It’s the first time an engine from Stuttgart has powered the iconic British supercar.
Aston Martins and V12 engines go together like chocolate and more chocolate, but there have certainly been some memorable V8 models as well. The next one could be the DB11, which debuted last year to considerable praise and aural 5.2-liter V12 delight, but is now slated to receive a 4.0-litre biturbo V8 option that delivers less horsepower, but also less weight. And with a starting price of $198,995 USD, it's $17,500 less than a V12-equipped DB11. There's no word on Canadian pricing at this time.
If a biturbo 4.0-litre V8 sounds familiar, it should. We’ve known about the partnership between Aston Martin and Mercedes-AMG for some time now, and the DB11’s new powerplant is a direct result. This is the same engine you’ll find in a few Mercedes models, including the AMG GT S where it makes 503 horsepower. The output for the DB11 is identical, though Aston Martin says its engineers are responsible for the calibration, reprogramming, and all the other ECU-related items to give the AMG mill “the all-important feel and sound” that people associate with Aston Martin.
Compared with the V12-powered DB11, the new V8 gives up nearly 100 horsepower but offers almost the same amount of torque – 513 pound-feet versus 516. Also nearly identical is the V8’s performance, hitting 60 miles per hour (96 kilometres per hour) in four seconds dead, just a tenth behind the V12. Aston Martin says top speed is down from 322 km/h (200 mph) to only 300 km/h (187 mph), but that still isn’t exactly slow.
Perhaps more importantly, the AMG-sourced V8 cuts 114 kilograms off the DB11’s nose. Engineers designed new engine mounts that, combined with a slimline wet sump system, allow the mill to be mounted lower in the car. That all equates to a better-handling DB11, which according to the manufacturer has been exploited through retuned suspension to make it a bit more lively in the bends.
Inside, the DB11 V8 offers everything you’d find with the V12. Outside, the new model gets darker headlamp bezels, a unique alloy wheel finish, and a pair of hood vents instead of four.
“The DB11 is the most complete and sophisticated car Aston Martin has ever made,” said Aston Martin boss Andy Palmer. “Now, with this new V8 engine option we have broadened its appeal by offering a car that’s more affordable while still blessed with the exceptional performance and memorable character that sets Aston Martin apart from its rivals. I’m particularly proud that this car is the first to receive an engine supplied by our technical partner, Mercedes-AMG. Not least because thanks to the nature of our relationship with AMG we have been given complete freedom to tailor this exceptional power unit so that it meets the particular needs and demands of an Aston Martin.”
Should you fancy a bit of German chocolate with your British cake, the V8-powered DB11 is now available for order with deliveries expected to begin later this year. In the meantime, Aston Martin will debut the new car this weekend at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Source: Aston Martin