Speed and exclusivity have always been the hallmarks of Aston Martin. Since automotive engineers Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford established the company in 1913, the Marque has been considered an indulgence. Having the badge etched into the consciousness of popular culture by a gentleman named James Bond didn’t hurt either.
Both Martin and Bamford shared passions in engines and racing, and their cars quickly became staples of the motorsport circuit, including racing at Le Mans.
But it was David Brown who put the brand on the map. The English industrialist who made a fortune manufacturing tractors had acquired Aston Martin in 1947 for £20,500 (S$36,703). With Brown came a succession of cars bearing the iconic “DB” appellation, which established the brand as the acme of luxury comfort, elegant design and dedicated craftsmanship. The years passed, and Aston Martin only flourished under his watch.
Introducing The DB11 V8
The brand’s still on a roll. Marking the start of an entirely new chapter for the company is the DB11, made complete with stiffer bonded aluminium chassis and spanking new engines.
As an alternative to the V12, the DB11 is now available with a twin-turbocharged V8 engine from Mercedes-AMG. It sounds like a step-down, but in this case, less is more. Eight here doesn’t actually mean less than 12.
For the record, the V12’s a heavy old lump. The V8’s lighter — 115 kg lighter to be exact — with most of the weight shaved off the front axle. With 503 ponies, it can hit a hundred in four seconds flat, while the V12 does it in 3.9. Subtract that and the difference is 0.1 seconds, which you’ll never really notice when on the street.
Its top speed, on the other hand, is 300 km/h, just 22 km/h shy of the V12’s.
As far as handling goes, the V8 fares better. It feels a lot more together — the steering is tauter, supple and responsive. It runs from 3,000rpm to 5,000rpm in no time, which makes it easy for effective overtaking, or road rage if necessary. Works great in wet weather too. The (almost) perfect balance of the chassis and the engine’s punchy torque delivery (675Nm of torque) keeps the stability in check, allowing the car to feel agile and controlled even in the worst downpours.
And the best part? Every time the engine fires to life, no one will need to know about the drop in cylinder count. Fire it up and you’ll realise how rorty it really is. Push it, and it only gets angrier. But it is far from vulgar. As with all Aston Martins, it doesn’t shout and frankly, it doesn’t have to. It is stylish, classy and easily stands apart from the nouveau riche, and that’s exactly how we like it.
Yours for $799,000 before COE and options