A lighter and more powerful successor to the Aston Martin DB9 is in the works and on track for a debut at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. Referred to internally as Project VH500, the new car will have some similarities with the current DB9 though almost every element will be improved upon. Our exclusive spy video shows a prototype for the DB9 successor, which is thought to be adopting the DB11 name.
A name for the car is yet to be confirmed but it’s almost certain to feature the famous initials DB followed by a number. DB10 was used for Aston Martin’s car created exclusively for the upcoming James Bond movie Spectre. This means we should see the new car use the DB11 name, which Aston Martin has actually trademarked.
The DB11 will ride on a new platform Aston Martin is developing for its next generation of sports cars. The automaker confirmed it was working on the new platform a year ago, after it received some much-needed funding from its investors. The platform, codenamed VH5, utilizes the ‘Vertical-Horizontal’ principal of previous Aston architectures as well as the familiar bonded aluminum construction. One major difference is that the new platform is being designed to accommodate a new V-8 engine and some electrical systems sourced from Mercedes-Benz.
The VH5 platform will be Aston’s first all-new design since the original VH0 setup introduced in the first-generation Vanquish back in 2001. The automaker says the new platform will enable its cars to be at the forefront of design, performance and technology, and in addition to Mercedes-AMG’s V-8 engine the platform will also fit the current 6.0-liter V-12, which will be supplied to Aston by the Ford Motor Company [NYSE:F] until at least 2018.
The V-8 engine sourced from Mercedes will be a variation of the new twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 that debuted in the 2016 Mercedes-AMG GT. Output will likely be capped at around 500 horsepower in the DB11, with the Ford-sourced V-12 to serve as the performance flagship—yes, two performance grades are expected this time around. Handling the gears should be an eight-speed automatic from ZF, and hopefully a conventional manual will be offered too. The model in this video is thought to be fitted with the V-8.
The DB11 is expected to have a larger footprint than the DB9, as evidenced by modifications shown on early DB9-based test mules for the car. As for styling, Aston’s Vulcan track car is said to hint at what’s to come.
Aston Martin’s smaller Vantage is also due for a redesign, with its replacement expected just one year after the arrival of the DB11. By the end of the decade, Aston Martin’s current lineup will have been completely renewed and three additional cars in new segments (one will be an SUV) will also have been added… if all goes to plan.