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Engine options, top speed, acceleration and refinement

Dwelling too long on the many ways in which the Aston Martin DB11 is quicker even than the Aston Martin DBS we figured in 2009 would be an injustice here; a good GT car is one configured to impress more with the luscious style and scope of its performance than its strength.

But it nonetheless matters just how quickly your new Aston can make a blur of British countryside flit past the side window.

The DB11 engine’s weight begins to manifest in a tendency to understeer from the apex on if you’re impatient with the throttle

And despite its increased kerb weight, that’s now very quickly indeed. The DB11 dashed off the sprint from 0-60mph in 4.0sec, 0-100mph in 8.4sec and over a quarter mile in 12.2sec – 0.2, 0.3 and 0.6sec quicker than the DBS respectively.

The DB9 from 2004 (a 1760kg car as tested, at a 150bhp disadvantage to the DB11) took 5.4sec to hit 60mph and 11.3sec to 100mph. That’s huge progress, whichever predecessor you use to gauge it by.

You may well care more about whether this new turbocharged engine sounds like a 12-cylinder Aston of old, of course, and also whether it responds to the accelerator in the same way. On both scores, there’s little to fear.

The engine starts with an ostentatious warble, and while it doesn’t gargle through the lower half of the rev range with quite the same dulcet richness as the old 5.9-litre unit even when S+ mode is selected, it gets beautifully vocal as the revs rise. Worry not: Aston V12s have for a long time sounded better than most, and this one still does.

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Moreover, the DB11 also has the same broad and stout but ultimately laid-back, pleasingly unstressed kind of delivery you want from an Aston GT. Even when it’s at full stride, it doesn’t feel like it’s working too hard.

There’s no turbo lag to speak of except at very low revs, when the engine’s oomph can take a second or so to turn up, but neither is there a sudden and unprompted surge of torque as the revs pass through the meat of the range with the accelerator pinned to the carpet.

There’s just enough boost, in fact, to disguise the car’s mass very cleverly and make it feel fast at medium revs without announcing what’s going on in the car’s induction system at any point.

Aston’s choice of ZF gearbox can often seem unnecessarily keen to downshift as you delve into the accelerator pedal, but it’s more decisive as long as you pick a pedal position and stick with it. Its changes could be quicker in manual mode, but they’re always smooth.