Aston Martin plans to launch an ambitious seven models between 2016 and 2022, and the all-new and long-awaited DB11 is the first. As such, the stunning GT heralds a fresh beginning for the British sports car marque – and that new generation includes such state-of-the-art tech as a new aluminium chassis and twin-turbocharged 600bhp 5.2-litre V12 engine. Does the £154,900 coupe live up to the legend on the road?

The first thing we noticed when getting behind the wheel of this DB9 replacement is how much more spacious the cabin is over its predecessor’s, despite the coupe’s similar external dimensions. It’s curvier, more naturally sculpted and more attractive than anything that’s gone before from the brand. Handcrafted tradition is beautifully married with hi-tech features such as sat-nav, fully digital instruments and an infotainment system sourced from brand partner Mercedes.

The DB11’s leather and metal trim is lavish and beautifully executed, although the 2+2 configuration means the rear seats are for kids only. The small bootlid opens to reveal a boot that’s large enough to carry that benchmark in this gentlemanly class – a set of golf clubs.

Moving with these eco-conscious times, the V12 turbo is smaller than the previous engine but more powerful. It drives the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission, and pushes out 516lb ft of torque from 1500rpm. The result is constant, effortless, refined pace in the finest Aston Martin tradition.

The ride quality is significantly improved over that of the fidgety DB9’s. The DB11 is extremely comfortable for such a sporty car, yet its body control is still superb, creating confidence-inspiring stability on uneven surfaces. It remains flat and composed in corners, and is surprisingly agile for a 1900kg-plus car. That’s partly thanks to some clever suspension and braking electronics, plus quicker steering than in any Aston before it.

This superb, world-class GT puts the Brit brand back on track after several years of uncertainty, and more than outclasses rivals such as the Bentley Continental GT and Ferrari California T for value, practicality and driving excitement. Aston is back in the game – so if you’ve got £150,000-plus to spend on a sports car, make sure you’re a player…

Aston Martin DB11

Engine: 5.2-litre turbo petrol

Price: from £154,900

Power: 600bhp

Torque: 516lb ft

0-62mph: 3.9sec

Top speed: 200mph

Fuel economy: (official combined) 20mpg (est)

CO2/BIK band: 290g/km/37% (est)