I’m in the breathtaking French Riviera about to drive DB12, the world’s first super tourer.

DB12 marks the first in Aston Martin’s next generation of sports cars. Its sound is hypnotic and its style mesmerizing.

Its performance handling and dynamics are what you would expect from a team competing successfully in Formula 1, the pinnacle of racing.

“At the heart of DB12 is a 4 liter twin turbo V8 producing 671 hp at 6,000 rpm.”

That’s roughly 150 more horses than the DB11 V-8. Torque is also increased, 34%, to 590 pound feet. DB12’s top speed is a reported 202 miles per hour going from 0-60 in 3.5 seconds.

As it should, all that power seeps into your psyche shattering what you thought you knew about high performance tourers. Its impressive performance is achieved in part by larger turbos, increased compression ratios and improved cooling performance.

The power from its V8 is fed through an 8-speed automatic transmission and for the first time ever on an Aston Martin DB model, an electronic rear differential, able to transition from fully-opened to 100% locked in milliseconds. It works in conjunction with the brand’s stability control system. The duo makes DB12 feel controlled at high speeds and nimble at low speeds especially when coming around a corner. As I learned behind the wheel, it’s almost like DB12 and its systems can read your mind- it’s that intuitive and precise.

Keeping all that power to the ground is a stiffer bonded aluminum chassis and an all-new suspension system featuring intelligent adaptive dampers. Compared to the outgoing DB11, there’s a 500-percent increase in bandwidth of force distribution which provides a more controlled and refined ride across DB 12’s five drive mode settings-Normal, Sport, Sport +, Wet, and Individual.

“It’s a comfortable and luxurious ride in GT mode, but when you put it in Sport and Sport Plus modes you really feel its sports car soul come through.”

My drive through the South of France was further enhanced, in part due to DB12’s new Michelin Pilot Sport 5 S tires. DB12 marks the first OEM application of the tires, which I could feel were very special. The Michelin Pilot Sport 5 S tires wrap standard 21 inch forged alloy wheels, available in a choice of three designs and a range of colors and finishes.

Despite DB12’s extravagance, its authenticity is apparent.

“DB12 honors the model’s 75 year history and the marque’s 110 year legacy.”

And the more I drove DB12, the more I felt connected to Aston Martin’s rich history which made me feel good and grounded.

DB12’s exterior is stunningly striking. Its front end is more prominent than DB11, signifying more power-accentuated by elegant hood lines. Its wider, muscular stance is framed by new LED headlights. And DB12 is the first to flaunt the brand new Aston Martin wings badge which I think looks incredible. The back of this sports car makes a statement and is exquisite and modern

After tackling the windy foothills leading to La Turbie, I wanted to find out how DB12 handled city streets, so I drove into Monaco. The house of Grimaldi has ruled over Monaco since 1297. It’s the world’s second smallest nation and famously the playground of the rich and famous. Monte Carlo is the most famous district in Monaco and home to the world’s most famous casino.

“To get the full French Riviera experience, I just had to drive DB12 through casino square here in Monte Carlo. It’s the star of the show and as you can imagine it’s getting tons of looks.”

Some of the most legendary automobiles in the world hang out here.

All proper touring cars must have the perfect interior. As expected, Aston Martin aimed high and achieved a spectacular, total transformation. As you can see, the cabin is driver centric with contemporary craftsmanship and a clean impeccable design. The leather quality, graphic detailing and new quilting symbolize ultra-luxury and are superb.

Aston Martin’s first in-house infotainment system is the centerpiece. Gone is the Mercedes based system of the past. The bespoke, multi-screen system operates through a 10.25-inch touch screen. It’s home to enough features, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. I found the new infotainment system responsive and uncomplicated. DB12 does retain physical buttons for many key mechanical operations. Aston Martin’s 11-speaker audio system is standard and a 15 speaker, double amplified, surround sound system from Bowers and Wilkins is available as an option.

DB12’s luxurious, performance presence driving short distances through the city or on longer journeys through the hills is remarkable and that’s why Aston Martin believes DB12 defines its own category as the world’s first super tourer.

Surrounded by abundant opulence and tradition in Monte-Carlo, Monaco, I felt compelled to take everything in. As I found out, the area’s legendary history, affluence and originality is a reflection of DB12’s essence.

“What an incredible time behind the wheel of DB12 here in the French Riviera. The world’s first super tourer starts at $245,000. It’s on sale now in dealer showrooms.”

We will have much more on DB12 soon on MotorWeek.