“2018 Aston Martin DB11 Grand Touring Coupe”
V8 added to lineup accompanying the V12 – Can Less be More?
As Aston Martin progresses into its ‘Second Century’ plan of existence, the iconic British manufacturer is now adding a V8 powered DB11 Grand Touring Coupe model to its lineup as an alternative choice to the Aston Martin DB11 V12 GT Coupe. The 2018 Aston Martin DB11 V8 Coupe’s engine is a lighter, compact Mercedes-Benz AMG sourced V8, but with its own specific tweaks to meet Aston Martin’s application requirements – features such as bespoke air intake, exhaust and wet sump systems.
The V8 represents a weight savings of 253 pounds from the V12’s mass. It is a longitudinally front low-mounted 4.0-liter, DOHC, 32-valve engine with dual single scroll turbochargers (one per bank) with sequential electronic Direct fuel Injection. The compact engine cranks out 503 horsepower at 6,000 rpm while producing 498 pound feet of torque in a range from 2,000-5,000 rpm. Energy is delivered to the rear driving wheels via a rear mid-mounted 8-speed automatic gearbox with an electronic shift-by-wire control system and column-mounted paddle shifters.
Aside from providing another choice from the elegantly seductive GT stable, can less really be more? After all, there are four fewer cylinders, 97 less horsepower and 18 fewer pound feet of torque, the 253-pound weight trimming, two hood vents rather than the 4 hood vents of the V12, and smaller front brake rotors. The base cost is $17,500 less than the V12. The V8’s top speed at 187 mph is only 13 mph under that of the V12 and the 0-62 mph time is only a few tenths of a second more at 4 seconds.
The DB11s are based on a bonded aluminum platform blending strength and lightness while allowing for increased interior space. Visually, the differences between the V8 and V12 are both subtle and minimal, limited to the number of hood vents and specific wheel choices. There is no engine size badging.
The 2018 Aston Martin DB11 establishes a benchmark for luxury-sporting Grand Touring machines. The styling is readily identifiable as having been penned by Aston Martin designers, yet it is a distinctively different marriage of form and function. Leading off is the iconic, but reinterpreted grille with accentuated lines, the front-hinging clamshell bonnet and distinctive LED headlights. In profile, the gracefully arched roof strakes flow without interruption from the A to C-pillar. Front-end lift is reduced by a gill-like Curlicue that releases high-pressure air from inside the wheel arch via a concealed vent within the modified side-strake. Clean lines continue at the rear, with a sloping decklid that smoothly blends into pronounced sculpted tail-lights creating a new, unmistakable graphic. Rear-end lift is minimized by Aston Martin’s AeroBlade™; a virtual spoiler fed by discreet air intakes located at the base of each C-pillar. Air is ducted through the bodywork, before venting as a jet of air from the aperture in the rear decklid.
The driver-oriented cabin reflects old world craftsmanship delivering superbly elegant fit and finish. A full-color 12” TFT LCD display, and instrument cluster presents primary vehicle information with infinite clarity, while a second, centrally-mounted 8” TFT screen focuses on infotainment, controlled via an intuitive rotary control, with an optional touchpad that offers character recognition, multi-touch and gesture support, the satellite navigation and audio system are highly effective, with enhanced sound and ease of operation. An auto-park assist feature and 360-degree birds-eye view camera aids in providing safe maneuvering at slow speeds and is also operated via the car’s infotainment system. Safety features include ABS, DSC, EBD, EBA, TC, HBA, PTC and Active Torque Vectoring.
The chassis, suspension, steering and electronics are enhanced, providing adaptive damping and multiple driver-selectable dynamics including a GT mode, a Sport mode and a Sport Plus mode. The latter intensifies suspension settings, steering responsiveness, shift mapping and the Torque Vectoring system.
The DB11’s suspension componentry consists of Independent double wishbone, coil springs, anti-roll bar and adaptive dampers up front and Multi-link, coil springs, anti-roll bar and adaptive dampers aft.
My test 2018 Aston Martin DB11 V8 GT Coupe sported a rich, luxurious and elegant exterior coat of Mariana Blue metallic, with a Gloss Silver Roof Strake, while the interior was executed in sumptuous Sahara Tan leather. The base price was set at $198.995. while the final sticker was elevated to $214,276. after factoring in the following options and Destination and Handling charge: Bang and Olufsen Audio System, $8,330.; Painted Roof Panel, $1,595.; Gloss Silver Painted Roof Strake, $2,270. D&H=$3,086. Should you wish a higher level of personalization, Aston Martin offers a bespoke program foor customization.
SUMMARY: The 2018 Aston Martin DB11 V8 Coupe is an exemplary exercise in emotion stirring elegance. The ultimate focus of its engineering was to provide maximum doses of exhilaration from static elegance to dynamic levels of performance.
This newest jewel from Aston Martin is a genuine luxury 2+2 grand Touring Coupe. The acceleration is instantaneous and the electric power steering is a speed dependent rack and pinion affair that delivers precise, spot on responsiveness. Bringing the DB11 to a halt is just as impressive.
Seats are both highly supportive and comfortable, holding occupants in place during even the most spirited maneuvers.
Should one wish to abandon the sweet sound of the engine’s growl and melodious exhaust note, the standard Aston Martin Audio System admirably delivers one’s favorite tunes or one may choose the optional Bang and Olufsen Premium sound system.
On a sojourn from California’s Rancho Santa Fe to Mount Palomar, and on to Borrego Springs, encountering virtually every road scenario from congested inner city travel to challenging, twisty mountain roads with some high speed freeway stints thrown in for good measure, this new DB11 V8 Grand Touring Coupe delivered nothing short of the grandest touring imaginable. Passing other vehicles was effortless, even in minimal situations, and maneuvering back and forth over the sharply twisting curves along the way, came across as smooth and “Ballet-like”. Both acceleration and braking were dramatically enhanced when the car was set in Sport+ mode. The GT mode delivered a smoother, yet still exhilarating drive experience, and the car seemed to be in its “Happy Place” there providing a flat and exceptionally stable ride quality.
The first Aston Martin to carry the DB nameplate was the DB2, which was powered by a 2.8-liter Lagonda inline six-cylinder engine that cranked out 105 horsepower – an impressive figure for the era. The Aston Martin DB2 and DB2/4 reigned from 1950-1957, with the latter based on the DB2, but featuring modest design and styling modifications.
In the final analysis, the 2018 Aston Martin DB11 V8 is a delightful exercise in elegant craftsmanship and design execution that provides an uncompromising sensory satisfaction on all levels as well as proof that less can indeed be more when considering value.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2018 Aston Martin DB11 V8 Coupe
Base Price: $198,995.
Price as Tested: $214,276.
Engine Type and Size: 4.0-liter, DOHC, 32-valve with dual single scroll turbochargers (0ne per bank) Mercedes-Benz AMG sourced V8 with sequential electronic direct fuel Injection.
Horsepower (bhp): 503 @ 6,000 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 498 @ 2,000-5,000 rpm
Transmission: Rear mid-mounted 8 speed automatic with electronic shift-by-wire control system with paddle shifters.
Drive Train: Longitudinally front mounted engine – Rear-Wheel drive.
Suspension: Front – Independent double wishbone, coil springs, anti-roll bar and adaptive dampers.
Rear – Multi-link, coil springs, anti-roll bar and adaptive dampers.
Adaptive damping system with Skyhook technology modes- GT, Sport and Sport+
Brakes: Four-wheel vented steel discs with six-piston calipers front / four-piston calipers rear and ABS, DSC, EBD, EBA, TC, HBA, PTC, DTV and Launch Control.
Tires: Staggered Bridgestone Potenza S007 – 255/40 ZR 20×9” front / 295/35 R20x11” rear mounted on 5-“V”-spoke (10-spokes) alloy wheels.
Wheelbase: 110.4 inches
Length Overall: 187.0 inches
Width: 76.7 inches – w/o mirrors.
Height: 50.7 inches
Curb Weight: 3,880 lbs.
Turning Circle: 38.54 ft.
Fuel Capacity: 20.5 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: Not yet officially EPA certified
Drag Coefficient: Not listed.
0 – 62 mph: 4.0 seconds – top speed=187 mph
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles and unusual wheeled vehicles as well.