Test driving the DB11

Full disclosure: I am a Vantage fan. I have owned 5 in total and still own one V12 Vantage Roadster and one V8 Vantage coupe. I love the short, brutal look, the noise it makes and especially the sportier, more engaged drive. So I knew up front that the DB11 would not be my cup of tea. After all, it is the successor to the DB9, which always has been the more “GT” model within Aston Martin’s portfolio: a comfortable daily driver. That said, as a long-time Aston Martin fan, I am very interested in the DB11, to find out where Aston Martin is going, in terms of looks, engines, technology, interior, infotainment, etc… if only to get a glimpse of what the next Vantage could be like. So I was very happy that, even though I am not a DB11 prospect, Kroymans Aston Martin still gave me the chance to test drive the DB11 on public roads around their dealership. To top that, this week they even invited me to come join a DB11 track day in Germany! Couldn’t say no to that! So what is the DB11 like?

Vantage Turbo: Engine Disassembly

As you all know from previous posts we have bought a spare engine that will be rebuild with stronger internals. Additionally we will replace parts and strengthen the stock design where needed and where possible. The Aston Martin Vantage V8 engine is based off the AJV8 engine developed by Ford (FoMoCo) for Jaguar and Landrover platforms. The Aston Martin V8 engine however is just loosely based on the Jaguar engine, it has a different casting for the shortblock, uses different internals and has a completely different head. We started taking off the heads. Here is a pic of the shortblock.

Vantage Turbo: V8 Camshaft timing

Building the turbo Aston Martin V8 engine: Some reverse engineering. Previously we found out the Aston Martin V8 engine ‘breaths’ pretty well even in the high RPM. We determined this by dynoing the car. The torque was constant up until the rev limit. All aspects in an engine determine the general performance of the engine, but there is one main item in the whole engine that has the most influence on the characteristics of the engine and that is the valve opening and closing timing.

Vantage Turbo: Approach – Build a spare engine

Here’s the next chapter about our Vantage Turbo project. Today, I’ll tell you about the approach we will be taking with the engine itself. The power level we are aiming for requires the engine to be rebuilt with parts that can withstand more mechanical strength than in stock condition. OEM manufacturers make their engines not only for horsepower, but also for durability, sustainability, fuel economy (yes even on cars like Aston Martin), weight and most of all: production costs.

Vantage Turbo – project goals : 800hp!

We started this project with a horsepower goal of 800HP. This figure is pretty arbitrary. The Vantage with 4.3 engine has 380 HP from factory (400hp with the Aston power upgrade).  Buying a Vantage V12 would get you say another 150 HP. We would like to have a much bigger step on top of the V12 power, and the next power level would be something like doubled the V8 horsepower: 800HP.

Delivery of my silver V8 Vantage

A few weeks ago, I purchased my new project car. And today, I could finally pick up at Kroymans, with several cosmetic upgrades already implemented. Here it is, waiting for me in the showroom: (just ignore that red german thingie in the background, not sure who put that there 🙂 )

Geneva 2015 – Vulcan

Last but not least, the Vulcan. A £1.8 million track-only hyper-car of which only 24 will be built. Still very much a prototype, no interior at all and all future carbon parts still shiny black plastic. But impressive none the less.