Reviews 2018 Aston Martin DB11 V8 First Drive

02:07  11 november  2017
02:07  11 november  2017 Source:   Motor Trend

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The 2018 Aston Martin DB 11 V 8 has four fewer cylinders, develops 97 hp less, and its torque output falls short by 18 lb-ft. 2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom First Drive Review. 2018 BMW 640i xDrive Gran Turismo First Drive : A BMW

TORRENT, Spain—My friend Bob owns a fleet of cars that includes a Ferrari, a Lamborghini, and several Porsches. He always purchases the top-spec version, because like Spinal Tap’s Nigel Tufnel, he likes the ones that go to 11.

Compared with the V-12-powered car that launched the all-new DB11 range last year, the 2018 Aston Martin DB11 V8 has four fewer cylinders, develops 97 hp less, and its torque output falls short by 18 lb-ft. And it's the better car for it.

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GIRONA, Spain – If you’re already up around the quarter-million mark anyway, why not go all out? If you can get twelve cylinders in your Aston Martin , why settle for a V 8 ? And the short answer is that getting behind the wheel makes a very convincing argument that bigger isn’t always better.

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The DB11 V8 looks virtually identical to its gorgeous V12 powered sibling. But under that thrusting hood is one of our favorite engines—the thundering 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 developed by AMG, whose parent company, Daimler, owns a 5 percent stake in Aston Martin. Codenamed M178, this engine is a versatile yet charismatic workhorse, powering all versions of the AMG GT coupe, as well as the 63-series AMG versions of Mercedes sedans, coupes, wagons, and SUVs, with outputs ranging from 469 hp to more than 600 hp.

In DB11 trim the engine makes 503 hp and 498 lb-ft of torque, about the same output it delivers when fitted in the Mercedes-AMG GT S coupe. Changes made by Aston engineers include a new intake system, new engine mounts, a new slim-line wet sump, unique engine mapping, and a new exhaust system. Aston claims the DB11 V8 will accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in less than 4.0 seconds and has a top speed of 187 mph.

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Jump to First Drive Review — 2018 Aston Martin DB 11 V - 8 . Eight into 11 Will Go: Aston Martin Debuts AMG V - 8 in DB 11 . By MIKE DUFF.

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OK, the DB11 V8 is a tenth or two slower to 60 than its 12-cylinder sibling, and it won't hit 200 mph. And none of that matters because for the overwhelming majority of DB11 owners, those are utterly abstract numbers. What does matter is the M178 reduces the weight over the DB11's front axle by 253 pounds when compared with Aston's own 5.2-liter twin-turbo V-12. It matters because you can feel it every day.

  2018 Aston Martin DB11 V8 First Drive © Motor Trend Staff

From the very first corner you notice the steering seems more responsive than in the DB11 V12. Less weight over the front axle helps, but the 2 percent rearward shift in weight distribution means the yaw center of the car—the vertical axis about which it turns—is more rearward, closer to where you sit, enabling you to better feel what the rear axle is doing. And it's subtle changes to the rear suspension that really make the difference to the way the DB11 V8 drives.

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The 2018 Aston Martin DB 11 V 8 widens the grand touring spectrum like never before with a new extremes for performance and comfort. In other words, sales of the first four models ( DB 11 , Vantage, Vanquish, and DBX) must fund the next three.

First the bad news: just because Aston Martin is adding a V 8 engine to the DB 11 lineup, doesn’t mean that the car is much more affordable, just in case you’ve been holding out. Indeed, if price is important to you, then might I divert your attention to the 2018 Lexus LC 500instead. The V 8 -powered DB 11 is

The rear shock rates have been stiffened, along with the bushes for the rear subframe and the rear camber link, improving both lateral and vertical support. The result, says Aston vehicle dynamics chief Matt Becker, is about a 10 percent increase in lateral stiffness at the tire contact patch. "You can work the front of the car a lot harder as a consequence," he says, "because the rear is just much more honest."

When pushed, the DB11 V8 definitely feels grippier on corner entry than the 12-cylinder car, and it's more composed through turns. The more linear power delivery of the 4.0-liter V-8 helps; there's none of the massive surge of torque midturn that gets the traction control light strobing in the V12 and can make the car feel unsettled. Instead, you can be more precise with the throttle, feeding in just the power you want, when you want it. Although it fundamentally retains the relaxed gran turismo demeanor of the V12, the DB11 V8 seems much more agile and chuckable; it shrinks around you on a winding road.

  2018 Aston Martin DB11 V8 First Drive © Motor Trend Staff

The DB11 V8 also sounds different from the V12—gruffer, more guttural. Critically, it also sounds different from anything with an AMG badge. Aston engineers spent a lot of time tuning the exhaust system to reduce bass frequencies at low rpm and add more mid- and high-frequency noise. There's some burble on the overrun, but it's more like the rumble of a distant thunderstorm than the crack-bang-pop artillery barrage beloved by AMG.

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Leave it to the Aston Martin DB 11 V 8 to derail all train of thought. Our second look at this striking GT comes a year after our first , and under similar conditions. The 2018 model year grand tourer can now be had in V 8 or V12 flavors, with two distinct performance personalities.

How does a Mercedes-sourced V 8 change the character of Aston Martin 's lovely DB 11 coupe? We head to the California desert to find out. It’s been a year since we brought you the First Drive of the DB 11 with a traditional V12 under hood.

The DB11 V8 shares its transmission and final drive ratios with the V12, but the paddle shifters have 50 percent shorter travel to deliver a more precise shift feel (V12 cars will get the new shifters as well), and there's noticeably less shift shock from the eight-speed ZF transmission. That's because the engine's rotating masses are lighter, and the revised engine mounts and stiffer rear suspension bushes better soak up unwanted motions through the powertrain.

The DB11 V8's rear brake system is common with the V12's, but the front brakes have different calipers with smaller pistons because of the weight distribution change, and the pedal travel is shorter as a result. Aston engineers retuned the booster, as well, to give it a much more consistent pedal feel.

2018 Aston Martin DB11 V8 front three quarter in motion 02 close crop© Motor Trend Staff 2018 Aston Martin DB11 V8 front three quarter in motion 02 close crop

Sharp-eyed Aston aficionados will notice the unique alloy wheel finish, dark headlamp bezels, and that the hood only has two vents instead of four. But that's about all that visually separates the $201,820 DB11 V8 from the more powerful and marginally faster V12, which costs $17,500 more.

The DB11 V8 boasts the same level of standard equipment as the V12, and buyers can choose from the same extensive options menu and the same color and trim palette.

Unless you really must have 12-cylinder bragging rights at the country club, the lighter, more agile, more-entertaining-to-drive V8 is the more desirable of the two Aston Martin DB11s. That it's also the less expensive of the two makes it an even more compelling choice.

Aston Martin DB11: 12th Place - 2017 Motor Trend Best Driver's Car .
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