When Aston Martin axed its ancient 4.3 liter naturally aspirated V8, and replaced it with the 4.0 liter twin-turbocharged V8 that it got from Mercedes and its AMG division, hopes were high that it would help give Aston a solid foundation to build upon. While the V8 initially made its debut in the firm’s car offerings (Vantage and DB11) the British sports car maker also shoehorned it into its first ever SUV, the DBX. But it appears that this plan is now being canned according to a new report from the folks at Autocar.
This abrupt switch is largely due to Mercedes and AMG’s changing plans for its engines, with the German auto giant revealing that it will be focusing on expanding its investment in boosted four cylinders for the foreseeable future. While both AMG and Mercedes might be eager to double down on this plan, Aston Martin is not willing to follow the script, with Aston CEO Andy Palmer confirming this in a recent statement to the publication.
“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,” Aston Martin boss Andy Palmer told Autocar. “So we’ve got to make our own journey.”
This journey means the switch to an all new hybrid V6 that was developed in house by Aston Martin engineers. Making its debut in the Valhalla supercar, the unique engine will eventually make its way to the rest of the lineup. In the case of the DBX, it would give Aston’s inaugural SUV better fuel economy, though don’t expect performance to be sacrificed in the name of going completely green. Palmer revealed that the V6 sounds just as good as the V8, and that it can live up to Aston’s performance pedigree. We look forward to finding out if it can indeed do just that, especially since this V6 would be the first powerplant that Aston Martin has formally developed on its own since 1968. That’s a lot of figurative ring rust, but Palmer is confident in the ability of his engineers to get the job done.
The engine will also be a money saver for Aston Martin, with the engine being fully compatible with the current transmissions that the company already uses (sparing Aston Martin the additional costs of making new transmissions just for this engine.) As for the Valhalla, it will also serve as the spearhead offering for the V6 when it makes its debut in 2022 with the remaining lineup getting it soon after.
As for the V12, any lingering fantasies about a V12 powered DBX appeared to be snuffed out when Palmer revealed in a separate statement to Autocar claiming “You can see in the longer term that it will not last.” While a hybrid version could help the big 12 cylinder stick around for a few more years, the recent tightening of emissions regulations globally (especially in Europe) are making it harder for big displacement powerplants like the V12 to survive in the marketplace. It will be missed when it eventually is axed, considering that the V12 was the preferred choice in Aston Martin products for many years.