Aston Martin tells us that it aspires to make the most beautiful cars in the world. Is this one of them? There are many who would say so. Prior to the DB11, modern era Astons, though sleek and elegant, had all tended to look rather similar. Here too, you get the usual long bonnet, sweeping roof line and short rear overhangs, but this time round, stylist Marek Reichman and his team wanted to build on these established design cues to create a car with a bit more of its own identity. Yet one still respectful of a historic DB line design legacy that's given us icons like the DB2, the DB4, the DB5 and, more recently, the DB10 developed specifically for the James Bond film 'Spectre', a model that provided the aesthetic inspiration for this car.
We tested the coupe body style. The alternative Volante convertible features a special eight-layer fabric hood. It takes just 14 seconds to lower and 16 seconds to close and can be operated at speeds of up to 31mph. Whichever version you prefer, distinctive touches are plentiful, starting with this sharply-sculpted clamshell bonnet that features twin cooling vents.
Equal effort has been expended in the interior, which is trimmed in gorgeous leather and features classy trimming that is exactly what it looks like. It is a bit disappointing that the single column stalk off the steering wheel is very obviously borrowed from a Mercedes, as is the centre-dash infotainment screen. Through the wheel, you view a fully digital instrument panel and there's a proper start button with keyless go, rather than the previous Aston system that required you to clunkily put an 'emotional control unit' key into the dash. There are a pair of small child-sized rear seats. And a 270-litre boot.