Aston Martin DB11 V8: An Andorran adventureWe took Aston Martin's new V8-powered DB11 on a journey to Andorra. Encountering every sort of weather and terrain, it was a true test of the big GT.
[MUSIC] Welcome to the brand new DB11 V8. [MUSIC] Instead of staying around the launch location, we thought we'd spend a couple of days with this car and actually really get to know it. So we're going on a bit of an adventure. To Adora. [MUSIC] [SOUND] Now before we talk about anything else, let's talk about the interior. Yes, it's very purple. It looks a little like something Willy Wonka might have designed. Or perhaps it's made from the leather of the Milka cow. I actually quite like it though, it's sort of grown on me. Anyway, less about the lurid leather, what you really want to know about is the engine. Instead of the 600 brake horsepower V12, there is a 503 brake horsepower 4 liter V8, with two turbo charges snuggled in the heart of the V. It's an engine that has essentially been lifted from the Mercedes-AMG And it will also be used in the new Vantage. As such, this is a pretty important moment for the company, as it signposts the way to its immediate future. So is this engine gonna be a success for Aston Martin? Well, yes, I think it's brilliant in Mercedes, they've done a fantastic job with Making turbo charged engine feel not only responsive, but characterful too. Now, Aston obviously hasn't just plug and played. They haven't just taken it straight out of an AMG GT and put it in this. They've changed intake, exhaust, and they've really worked on the sounds. They've tried to take out some of that really low, gutteral sound. You get a Mercedes and make it more Aston Martin. Have they succeeded? Well, yes they have. It doesn't sound instantly, you don't sort of think, hello, mate. I'm in Mercedes but it's got an Aston badge on it. You don't think that at all. Do you notice the hundred less brake horsepower? Not ready to be honest this still 500 [INAUDIBLE] which is ample. And remarkably, the V8 puts out 498 pounds-foot of torque, or to put in another way, it only puts out 18 pounds-foot less than the mighty V12. Admittedly, the V8 reaches its maximum torque slightly higher in the red range. Which means it doesn't feel quite as effortlessly brawny and that arguably makes it more drivable. And the V12 I often found it's best to stay a gear higher for the corners and lean on the torque. But the V8 is happy to rev. Flat out the V8 falls 13 mph short of the V12s 200 mph top speed. But against a stop watch from a standing start the V eight hit 62 miles an hour in a time of four seconds dead just a tenth shy of the V12. [INAUDIBLE] is extraordinary it's very beautiful, you know it's amazing these steep, High-sided valleys, but there appears to be an sort of architectural black hole. Of course, we care about the roads, not the buildings, but there are plenty of other reasons people make the journey to this little Pyrenean Principality. Some make the journey to play in the mountains on skies and bicycles, some come for the cheap petrol which would certainly make running a [UNKNOWN] easier. Others come for the inordinately cheap booze. While some travel here just for the cheap cigarettes. I don't actually smoke, but I do have fond memories of the race and rally cars that some of these logos were once attached to. Talking of cars, back to the DB-11. It's not just the engine that's changed in this situation of the DB-11. There have been a few other updates and tweaks too. Some of them, like the slight change in brake balance due to the 2% shift in weight distribution, You don't really notice. But somethings, you definitely do notice. Principle among them the steering. Now, it was very light in the V12 when that first came out I actually quite liked it. It made it sort of added to that relaxed field. But in this they've added a bit more weight in it, definitely gives you even more confidence. You've got that Very quick front end, and because the way bounces change slightly, it's different at the rear. So you don't get the sort of the movement gliding across the car as much. So it's easier to play through the corners. And if you step over the limit, then it's beautifully controlled. Although Aston has pushed the DV-11 With the V8 further towards the sports car end of the spectrum, it's still a GT. That really has to made very clear. It's still comfortable. It's still got the nice long travel feel to it in GT mode. It's just that when you switch to Sport or Sport Plus, there's is a bit more agility to it. It still feels like you got a lot out front A big nose. It's not a mid engine super car but you can get it into corners, particularly more open corners and then through the tighter ones you just use the throttle to help you around. In the wet this car is still quite spiky but it somehow more easily Managed than the B12 was, which was just wanted to spin off its rear wheels every opportunity.>> And we certainly found some rain, on the hairpins up to [UNKNOWN] to be precise. The road used in [UNKNOWN] Tour de France. Thankfully the DB11 remains a beautifully balanced car with its simple front engine rear drive set up Meaning that, if you do decide to turn the traction control off, it is fun rather than frightening. The fact that it weighs 115 kilos less certainly helps the V8 feel more poised. The smaller engine and the reduction in cooling paraphernalia associated with the engine accounting for the drop in weight. Of course, the V8 is also light on the wallet, costing 13 thousand pounds less than the V12. Just another thing that surely adds to this DB 11's appeal. In many ways the DB 11 v x is the one to go for. Does that make the v 12 redundant tonight? Well no because in the same way that the v 8 Bentley [INAUDIBLE] GT is the one to go, it will still want the w 12. They wont The daddy, it's the big one. They want to be able to spend the extra money, so I think the V-12 is safe, in terms of sales. But I would suggest you buy the V-8 [LAUGH]. It's great, it's really, really good. [SOUND] [MUSIC] As you're probably starting to gather, We covered a lot of ground during our time in Andorra. And I'll search for that perfect piece of tarmac. We encountered pretty much every sort of weather imaginable. We saw helicopters lifting caravans, we fixed a puncture. [INAUDIBLE] We dodged cows. [MUSIC] [NOISE] [MUSIC] We chased the light. [MUSIC] [SOUND] [MUSIC] We got lost. [MUSIC] I'm constantly marveled at our surroundings. [SOUND] [MUSIC] In short we crammed a lot into what we can with the [INAUDIBLE]. [MUSIC] But at the end of it all, this guy sprinkling a little terminal snow on a bad browse of the mountains, we find ourselves one very special piece of road. A port to [INAUDIBLE], a [INAUDIBLE] road rattled up against the Western border with Spain. [NOISE] This road Is just breath taking. This round huge bowl. [MUSIC] Just beautiful. [MUSIC] Here we are. [MUSIC] The end of the road. [MUSIC] That's it. [MUSIC] I love that [INAUDIBLE] I know that it seems up to a point that there's nothing up there. But, it's the sort of engineering equivalent of just going for a drive on Sunday morning with no purpose other to enjoy a car. I'm so glad somebody built this road. It is just amazing. [MUSIC] [MUSIC]