This year marks Aston Martin’s 110th anniversary, but the 24th May 2023 marked a particularly momentous occasion. Shrouded in secrecy for months, the marque finally revealed the hotly anticipated new DB12 at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes, France. The world’s first ‘Super Tourer’ with a blistering top speed of 202 mph, DB12 represents the zenith of 75 years of Aston Martin’s DB bloodline, comprising the most sought-after hand-built British sports cars in the world.

The Iridescent Emerald green DB12 was greeted rapturously by DB aficionados. They applauded the fact that while it retained its svelte side profile, the much larger front grille and more aggressive back bumper gave
it an even more muscular, powerful feel than the DB11.

The bold and dynamic DB12 marks Aston Martin’s anticipated next generation of sports cars, and a new era of high performance ultra-luxury for the brand, and celebrities and guests rapturously applauded the new model’s unveiling. As the setting sun tinged the French Riviera golden pink, the hotel terrace was bathed in glimmering green light to complement the shimmering emerald green of the DB12, while the famous infinity pool was emblazoned with the Aston Martin logo.

As a nod to Aston Martin’s 110th birthday, 110 distinguished guests, including Catherine Zeta-Jones, Michael Douglas and Leonardo Di Caprio enjoyed stunning live performances from multi-award-winning British chart-topping singer and actress Rina Sawayama and international DJ Peggy Gou. Other actors in attendance included Kate Beckinsale, Tobey Maguire, James Marsden and Jeffrey Wright, who acted in the James Bond film No Time to Die.

The event also hosted singer and actress Queen Latifa, and American singer songwriter Adam Lambert. The world of fashion was represented by leading models Winnie Harlow, Lais Ribeiro, Alessandra Ambrosio and Poppy Delevingne.

The DB12 was unveiled by Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula 1® Team F1 drivers, Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso, just days before they competed in the Monaco Grand Prix. Guests broke into spontaneous applause, and then gathered around the car, eager to be the first to be photographed in its plush leather interior.

The following night, the car was presented for auction at the amfAR Gala, which took place at the legendary Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Cannes. The gala aims to raise funds for amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research, founded by Elizabeth Taylor, which is the world’s largest non-profit organisation dedicated to supporting the prevention of AIDS and HIV.

Billed as the social highlight of the Cannes International Film Festival, the prestigious black-tie gala was attended by celebrated figures from the world of entertainment, the arts and fashion including Grammy award winning host Queen Latifa, actors Rebel Wilson, Fan Bingbing and models Sara Sampaio, Bianca Balti, Heidi Klum, Stella Maxwell and Alessandra Ambrosio.

Acting couple Amy Jackson and Ed Westwick were joined by German athlete Alica Schmidt as guests of Aston Martin. A whole host of celebrities presented different lots at the auction, yet the undoubted star of the night was the DB12, presented by the American movie and TV actors, Eva Longoria and James Marsden. Even Kevin Robert Frost, CEO of amfAR, admitted that the phenomenal sportscar was a highlight. “We were incredibly fortunate to have Aston Martin as Presenting Sponsor for the 29th amfAR Gala Cannes, and we’re immensely grateful for their generous donation of the spectacular DB12 for our live auction,” he said, adding that the auction proceeds will undoubtedly give an important boost to amfAR’s efforts to develop a cure for HIV.

Even amongst the other highly desirable lots, comprising unique artworks, jewellery, fashion and experiences, the DB12 shone out, even eclipsing Damien Hirst’s coveted portrait of Leonardo di Caprio. Although other cars have been sold at amfAR before, this was the most expensive ever sold there, a testament to its desirability as the Launch Edition model.

The car sold for an astonishing $1,600,000 (€1.5 million). To honour the importance of the historic event and the new owner’s generosity, the DB12 has several unique features. It has been carefully curated by Q for Aston Martin’s bespoke service and has a special anniversary fender badge and headrest embroidery, while on the cabin’s door sill is a plaque, marking its participation at the auction.

Beyond that, Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso will personally be adding their signatures to the engine cover, reiterating that this is a car of extraordinarily high performance in a class of its own.

Renato Bisignani, Head of Global Marketing and Communications at Aston Martin, was thrilled with the marque’s decision to choose amfAR as its new partner to launch the car in the way it did. “As one of the world’s most glamorous and fashionable events, the gala was a perfect platform,” he says, “but at the same time we were proud to draw attention to and support an important charitable cause in line with our philanthropic efforts and desire to make a positive contribution to society.”

The timing of the gala, rounding off the Cannes International Film Festival and heralding the Monaco Grand Prix weekend, made the auction an even more attractive proposition for Aston Martin. “For an ultra-luxury, high-performance brand, the setting could not be more perfect to launch the very first of our next generation of sportscars, which represents a breakaway from the norms of the GT sector and creates a new category,” adds Renato.

The delighted new owner, plus a guest, will have the car presented to them at a Formula 1® Race, to which Aston Martin will invite them to enjoy the hospitality of the Paddock Club. They will also have the opportunity to go behind the scenes with the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula 1® Team for a thrilling on-track lap experience.

Following such a glamorous and newsworthy launch, the DB12 may well be the world’s most desired sportscar. It’s a reputation that’s deserved according to Renato who adds, “this Launch Edition DB12 is one of the very first examples of this exquisite model to be hand delivered to a customer anywhere in the world. Aston Martin has secured its reputation even more firmly as a brand that transcends the automotive section with a powerful cultural global presence.”