GAYDON, U.K. – Aston Martin’s flagship DB11 grand tourer will be offered with a smaller-capacity V-8 engine in a bid to grab additional sales in China.

Employing a 4.0L twin-turbocharged V-8 instead of the existing DB11’s 5.2L twin-turbo V-12 is expected to attract Chinese buyers benefiting from tax breaks based on engine capacity.

The smaller powerplant nevertheless will pack a punch, producing 503 hp and 498 lb.-ft. (675 Nm) of torque that can launch the GT from 0-62 mph (100 km/h) in just 4.0 seconds and deliver a top speed of 187 mph (301 km/h). At the same time it will boast carbon-dioxide emissions of 230 g/km and a combined fuel economy figure of 23.7 mpg (9.9 L/100 km).

Aston Martin claims the smaller engine has other performance advantages over its bigger sibling including being lighter and more compact, dropping 253 lbs. (115 kg) resulting in a curb weight of just 3,880 lbs. (1,760 kg). This should make the car more agile, aided by revisions to the suspension bushing, geometry, anti-roll bars, springs, dampers and stability-control software.

Exterior differences between the two variants include a unique alloy wheel finish, dark headlamp bezels and a pair of hood vents instead of the quartet featured on the V-12. These vents come in a choice of black or titanium-finish mesh, again different from those fitted to the 12-cyl. variant.

“The V-8 is very much its own car,” says Max Szwaj, Aston Martin chief technical officer. “One with a distinct and carefully crafted character that’s truly seductive. It has been hugely rewarding to put our stamp on this new engine, both in the way it sounds and performs, and to use its impressive attributes as the impetus to reveal a little more of the DB11’s sporting character.”

The V-8-powered DB11 is on sale for $198,995 in the U.S., £144,900 in the U.K. and €184,000 in Germany, with deliveries commencing in the fourth quarter.