My Car Quest

May 28, 2024

Design Critique: Aston Martin DB12

by Wallace Wyss –

Way back when James Bond was still driving Astons he had I think, at various times, a DB4, DB7 etc. Now we are up in Aston Martin terminology to a DB12. They say it’s all new but it has strong resemblances to previous models.

That contingent of enthusiasts hoping for a V12 (especially when all ICE engines are going to start disappearing by 2030) were disappointed. But Aston is able to survive by saving millions by working out a deal with Mercedes for engines.

Aston Martin DB12

The Mercedes turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 produces 671 horsepower. The transmission is an eight-speed automatic with an electronic rear differential.

Here’s my reaction to the design;

FRONT Hood bumps remind me of Zagato DB4 of decades ago but add to masculine look. Grille too “teethy” taking up a tad too much of the front. And it looks like plastic though machined from metal. How about polishing the metal? Actually in a nod toward bespoke they are offering several finishes on the grille including body color. They have what they call pair of air curtains around the front wheels to reduce drag, and the new grill has larger apertures for engine and brake cooling.

Aston Martin DB12

They say Its aerodynamic requirements are better integrated than in previous models, from a front splitter that forms part of the car’s design flow. I have to complement the headlight–modern but yet faired in so nicely they remind me of the days of bubble headlamps.

SIDE Similar to existing model with the same vent coming off the wheel well on the side.

Aston Martin DB12

REAR Similar to existing models–totally horizontal. Upswept under panel rises higher than most which makes you think that would lead to rear end lift. Odd that it looks like there’s no rear spoiler but rest assured there is–they call it an aero blade and it’s deployed on demand.

Aston Martin DB12

INTERIOR They feel driving enthusiasts want more hands-on control, not everything done off a touchscreen.

Aston Martin DB12

IN SUM It’s a satisfying design, they didn’t take too many risks that would suddenly betray their DNA. There’s no phony vents, phony scoops, or an oversize spoiler built to scream “boy racer.”

It’s still a sophisticated “gentleman’s sports car.”

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss art

THE AUTHOR Wallace Wyss, a fine artist, has guest lectured at the Art Center College of Design on design evolution. His painting of an Aston Martin Zagato DB4GTZ is available at


Aston Martin DB12

Aston Martin logo

Design Critique: Aston Martin DB12
Article Name
Design Critique: Aston Martin DB12
Way back when James Bond was still driving Astons he had I think, at various times, a DB4, DB7 etc. Now we are up in Aston Martin terminology to a DB12.


  1. Seems all the modern low slung sportsters look like a grown-up 280Z. That’s a good thing.

    • It does sort of have the 280Z shape. It seems to me there are only so many shapes available for a front engine 2-seat sports car that look good. It is not surprising that ones we like may look similar. This design is also an evolution of the DB7.

  2. David Meisner says

    Frankly the cabin looks a little cramped to me for a car that wants to be a Grand Tourer. Maybe it’s my age but traveling many hours in style at a good clip over long distances can become mighty uncomfortable if there’s nowhere to move and flex your legs. That console looks massive in width. A restricted footwell is not the sign of a well-designed GT. Having to stop and walk around is not the kind of solution I think a GT should require. I sometimes feel this way in my C4 Corvettes, pleasant as they are in most respects.

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