The new Aston Martin DB11 AMR is better dialed in than its predecessor, with a host of chassis and mechanical tweaks improving the breed.
But more immediately noticeable than alterations made to this car’s suspension and powertrain is the retuned exhaust system, which lets this big, British grand tourer growl and snort like a caged animal.
As before, adjustable valves in the mufflers control outward flow and, ultimately how loud the DB11 sounds, though this system has been retuned for the sharper AMR variant, changes that “add a bit more emotion to the car” according to Matt Becker, the company’s chief engineer of vehicle engineering. “If anything, the DB11 V12 was a bit muted,” he admitted.
“If you look at things like [Mercedes] AMGs, they make a huge bang and crack,” explained Becker regarding their rival’s exhaust tuning. “We don’t want that on [our cars] because it’s their signature.”
Even AMG’s smallest offering, the hot-rod A-Class makes a world of noise, all from just a 2.0-liter engine. Becker admitted it’s a seriously quick little machine but he also said, “Every time it shifts gears it feels like somebody’s shot a gun at you… that’s not us.”
Staying true to the Aston Martin brand, they’ve developed something a bit subtler for the DB11 AMR, an exhaust system that lets this beautiful coupe’s twin-turbocharged V12 burble and pop, all without deafening the driver, setting off car alarms or making you the neighborhood pariah.
Becker explained different sounds can be created by adjusting the engine-control software. They employ a Bosch ECU that actually has a specific setting that can be tweaked to a manufacturer’s unique requirements, so an AMR doesn’t have to sound exactly like an AMG.
“[We] went through all sorts of different pops and bangs,” said Becker. “You can have a long one, you can have a short one … there’s a really intense bang [as well].” Ultimately, they decided to add a bit more volume and drama to the already exciting DB11, but they didn’t go totally overboard, which is music to our ears.
a version of this article first appeared on AutoGuide