With its limited-edition, green-and-yellow-striped livery, the DB11 AMR could be a mobile billboard for Aston Martin’s racing team. But the new 630bhp V12 is undoubtedly a mouth-watering prospect for anyone with £174,995 to spend on a superfast GT.
The DB11 AMR in effect retires the original DB11 V12, launched in 2016, as well as putting 127bhp of clear blue water between itself and the entry-level DB11, powered by a twin-turbo AMG V8. Elements of the V8’s chassis have been carried over to the new model. So on paper, the AMR should be the fastest, best-handling DB11 yet.
A 30bhp power hike for the 5.2-litre twin-turbo V12 isn’t as dramatic as it could have been, but 630bhp at 6,500rpm still shades the Bentley Continental GT W12’s 626bhp and the Mercedes-AMG S 65 Coupe’s 621bhp.
A claimed top speed of 208mph and a 0-62mph time of 3.7 seconds keep the Aston’s nose just ahead, too. ZF’s eight-speed auto transmission remains in situ but with faster-shifting, more aggressive Sport and Sport+ settings. They join a louder, fruitier, freer-breathing exhaust, with more crackles and pops on the overrun to give the DB11 a racier persona.
AMR giveaways on the outside include exposed carbon-fibre trim, gloss-black detailing, dark surrounds for the headlights and smoked skins for the tail-lamps. The monochrome theme continues with a dark front grille and tailpipes, gloss-black roof and roof strakes, while the exposed carbon-fibre weave of the side sills and splitter lends the exterior some subtle contrasts.
Inside, the introduction of dark chrome is matched by extra Alcantara, although it’s traditional leather that wraps around the chunky rim of the curiously four-cornered steering wheel.
The DB11 AMR’s extra power, lighter forged wheels and chassis tweaks are easy to appreciate from the off, even in the softest ‘GT’ powertrain and chassis modes. Switch up to Sport or Sport+ and you’ll be amazed what the big car can do.
Few senior GTs hustle like this one; it’s a seriously quick and extremely secure bit of kit that doesn’t require hero-level skills behind the wheel to go stunningly fast. And if you really want to wring the neck of every last horsepower and extract maximum value from Aston chief engineer Matt Becker’s chassis handiwork and Bridgestone’s fat rubber, Sport or Sport+ is the place to be.
But you’ll also be losing something. The meaty precision of the steering, the perfect body control and tireless braking can all be experienced in the default ‘GT’ mode, together with a smoother ride and silkier gearshifts.
In this mode – and later, when we take in a few miles of unrestricted autobahn – the DB11 AMR truly feels like a car of immense performance that’s completely comfortable in its own skin. It’s a car that’s able to travel at an eyewatering lick anywhere that can accommodate its rather portly width without looking or sounding as if it’s trying that hard.
This seems rather at odds with the core message of the AMR division, but, truly, it’s the car’s best trick.