November 10, 2017
Austin Martin DB11 V8: 8 isn’t any less than 12
If can get twelve cylinders in your Aston Martin, why settle for a V8? And the answer is: Getting behind its wheels empowers you with a very convincing argument: “Bigger isn’t always better”.
As compared to its V-12-powered counterpart that flagged off the all-new DB11 range last year, the 2018 Aston Martin DB11 V8 features just four less cylinders, produces 97 lesser hp, whereas its torque output just recedes by 18 lb-ft. Nevertheless, it’s a much better car for it.
Sharing the look with its identical V12 powered twin, it packs one of the most sought-after engines underneath its hood: the powerful 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 developed exclusively by AMG. Popularly regarded as the M178, this engine is an all-rounder that proves to be an alluring workhorse. It seeks pleasure in powering all the versions of the AMG GT coupe, in addition to the 63-series AMG versions of Mercedes sedans, coupes, wagons, and SUVs, with a thunderous output that ranges between 469 hp to more than 600 hp.
The DB11 trim features a 503 hp engine that produces 498 lb-ft of torque, which almost similar to the output delivered by the Mercedes-AMG GT S coupe. Tweaks and changes made by the engineers at Aston incorporate a brand new intake system, a new slim-line wet sump, new engine mounts, a new exhaust system and a unique engine mapping system.
As claimed by the auto-giant, the DB11 V8 will run past 0 to 60 mph in less than 4.0 seconds while clocking the top speed of 187 mph.
No matter the DB11 V8 is barely one tenth slower than its 12-cylinder sibling, and neither does it clock 200 mph. But none of it actually matters, because these are merely abstract numbers for the great majority of DB11 owners.
What matters more is the M178 decreases the weight over the DB11’s front axle by 253 pounds in comparison to Aston’s own 5.2-liter twin-turbo V-12. More importantly it matters because you feel it every day.
First few glimpses of the car suggest a more responsive steering than DB11 V12. Lesser weight over the front axle makes a big difference, technically empowering you to have a better feel of what the rear axle is exactly doing. Infact, it is these quite change on the rear suspension that make a huge difference in the way the DB11 V8 drives.
Furthermore, the shock-rates at the rear end are improved in addition to the introduction of bushes for the rear sub-frame and the rear camber link bringing a new dimension of comfort to both the lateral and vertical support. As a result the car experiences a 10 percent increase in lateral stiffness at the tire contact patch.
The DB11 V8 also shares the same braking platform as the V12’s, but the front brakes are fitted with the different callipers and smaller pistons as there is change in weight distribution because of 4 lesser cylinders, as a result of which the pedal travel is shorter. Aston engineers have also blessed the car with the booster, to give it a much more consistent pedal feel.
The DB11 V8 sounds much different than the V12—boisterous and more growling. Infact, it sounds way different from anything that carries the AMG badge. The engineers at Aston spent a lot of time fine-tuning the exhaust system in a bid to reduce the bass frequencies at low rpm and introduce more mid- and high-frequency noise.
If you happen to be a sharp-eyed Aston enthusiast you will notice the extra-ordinary alloy wheel finish, dark contrasting headlamp bezels, and that the hood features two vents rather than four. Surprisingly, that is all about the visual difference between the $201,820 DB11 V8 and powerful and lightly faster V12 that costs $17,500 more.
The DB11 V8 showcases the same level of equipment as the V12, allowing the buyers to choose from the same extensive options menu and the same trim palette and colors.
Unless you are really eager to flaunt the 12-cylinder power-train at the country club, the lighter, faster and more-entertaining-to-drive V8 makes the more desirable option between the two Aston Martin DB11s. It is the less expensive of the two and also offers compelling choice.