New Aston Martin DB12: V8 GT starts firm’s new era

For the first three years after sale, Aston will include a selection of subscription features for free, including 4G-connected navigation, voice assistant, car locator, breakdown response and remote diagnostics.

The software is now all Aston’s own work, rather than borrowed from Mercedes – a huge and symbolic investment for the low-volume marque. Asked why the firm had created a new software division in house, rather than licence an existing platform from Stuttgart again, Long said: “Two reasons: one is that there’s a level of functionality we need that they don’t focus on, and there’s also a lot of non-essential functionality they have, because a lot of their cars operate in different segments to ours, so there’s redundancy in the technology.

“And the second thing is the interface that defines the brand is more and more important in a digital era. To operate really at the height of luxury, you have to have your own interface, your own handshake, with the car as a customer.”

But though the digital overhaul is substantial, Nurnberger added that “in bringing this trend of digitalisation into the car, we’ve had to balance physical controls and digital controls in what we believe is the right way.”

To which end, the DB12 retains a comprehensive array of physical – and intricately designed – switchgear for the most important functions, arranged around a new gear lever and steering wheel for easy, quick access.

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