(Image Credits: Aston Martin)

Earlier this year the Aston Martin DB11 made landfall in the United States. Say what you will about the rear roof quarter lifted from a Nissan Maxima; this car makes a hell of an entrance. And with its 600 horsepower V12, a good getaway, too. This week we’re driving the V8 version. What do you want to know about it?

From the outside, the V12 and V8 DB11s look identical. The headline performance specs don’t look all that different, either. Aston Martin says the V12 car and scream from stopped to 62 mph in 3.9 seconds while the V8 does it in 4.0. The V12’s claimed top speed is 200 mph, the V8’s is 187.

That doesn’t indicate that the V12’s extra 100 HP is good for much, is it?

I’m sure Aston’s engineers would be quick to cite something like “smoothness” as another advantage of the extra four cylinders. Regardless, I think the V8’s real value proposition is the 250-plus pounds of weight savings it offers.

The eight-cylinder engine is a four-liter twin-turbo rated to 503 horsepower and 498 lb-ft of torque. You might recognize it from the Mercedes-AMG C63S with a unique intake, exhaust and oil sump that’s supposed to move its mass earthward.

No DB11 is built to be a thrasher, but that much of a diet could do a lot for the large car’s dexterity in tight spaces.

We’re certainly not the first to drive Aston’s lean-spec DB11 but we’ll try to be as entertaining and educational as possible in our SoCal shakedown. While we’re at it, let me know what to look for and ask engineers.