Aston Martin DB11 Gets a roaring V-8 transplant

Rebecca Lindland

Today's Aston Martin is not unlike the British royal family: steeped in history, but oh so very modern. Each and every Aston Martin takes 200 hours to build by hand, and the interior is crafted by one seamstress using seven hand-dyed Bridge of Weir hides. It takes 50 hours to paint each car, creating a finish that’s literally soft to the touch. These are not ordinary vehicles.

The British monarchy has two young, dashing princes, and so does Aston Martin with its youthful DB11. The $216,595 (base, retail) V12-powered DB11 debuted first with much fanfare, much like Prince William. Now, two years later, Aston is rolling out the $198,995 V8-powered DB11, its “heir with a spare,” but with a bit of a spunky ginger gleam in the eye.

The V12 DB11 is so absolutely beastly in its power, its performance, its filthy, thunderous exhaust note. It honors Aston Martin’s V12 tradition, and, like Wills, is a decidedly more serious, powerful car. Even while it's a beautiful vehicle to drive, the firstborn can be a lot to haul as a daily driver.

The V8 is as beautiful as its more powerful sibling, and there are few visual differences, the most notable being two hood vents on the V8 instead of four. The V8 produces 503 brake horsepower (bhp), 498-foot pounds of torque, top speed of 187 mph, and a 0-62 mph (0-100km) in 4.0 seconds flat, all wrapped up in an impossibly elegant package. The V8 doesn’t have quite the aforementioned fabulously filthy, thunderous exhaust note of the V12, but selecting “sport” mode definitely ups the thrub-thrub-thrub.

The DB11 is your reward for working hard and putting in long hours. Our lives are dominated today by practical needs: rigid structure, inflexible schedules, constant demands on our time, our attention, our emotions. If your bank account allows, why not give yourself a break and at least enjoy the ride, Your Highness?

Rebecca Lindland is a contributor to Forbes