Why the Aston Martin DB11 is a Surprising Machine

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Top Gear‘s Chris Harris drives the new Aston Martin GT car and discovers some things that he wasn’t expecting.

By now, you’d think not much would surprise Top Gear‘s Chris Harris when it comes to cars. He’s driven some of the most exotic metal out there – machines with eye-popping price tags and face-flattening levels of power – on breath-taking roads and world-class race courses. So even something as gorgeous and powerful as the Aston Martin DB11 must be old hat to him, right?

Not necessarily. In the video above, it has a few surprises in store for Harris.

Aston Martin DB11
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After only a few seconds of driving the big coupe, Harris is confident calling the DB11 a grand tourer, not a sports car. The DB11’s size and comfortable ride quality are enough of a rationale for him. The same goes for the levels of wind and tire noise that make their ways into the DB11’s cabin. On the road, the 8-speed ZF gearbox does a great job all by itself – no paddle shifting required to make it hit the sweet spots.

It’s on the rain-soaked Anglesey Circuit where the new DB shocks Harris. The 600-horsepower 5.2-liter V12 has twin turbos, but at times Harris forgets it’s a forced-induction engine because of its wonderful growl and linear power delivery. He’s also stunned by the DB11’s balance, finding it a lot more predictable and forgiving at its limits than other “spiky” Astons. The DB11’s rear bias allows Harris to steer the car into turns more sharply with the brakes, not the throttle.

Perhaps Harris sums up his surprise the best by saying, “All around, I didn’t expect it to be this much fun.” He goes onto to say, “This is miles better than I expected.”

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