With the next C63 switching its burbly V8 for an inline-four, the future for Mercedes-AMG’s 4.0-litre unit isn’t looking so rosy. With Aston Martin currently using Afalterbach’s twin-turbo engine in the DB11, Vantage and DBX, this seemingly leaves the British company with a quandary.
It has an answer, though. Speaking to Car and Driver, CEO Andy Palmer confirmed that Aston’s own incoming V6 will eventually replace the outsourced V8s. “Mercedes have made no secret of where their engine technology is moving to, and obviously we don’t foresee four-cylinder engines in our Astons,” he said, adding, “so we’ve got to make our own journey.”
We already knew Aston has been working on an all-new, self-developed V6, but so far it’s only been confirmed for the mid-engined Vanquish and the Valhalla hypercar (below). Electrical assistance should yield similar power levels to the V8s, and Palmer is promising that the internal combustion component will “sound like an Aston”.
The engines will be built at a new facility in the UK, to where production of Aston’s 5.2-litre twin-turbo V12 will eventually move. Currently, it’s built at Ford’s engine plant in Cologne, albeit in a separate staffed by Aston Martin employees.
The V12 does have a sell-by date, but it won’t be kicking the bucket for a little while yet. “You can see in the longer term it won’t last, but certainly over the next few years we can continue to produce V12 engines and we can make them more CO2 friendly,” Palmer said. He conceded, though, that “it will be a sad day” once the 12-cylinder finally goes from the range. Hard to argue with that.