The announcement comes ahead of the Goodwood Festival of Speed, which will host the new model’s first public debut, though ultimately the new model is specifically targeted at markets like China where road taxes are tied to engine displacement.
The 4.0-litre V8 is a development of the Mercedes-AMG engine used in cars like the E 63 and AMG GT matching the 375kW output of the C 63 S, but down slightly on torque with 675Nm compared the 700Nm of the high-performance C-Class.
Next to the 5.2-litre V12, the V8 is capable of a 4.0-second 0-100 km/h sprint, versus 3.9-seconds for the V12, despite the larger engines heftier 447kW/700Nm outputs. Drive is channelled via an alloy torque tube with carbon fibre propeller shaft to a mid-mounted eight-speed automatic transmission.
The addition of a V8 variant also marks the first time in Aston Martin history that a DB model has been offered with a choice of engines. Aston Martin-specific changes to the AMG V8 include a bespoke engine management system to ensure the DB11 V8 maintains the grand touring nature of its bigger brother.
Aston Martin also touts the new model’s impressive fuel consumption figures - an official 8.2 l/100km, versus the V12 11.4 l/100km thanks not only to the smaller engine, but also a 115kg weight reduction.
Other advantages of the more compact V8 engine, and its slimline wet sump lubrication system, include a new, lower mounting position in the DB11’s chassis with unique engine mounts and revised suspension settings to cope, which Aston Martin claims imbue the DB11 V8 with a more sporting character.
To help the V8 model stand apart visual changes include unique alloy wheel designs, black bezels in the headlights and a pair - rather than four - bonnet vents that come in a choice of black or titanium.
Interior equipment remains the same as that of the V12 model, and a range of Q by Aston Martin personalisation options are also available.
"The DB11 is the most complete and sophisticated car Aston Martin has ever made," said Aston Martin CEO, Andy Palmer.
"Now, with this new V8 engine option we have broadened its appeal by offering a car that will bring the DB11 to more customers around the world while still blessed with the exceptional performance and memorable character that sets Aston Martin apart from its rivals. Having driven the car during its development phase, it is not just the engine that has changed the character of the car, but also the resulting dynamic changes to create a remarkable GT car with its own distinct personality from the V12."
The DB11 isn’t expected to be the AMG-developed 4.0-litre V8’s only application, with the new engine tipped to find its way into the next-generation Vantage two-seater due out early next year as well as the DBX SUV that is currently in development ahead of a 2018 debut.