Listen out for the Aston Martin DB11 speeding up the hill at the Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard – it might sound a little different from normal…
JUN 28th 2017
This is the new V8‑powered Aston Martin DB11
Making its world dynamic debut at FOS is an Aston Martin on which hopes of the company’s future prosperity are pinned. British icon meet Mercedes-AMG grunt!
But will the first Merc-engined Aston boom any less majestically than the purebred Astons we are used to listening to? It is unlikely. Sound quality is just as important to AMG as Aston and its 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 is (almost…) as charismatic as the venerable V12 which in 5.2 twin-turbo form has been the sole DB11 engine choice thus far.
The new DB11 V8, which joins the V12 in the range, will hardly be slower up the Goodwood Hill either. Despite 100 fewer horses than the V12, at 503bhp, the V8 has a 0-62mph time of 4.0 seconds, which is just one tenth slower than the V12. You can thank a 115kg weight saving for that. It does lose a little on top speed though: 200mph for the V12, 187 for the V8.
Benefits? At the pumps you’ll get 28 rather than 24mpg, the taxman will take less – CO2 rating is 230g/km against the V12’s 265 – and there’s a saving of £13,000 on recommended list price. The new V8 costs from £144,900 in the UK. In other markets around the world like China, where car tax is based on cubic capacity, a 4.0 rather than a 5.2 engine is expected to be good for sales.
We can also expect differences in the way the V8 handles. Aston asserts the new power plant reveals “more of the DB11’s dynamic side and capabilities”. It’s still an effortless GT at heart but a more agile and sporting one in this form, says the firm.
There’s that weight loss at work again, but also the fact that the new engine contributes to a lower centre of gravity and better weight distribution. Making the most of all that are new engine mounts and detailed revisions to suspension bushes, springs, dampers and anti-roll bars. Transmission is eight-speed paddle-shift automatic and like the V12 there’s an alloy torque tube with carbon fibre prop shaft.
The V8’s 503bhp peaks at 6000rpm and the engine revs to 7200rpm. It is backed up by 513 lb ft of torque between 2000-5000rpm, only marginally less than the V12 makes. In this bespoke form – and Aston says it was responsible for all engine calibration and installation – it is not the most powerful version of the 4.0-litre AMG engine. The AMG GT-R has 585bhp, suggesting there’s the potential of more to come. That could be handy, with this engine also due to power the new Vantage next year.
Will you be able to spot the V8? No giveaway badges of course, but the eagle-eyed may notice the new wheels, dark headlight bezels and only two instead of four bonnet vents.
And what do you see when you lift the bonnet? A big V8 logo and the Aston Martin wings of course… along with a plaque saying the car has been signed off by Aston boss Andy Palmer. With the DB11 V8, Andy will be hoping he is passing as fit not just a new model but a big chunk of the company’s future success.
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