Aston Martin Releases its First ‘Super Tourer’

Aston Martin has created a whole new car category to describe its latest performance product, the DB12 ‘Super Tourer’.

The automaker says the traditional Grand Tourer title does not do justice to its latest high-end sportscar boasting “exceptional refinement, state-of-the-art technology and indulgent luxury”. The DB12 claims hyper-car performance married to levels of refinement not yet seen from a vehicle as happy on the race-track as touring to far-off exotic locations.

At its heart is the 4.0-liter Twin-Turbo V8 gasoline engine. This hand-built engine, tuned to deliver class-leading 671bhp at 6,000rpm and 590ft-lbs of torque between 2,750-6,000rpm; an increase of 34% compared with the outgoing DB11. That’s enough to allow the car’s claim of a 0-60mph sprint time of 3.5 seconds and a 202mph top speed.

This higher performance have been achieved through modified cam profiles, modified compression ratios, larger diameter turbochargers and increased cooling. To manage increased thermal demands the cooling system has been completely redesigned, with an additional two auxiliary coolers added to the existing central main radiator. To ensure desired engine intake air temperatures are achieved in all conditions, an additional low temperature radiator has been fitted to the charge cooler water circuit.

In addition, the auxiliary outboard engine oil cooler now has over double the face area of its predecessor in order to manage the demands on the lubrication circuit. Cooling has been boosted further by improving thermal airflow, a 56% increase in open apertures allowing more cold air to flow into the radiators, while centrally mounted bonnet vents placed above the twin turbos allow hot air to escape.


Power is fed through an 8-speed automatic transmission and, for the first time on an Aston Martin DB model, electronic rear differential (E-Diff). This differential is linked to the car’s electronic stability control (ESC) system. Unlike a conventional limited slip differential, it can go from fully open to 100% locked in a matter of milliseconds, giving the driver maximum response for more precise and consistent handling.

To increase driver engagement, the DB12 features a shortened final drive ratio to 3.083:1, plus a unique transmission shift calibration. The former works to deliver punchier in-gear acceleration, while the latter reduces shift speeds and creates different shift characteristics to suit the DB12’s broad range of dynamic modes.

It also boasts new generation intelligent adaptive dampers and extensive engineering of key components such as stiffer anti-roll bars. With a 500% increase in bandwidth of force distribution, these dampers are a huge advance. Combined with the E-Diff and ESC system this means that in GT (or should that be ST?) mode a limousine ride quality is available for cruising, while Sport and Sport+ modes ramp-up the DB12’s responsiveness and tighten body control.

Ensuring it has the stopping power to match its prodigious pace, DB12 is fitted as standard with cast-iron 400mm front discs and 360mm rear discs with grooved and drilled faces for improved thermal capacity. The brake booster has also been re-tuned to improve pedal feedback, providing a firm pedal with an immediate sense of stopping power combined with progressive response.

Underlining its Super Tourer credentials, DB12 can be ordered with a carbon ceramic brake (CCB) option. With increased braking performance and reduced brake fade at temperatures of up to 800°C, these save 27kg (59.4lbs) in unsprung mass compared to the standard braking system, which in turn benefits ride quality and steering response.

Aston Martin is the first automaker application of the new Michelin Pilot Sport 5 S tyres – 275/35 R21 103Y front and 315/30 R21 108Y rear and the DB12’s tires are marked with ‘AML’ codes. This signifies they feature a bespoke compound and have been tuned by the Aston Martin dynamics team to ensure the highest levels of reactivity for precision steering, together with maximum grip in wet and dry conditions.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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