2017 Aston Martin DB11 First Drive
– Colle di Val D’Elsa, Italy
Drat. I’m behind the wheel of the 2017 Aston Martin DB11 in the hills of Tuscany, an interesting location to launch the most British of luxury performance cars, and I’m lost. A missed left-hand turn beckons me toward the hamlet of Montalcino, an Etruscan-built town lined with stone drives, stunning arches, and streets just wide enough to accommodate a Fiat Punto and a couple of pedestrians. Most of the streets are one-way, and my understanding of Italian pictographic street signs is meno di niente. No matter: The DB11 makes a subtly stunning entrance, its rumbly exhaust note reverberating quietly against the centuries-old stone. Not a soul in the tucked-in city center seemed to notice the left-hand-drive DB11 with U.K. license plates sauntering by, save for an older, shirtless man who excitedly identified the Aston Martin from a hundred meters away. What gave it away, nonno?
Much of Aston Martin’s future success rests upon getting this product, the DB11, right, as the company modernizes and tries to avoid becoming an ouroboros, in a constant cycle of woe and regeneration. Instead, looking ahead to partnerships with Red Bull Racing and Daimler-Benz, to name a couple, Aston Martin has to ensure that its association with performance and luxury – as well as its reputation for providing transportation for the world’s greatest action hero, James Bond – remain intact as it evolves to becoming a profitable entity.
With the wholesale rethink that ...