sinister appearance. The package can only be applied to the V-8 models, and Aston says it will only sell 300 copies worldwide.

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

The DB11 offers two very distinct engine choices: a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 or a twin-turbo 5.2-liter V-12. The former develops 503 horsepower and 513 lb-ft of torque while the latter produces 630 ponies and 516 lb-ft. Both pair with an eight-speed automatic transmission that transmits all that power to the rear wheels. We’ve only tested a detuned version of the V-12 DB11 that made 600 horsepower and showed serious quickness, but Aston has abandoned the V-12 on non-AMR models. However, we most recently drove the DB11 AMR in northern Germany. There its massive thrust and athletic moves combined with an exhaust note that was equally melodic and menacing. We’ve also driven but haven’t track-tested both V-8 versions. The DB11 coupe proved that fewer cylinders can be similarly quick and sound just as badass. Likewise, the droptop DB11 Volante we drove was a stunning way to experience the south of France. While it’s not available with the V-12, the Volante thankfully doesn’t sacrifice performance.

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

With a powerful V-8 and V-12 as the only engine choices on the 2021 DB11, fuel economy is clearly a low priority. Still, the V-8 has respectable EPA estimates of 18 mpg city and 24 highway. The 12-cylinder alternative is less thrifty, with ratings of 15 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway. For comparison, the W-12-powered Bentley Continental GT is even less efficient at 12 mpg city and 20 highway. We haven’t had a chance to test an Aston with either engine on our 75-mph fuel-economy route—part of our extensive testing regimen—so we can’t evaluate its real-world mpg.

Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

As expected, the inside of every DB11 is a plush environment that can be customized with fanciful leather colors and exotic materials. However, we’ve noticed some inconsistent panel fitment and surprisingly cheap-feeling switchgear. Still, these issues are minor compared with the otherwise extravagant and heart-pounding experience. Every model includes leather upholstery, heated and power-adjustable front seats, and passive entry. Those who want more upscale features can add a heated steering wheel and ventilated front seats. Unfortunately, there are not many places inside the DB11 to store small items outside of the center console bin that slides open to reveal cupholders and a useful tray.