Aston Martin‘s ‘AM11’ naturally-aspirated V12 enjoyed a heroically long lifespan. It spent just shy of 20 years in production, from the DB7 Vantage through to the Vanquish S. But, it’s not an engine considered to live amongst the pantheon of V12 greats.
This isn’t down to the supposedly humble origins of the Ford-built 5.9-litre engine, often over-simplified as ‘two Mondeo V6s stuck together’. The reality was much more complicated than that, and in any case, that Ford V6 was developed with involvement from Porsche and Cosworth.
No, we reckon it might be down to the noise. This engine makes a fine soundtrack, but compared to something like a Lamborghini V12, there’s no contest. Thankfully, as Freddy ‘Tavarish’ Hernandez proves in his latest video, this is something that can be solved with some aftermarket pipework.
Tavarish is seen fitting decat pipes and a cat-back exhaust from VelocityAP to his DBS, with the parts coming in at about $3800. The latter replaces the chunky stock silencer assembly, which resembles a suitcase. In there are two different pathways for the exhaust gasses to take - a longer one for the car’s quieter mode, and a shorter route for the louder setting.
It’s a weighty beast, with the stainless cat-back replacement saving a whopping 11kg. The new setup also features a crossover section to give better exhaust scavenging and (in theory) a little more power. More importantly, it sounds obscenely good.
Revving at a warm idle post-fitting, the DBS belts out an almost Zonda-like shriek. This Pagani impersonation dissipates a little under load, but you can get exhaust manifolds for the DBS with equal-length piping, some of which use super-exotic Inconel. So. there is room for even more ear-pleasing improvement.