It’s been just two weeks since the successor to the current Aston Martin DB9, was spotted carving the Nurburgring, and the Brits already started testing a new mule of their upcoming grand tourer. It wouldn’t be a big deal if the prototype was wearing the old DB9 body in the process, but this new mule gives us our first look at the new car’s design. There’s no word as to what badge the new car would wear, but it could be named DB11 since Aston Martin already trademarked the name and since the DB10 moniker is already used by the one-off car created for the James Bond "Spectre" movie.

Expect the coupe to break cover sometime in 2016 for the 2017 model year, as the first Aston Martin built on the company’s new platform. The DB9, and all the other Aston Martins currently in production for that matter, including the DB10, use the VH (Vertical/Horizontal) architecture introduced all the way back in 2001. New engines are also on the table, so make sure you keep reading to find out more about the upcoming grand tourer.

Continue reading to learn more about the future Aston Martin DB11.

Aston Martin DB11 - Spy Shots

Aston Martin DB9 Successor Spotted With New Bodywork: Spy Shots Exterior Spyshots
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Aston Martin DB9 Successor Spotted With New Bodywork: Spy Shots Exterior Spyshots
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Aston Martin DB9 Successor Spotted With New Bodywork: Spy Shots Exterior Spyshots
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Styling-wise, it seems the DB9 successor blends cues from both the current model and the DB10 James Bond car. It no longer features the DB9’s trademark headlamps, but the new units aren’t as slim as the DB10’s. They’re definitely smaller, but the shape is unlike anything else in the company’s lineup right now. Actually, the shape alone reminds me of the previous-generation Miata headlamps. The front grille, on the other hand, appears to be taken off the DB10. However, the camouflage is a bit tricky and I could be wrong there. The engine hood sports a different shape, which is obvious despite Aston’s efforts to hide the new styling. A quick peek is enough to notice the new vent configuration.

Around back, identifying new design cues is a lot more difficult since the Brits added an array of plastic panels. The company is obviously trying to hide the fact that the rear deck is shorter, but they didn’t fool me. On the other hand, it seems the DB10’s extremely short rear overhang won’t make it to the new car, with Aston opting for a more conventional approach. The prototype taillights stuffed into the awkwardly shaped fenders suggest we will have to wait a bit longer to learn more about the rear fascia’s actual design. New side skirts are visible, as well as reshaped front fender vents. The partly concealed third-quarter windows seem to be larger than both the DB9’s and DB10’s. Overall, it seems Aston is going for a more compact-looking, yet sleeker design.

Under the hood, we already know Aston Martin made a deal with Mercedes-AMG for its bi-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8 powerplant. The engine that’s already available in the Mercedes-AMG GT sports car and Mercedes-AMG C63 sedan will find its way into all Aston Martin vehicles, including the DB9. There’s good news for V-12 fans too, as the Brits are planning to continue using the 5.9-liter powerplant for outputs in excess of 600 horsepower, albeit with a pair of turbos strapped to it.

Why it matters

The DB9 is a bit long in the tooth after 12 years on the market, and a replacement couldn’t come any sooner. That’s not to say the current DB9 isn’t as exciting as it has ever been, but times are changing and Aston needs to look to the future. Not having a significant amount of money to spend on research and development has been a major issue for the folks over at Gaydon lately, but it seems the drama has come to an end thanks to AMG, which will play a key role in the development of the grand tourer. Hopefully, the new model will remain true to its heritage.

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