Many of us were disappointed when Mercedes-AMG decided to kill the V8-powered C63. We took it especially hard, even in the era of downsizing. For me, a left-hand drive 6.2-litre C63 was the very first press car I ever drove, so every change to that car since then has left a sour taste – largely unfairly – in my mouth. The 4.0-litre twin-turbo car is an absolute peach, after all.
Rumour has it that a certain Tobias Moers, former chief of AMG, was so incensed when the rest of the board voted to make the C63 a four-pot that he walked out of the meeting. With nothing further to say, actions speak louder than words. Just seven months after that decision was made, Moers has moved to Aston Martin.
The controversial reshuffle at Aston has been met with a mixed reception. No one seems particularly sure about major investor Lawrence Stroll, who has now taken ownership of 25 per cent of the British company after shares collapsed earlier this year to “you’d be daft not to” levels. His web first extended into Formula 1 and now to road cars, and few people seem to know what the Canadian businessman’s endgame is and he certainly seems to be twisting a lot of arms lately.
Then there’s the fact that the much-admired Andy Palmer appears to have been forced out, taking responsibility – whether at fault or not – for the hard times Aston has found itself in. His departure was unexpected, and comments across social media suggest a lot of people; journalists, customers and industry figures alike, are not very pleased to see him apparently get the boot.
Still, there’s a bright side to these two heavyweights having left their posts. Palmer could walk into more or less any top job at car companies across the world, and they’d be lucky to have him. Aston Martin is definitely lucky to have Tobias Moers.
If the boardroom story above doesn’t tell you all you need to know about how much 98-octane runs through the German’s veins, his choice of follow-up destination should. He chose to go to Aston Martin, which is closely tied-in with AMG right now anyway, and he’ll oversee the development of all future products. Just consider the implications of that: the man who adores V8s and shouty, fun-first cars is heading to a company that is already building cars to fit engines he personally knows inside-out.
The expertise and inside knowledge he will bring to Aston will be like a shot of NOS to the Gaydon suavemeisters, accelerating their in-house engine programmes and creating true Aston/AMG hybrids; thoroughbred offspring of style and brute force. These should be the kinds of cars we’ll want to celebrate before, during and after their time in production.
For Moers it’s a bittersweet win but one that brings with it more of what he loves than his old job now will. He’s made a very smart move and nobody could begrudge it. Meanwhile we can just prepare our dribble-bibs for what will likely be an epic partnership destined for memorable things. V8s guaranteed.