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The Aston Martin new flagship DB11 AMR strikes a perfect balance between a grand tourer and a sports car.

07 Aug 2018

First launched at the Geneva Motor Show in 2017, the DB11 AMR that you see here replaces the outgoing V12 model, making it the flagship model of the DB11 family. Thus, this new DB11 AMR sits above the DB11 V8 Coupe as well as the Volante.

But that's not to say that the previous car was a bad one to begin with. Instead, the AMR - which stands for Aston Martin Racing - was created to separate it from its predecessor rather than making it just an enhanced model with the AMR moniker, extra power and refined chassis.

5.2-litre V12 engine is a sweet gem that produces 630bhp and 700Nm of torque

So what's this DB11 AMR all about then?

Unsurprisingly, then, the AMR uses the well-acquainted 5.2-litre twin-turbocharged V12 powerplant. It sends out 630bhp - 30bhp more than the outgoing model - and a puke-inducing 700Nm of torque to the rear wheels, which then allows the car to go all the way to its 334km/h top speed.

While that isn't possible even on the track where we drove the car, drivers will realistically be able to enjoy its 3.7-second century sprint capability.

On the move, the DB11 AMR is very fast indeed

But it's not so much about speed here, even if the AMR is blistering fast. It's the way the car handles itself on the road and on the track that reminds you just how well-rounded it really is.

On public roads of Queenstown, New Zealand, the car remains to be more cossetting than choppy, even at its stiffest setting. You feel the roads a lot more than the outgoing car, but it's never to the point of being uncomfortable.

Man-handling on the track

On the track, however, the DB11 AMR manages to display its true driving capabilities. At Highlands Motorsport Park, the motor racing circuit where we pushed the car to its limits, it exudes a deep connection with the driver.

It looks good regardless of which angle you view it from

It drives very keenly, and has ample muscle to power itself out of corners. It doesn't have any problems sticking to the line, but you do get the awareness that it lacks the sharpness of the Vantage, which is lighter and more agile. That said, the AMR manages to conceal its size very well, thanks to the perfect marriage between its accurate eight-speed autobox and its V12 powerplant that never makes the car feel like it is out of breath.

But we will have to understand that the DB11 AMR is still a grand tourer - and a sporty one at it - that allows you to travel from one state to another and still have the option to waft to a race track for a few hot laps before heading back home in comfort.

In that sense, the AMR doesn't pretend to be something it's not. Yes, it doesn't disappoint as a pumped up version of its predecessor but it doesn't come across as a true blue sports car like the Vantage either. And you can certainly feel the differences when you're on the road and on the track.

Lime green brake calipers are a perfect match to the AMR's grey sheet metal

That's where the cool cabin comes into play

That the AMR remains to be a grand tourer shouldn't come across as a bad thing. In fact we reckon there is a sense of achievement here because not only has Aston Martin given it a generous dose of sportiness, the carmaker managed to retain its basic grand tourer characteristics that the DB family has always been known for.

And you can see that in the AMR's leather-swathed cabin. Materials used here are top notch and everything looks and feels well-finished to the touch. Adding to that sweet touch is the sporty steering that gets a mix of leather and Alcantara to further enhance that much needed grip you need when you man-handle the car from one apex to the next.

Cabin is a luxurious and comfortable place to be in

Here's looking at you, AMR

From bumper to bumper, there's no way you can mistake this for another car. It's an Aston Martin through and through. From its grey sheet metal and gloss black roof to the lime green brake calipers and the splitters on the its aggressive-looking bonnet, the DB11 AMR is certainly striking no matter which angle you see it from.

Is it the one to have?

You could argue that the DB11 V8 will suffice and you wouldn't be wrong to think that way. Hell, you could even make a point that most drivers wouldn't even be able to notice the extra 30bhp in the AMR.

It's not just any DB11 - it's a DB11 V12 AMR

But that would be missing the point now, wouldn't it? With this uprated grand tourer that comes with a phenomenal depth of talent, it's not just an enhanced model of the outgoing car. It's an AMR.

And for Aston fans, it doesn't get any better than that.

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