GAYDON, England -- Aston Martin will unveil its new DB11 at the upcoming Geneva auto show as the UK sports-car brand begins the renewal of its aging lineup.
The DB11's success will be crucial in the brand's push to return to sustainable profitability after five years of losses. The grand tourer will replace the DB9, which was introduced 13 years ago.
The DB11 will go on sale the company's global markets in the third quarter. It will sit between the replacements for the entry Vantage and high-performance Vanquish. Both these models will launch before 2018.
With the DB11, Aston has been careful to address criticisms that its current range was too similar, CEO Andy Palmer said. "One could argue there is not enough separation between DB9 and Vantage. One could easily cross-shop between the two," he told journalists at an event at the company's UK headquarters here.
Aston has not yet released pictures or details of the DB11 ahead of its Geneva unveiling. It likely will get a new V-12 twin-turbocharged 5.2-liter engine. Aston posted a video of the engine on the Web in January. The V-12 will replace the 6.0-liter naturally aspirated 12-cylinder engine that powers the current DB9 and other Aston models.
The DB11 is also expected to offer a turbocharged V-8 supplied by Mercedes-Benz. Mercedes’ parent Daimler has a 5 percent stake in Aston.
Mercedes will also supply electrical systems for the DB11 and other new Aston models, including in-dash infotainment and radar-activated active safety equipment.
The DB11 will sit on an all-new aluminum bonded platform shared with the next the Vantage and Vanquish, Aston has said. The car gets the DB11 badge even though it replaces the DB9 because Aston built a DB10 for the James Bond movie Spectre.
The launch of the DB11, Vantage and Vanquish cars will be followed the introduction of an SUV based on the DBX concept shown last year and a Lagonda topline sedan that will compete with Bentley and Rolls-Royce cars. Aston is developing electric versions of the DBX and Lagonda.
Palmer, who joined Aston in 2014 from Nissan, promised he would deliver consistent profits at the sports-car brand. "In 102 years we have created fantastic brand but not a fantastic business," he said. Aston has gone bankrupt seven times in that time, Palmer said. "Basically there was no foresight into the future beyond the funding of the next vehicle. We need to create enough working capital to fund the next car and the next car after that."