Is This Aston Martin DB11 Packing an AMG V8?

​A distinctive burble from its tailpipes raises a few questions.

byWill Sabel Courtney| PUBLISHED Aug 17, 2016 8:30 PM
Is This Aston Martin DB11 Packing an AMG V8?

Aston Martin fans have known for a while that AMG's 4.0-liter V8 would soon find its way into the engine compartments of their beloved sports cars. But while they—and we—assumed the turbocharged eight-cylinder would first show up beneath the hood of the new Vantage, a video has emerged showing what appears to be an Aston Martin DB11 with the AMG V-8.

Granted, Aston Martin didn't come out and and admit there's an eight-pot powering the camo-wrapped DB11 spotted by Youtube user Supercarsfromeu near the Nurburgring Nordschleife. But the menacing burble being pumped from those twin tailpipes certainly doesn't sound like the twin-turbo 5.2-liter V12 normally found in the newest Aston gran turismo. What gives?

So far, there are two main schools of thought as to why Aston Martin might have shoehorned an AMG V8 beneath the hood of its brand-new grand touring car. First off, it could simply be a powertrain test mule for the upcoming Aston Martin Vantage—a chance for engineers to see how well the German-made engine works in conjunction with the British electronics without dragging out the even-more-conspicuous Vantage prototype, which was still wearing its ill-fitting temporary plastic body the last time we saw it. 

The folks at Autocar, however, suggest that Aston Martin is planning on bringing the eight-cylinder DB11 to production. According to the British car magazine, Aston will reveal the V8 DB11 in a year or two as a less-powerful model designed to sell alongside the 12-cylinder version. 

Trying to sell eight- and 12-cylinder versions of the same gran turismo might seem rather, shall we say, cannibalistic. Then again, that strategy has worked for the Bentley Continental GT for years now, so maybe these Brits are on to something.