The Aston Martin DB11 AMR Is What The DB11 Always Should Have Been

It was less than two years ago when CEO Andy Palmer signed Aston Martin’s first production AE31 engine at their dedicated plant in Cologne. Aston’s 5.2 V12, which was developed in-house, features a pair of twin-scroll Mitsubishi turbochargers to propel Gaydon’s first new-generation model above 200 mph. But despite being rated to “820 bhp,” the DB11 V12 had to make due with 600 horsepower. Until now, that is.

Yet the DB11 V12 replacing DB11 AMR wasn’t designed around an engine calibration upgrade that puts thirty extra horses under your right foot. Aston made the AMR because when the DB11 was launched on a completely new platform in 2016, ex-Lotus chassis guru Matt Becker wasn’t involved in its development. He got there in time for the DB11 V8 and the Vantage, and since the smaller-engined flagship ended up being the better handling one, the V12 had some catching up to do. Palmer and Becker agreed on that.

The sum of all that is a brand new car. The DB11 AMR gets better the harder you push it, popping, banging, and pulling like a locomotive thanks to its twelve force-fed cylinders. The new front end is pointy, the back will step out gladly once you shut down the nannies, and the brakes play along, despite being steel rotors in the name of comfort.

Grand tourers are about the journey, and Aston Martin managed to create an exceptional car for the road ahead with the DB11 AMR. But the realization that just a few crucial changes could sharpen up this platform so noticeably only make us more impatient for the upcoming DBS Superleggera.

The Vanquish’s successor will debut in June, with everything dialed one level up, if not two.

Based on how the DB11 AMR drives, that’s going to be a riot. And what’s better than a V12 at full tilt?