The picturesque Eifel area in western Germany is well worth a visit. Not only because there are lots of lovely views and interesting old villages, but also because it is home to one of the world’s most famous race tracks, namely the Nürburgring, and especially its old Nordschleife section. And, as I picked up an elegant, dark blue Aston Martin DB11 V8 at the AMR performance centre right next to the ‘Ring, I thought to myself that it would have been nice to take it for a few laps. Didn’t happen, though.
Anyway, the DB11 looked just at home in the suitably modest sunshine that the clouds saw fit to let through. Immediately comfortable and familiar, much thanks to the recent drive in the new Vantage V8. The exhaust note was notably different, though, and the DB11 reminded me more of American muscle than German engineering. Yes, the DB11 is home to the same Mercedes-AMG V8 as found in the Vantage. Is it a bad thing that something as British as Aston Martin is powered by ze Germans? No, not at all, not as long as said engine goes and sounds like this one.
Changing to Sport mode, the hot gases escaping the engine makes an even better sound as they depart, and the throttle response sharpens just enough to make the driver feel ready for a whole new set of adventures. Blasting through a tunnel with high revs and a shouting engine never gets old. However, that’s quite out of character for the DB11. It’s first and foremost a GT – a car you would drive for hours on end and still feel refreshed upon arrival. My German colleague, who joined me for the drive, agreed that this was not the tool for a lap of the Nordschleife. I wouldn’t mind finding out first-hand, though.
Life inside the DB11 is a comfortable and relaxed one, with largely easy-to-use buttons and systems. The navigation of the GPS left a bit to be desired, though, appearing too simple for its host. The Bang & Olufsen stereo system was a blast, on the other hand. On smaller roads around Eifel, the DB11 felt right at home, swooshing along with ease. The steering wheel did just what it should, and the driving experience was a memorable one.
There are in fact four seats in the DB11, but you need to be rather short to find the back seats pleasant to ride along in. However, a family of four with two youngsters could plan a fun weekend with the DB11, seeing as the luggage compartment can hold 270 litres of water balloons or other luggage of your choice.
The DB11 is a great GT, a friendly companion in the long run, a trusted steed that will bring you home and away time and again. It looks elegantly British and sounds like something the British would find amusing, yet foreign. It may not be so surprising that the DB11 clearly developed a liking for the German Autobahn, seeing as the engine must have felt that sweet, fresh Eifel air filling its chambers. Schnitzel and tea? Yes, bitte.