A recent trademark filing hints that a major refresh of the Aston Martin DB11 could include a new name.
First spotted by CarBuzz, a trademark application for the name "DB12" was filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Mar. 17. Keep in mind that a refreshed DB11 is expected to debut for the 2024 model year and, as CarBuzz notes, CEO Lawrence Stroll has said the automaker will update its existing models so extensively that they would be like "all-new cars."
Aston could be planning to call the updated DB11 the DB12 to make it seem newer (the DB11 itself dates back to the 2017 model year), but the automaker may also just be trying to protect intellectual property. The automaker previously filed U.S. trademark applications for DB10 through DB14 in 2014. The DB10 name was used for a special vehicle built for the James Bond movie "Spectre," while the DB11 went into production as the replacement for the DB9, but the other names went unused.
Trademark filings like these help Aston block other companies from copying its naming convention. "DB" stands for David Brown, who purchased Aston from its original owners in 1947, saving it from oblivion.
While Aston mostly launched DB models in sequence, it skipped from the DB7 to the DB9. With the DB10 being exclusively a movie car, it's been a while since Aston launched sequentially-numbered production models.
Whatever it ends up being called, spy shots show the DB11 refresh will likely have similar styling to the current car. However, a redesigned dash with a more advanced infotainment system (the current version relies on outdated technology borrowed from Mercedes), is also expected, along with updated versions of the current Mercedes-sourced twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 and Aston's own twin-turbo 5.2-liter V-12.
The updated DB11 could debut this year for Aston Martin's 110th anniversary. The automaker has stated that the first of its next generation of sports cars will be launched this year. It's also planning a limited-edition model called the DBS 770 Ultimate to mark the end of the DBS line, with a handful of new models planned in the coming years.