This is Aston Martin's all new DB11 — the car designed to replace the beautiful, if now venerable DB9. If you've spent any time looking at a DB9, you'll know what big shoes the DB11 has to fill in terms of looks.
More of that in a minute, because first it's worth taking in a few specs. While Aston's Italian opposition (namely Ferrari) has experienced a spiralling of prices recently, it's worth noting that the new DB11 kicks off at just £154K. Bit of a bargain, considering it's packing a 600bhp V12.
The hawk-eyed however, will note that in the world of hypercars, 600bhp isn't actually that huge an amount of power these days, which is perhaps why the 0-60 time of 3.9 seconds sounds ever so slightly disappointing. We're talking about contextual shades of grey here however – the DB11 is, in every normal sense, stupidly fast enough to leave you both shaken and stirred.
We think it'll be more than fast enough for most. It's just that a Porsche 911 Carrera S will do the run in the same time. Nonetheless, Aston's V12 is all-new and features twin-turbo chargers.
Aston Martin DB11 preview: Bond appeal
Plus, just look at it. The design of the car was previewed by the DB10 that starred in James Bond's Spectre movie last year. We think it's an interesting looking thing: you'd not call it ugly, but it lacks the jaw-dropping qualities that the DB9 has when it first appeared, and compared to the DB10 the rigours or production reality for a road car has adorned it with a few too many fussy bits.
Aston has stuck with its known technology of aluminium for the structure though, so this isn't a carbon-heavy car until you get to the trimmings. The DB11 is longer, wider and lower than the DB9 it replaces, the key news being this design means the new car is also lighter, and stiffer (just how we like our Martinis) — which should make it both more agile and responsive to drive, but also lower emissions too.
The core form and proportions are there, but we're not 100 per cent sold on the aero-blade / roof strake in the contrast colour that creates a break in the C-pillar, or the grille that runs off the front wheel arch into the door.
Looking at the cars on the Geneva Motor Show floor, and on the configurator online, we think the DB11 could be a bit colour-sensitive, particularly depending on how you specify that roof strake. And there are a lot of colour options; Aston will even do you bespoke ones if you're prepared to pay enough.
The aero details are interesting too (note: the little pop-out lip on the boot spoiler and the protrusions in the bonnet vent), while the doors still swing open in a graceful, upward arc.
Aston Martin DB11 preview: Mercedes tech inside
Inside, the DB11 features four seats, although adults won't want to travel in the back. Well, you might, just to say you've been in a DB11. There's some unusual, stunningly finished leather too, and some — very Lamborghini-like — chopped-forged carbon finishes for the door and instrument panel.
In tech terms, this is the first Aston to benefit from the firm's tie-up with Mercedes-Benz, so the DB11 gets the Merc COMAND user interface with touch-pad over a click wheel, and what we presume to be Merc's Nav and UI (we couldn't tell because the screens weren't active).
The instrument cluster is more digital than before, but our biggest disappointment inside is that Aston's beautiful individual buttons and knobs — which were made of bits of glass and aluminium — all seem to have made way for some quite generic and cheap-looking plastic controls. Console yourself with the smell and feel of the leather and the rather nice looking digital driver display instead. Then don a suit and pretend to be Mr Bond. There we go, all's well.
The chassis development has been overseen by an ex-Lotus guru, which bodes well for when you're channelling your inner Bond too, trying to outrun some baddie in your DB11. Or perhaps just commuting to work down a nice winding rode. The DB11 goes on sale later in 2016.