By on March 6, 2020

Back in 2013, Aston Martin signed a deal with Daimler to supply the next generation of its performance vehicles with Mercedes-AMG engines and electrical systems. That arrangement is now coming to an end, as AMG has decided to replace its 4.0-liter V8 with a hybridized four-cylinder unit that’s more efficient. While the older Mercedes-sourced mill will linger in Aston Martin’s Vantage, DB11, and DBX luxury crossover, the manufacturer will eventually need to find its replacement.

Fortunately, it already has a motor in mind. 

In an interview with Car & Driver, Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer explained that the company plans to replace the German V8 with the homegrown hybrid V6 it has scheduled for the upcoming Valhalla and Vanquish models.

“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,” Palmer explained, “so we’ve got to make our own journey.”

When the time comes, any model using the AMG motor will have to swap over to Aston’s V6 — which should come in a variety of flavors. Not much is known about it, though it’s said to support advanced hybrid technology, with the company frequently making reference to twin-turbo power on the Valhalla. Palmer said the V12 will also stick around, serving as the primary unit in its fanciest grand tourers. Still, he admitted it probably won’t last forever, citing the United Kingdom’s quest to ban the sale of all internal combustion vehicles by 2035.

“I hope the V12 is around for a good while longer,” Palmer said. “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. It will be a sad day when we see the V12 engine disappear from an Aston.”

Since we’re rarely dressed in the proper attire, we don’t spend a lot of time in Aston Martin products. Regardless, we’ll still miss the growl of the gnarly V8 and certainly plan on savoring it wherever we manage to find it (usually an upscale parking garage). Knowing this, Palmer explained that monumental effort is being taken to ensure the V6 makes the right noise — especially considering it has never built one.

“The key is sound, tuning the pipes to make it sound like an Aston,” he said. “Obviously we can use the hybrid system and the electric motor to fill in on torque so you can compensate for the cylinder size with the electrical assist. As long as it feels like a V8 and sounds majestic, I think it’s a perfectly sensible way to go, and a lot more sensible than an [inline] four would be for us.”

[Image: Aston Martin]

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25 Comments on “Aston Martin Abandoning AMG V8 for Homegrown Hybrid V6 Turbo...”


  • avatar
    ajla

    The sun never sets on the 90-degree V6 empire.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    “the United Kingdom’s quest to ban the sale of all internal combustion vehicles by 2035.”

    With the anticipated anti-ICE legislation being UK specific, I wonder if Aston could keep a stable of exciting ICE cars for export only?

  • avatar
    slavuta

    I wish people just had some balls to say – NO! I am not buying a $200K car with a v6.
    To me personally, no automaker will sell anything with 4cyl for over 30K, and if car is $100K it is better be v8. Come on, $75K MB with T4 – no way.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      I mean at 100k, why would I want the same architecture under the hood I can get in the last Dodge Charger National sent me away in. 200k? V12, probably with forced induction. 12 cylinders is in my mind where that level of luxury starts in a car like this or a Rolls or Bentley. Mid engined supercars like the GT though I’m cool with it though and wish one could get a turbo Vette no matter the cylinder count.

    • 0 avatar
      statikboy

      slavuta, I agree completely. No car is worth more than $30,000.

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      Affordable V-8 availability is one of the reasons so many people in the US switched to pickups.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Unfortunately you will eventually be paying 100k for a turbo 4 with a CVT. The eventual goal is to eliminate all ICE vehicles and in order to comply with most of the current and upcoming regulations there will be no room for V-8s or v-12s and this will eventually affect V-6s. This is not a good trend but it seems that this is the direction the regulators are going and the US will not be exempt from this because eventually the US will follow these standards. Eventually it will be prohibitive cost wise to build ICE vehicles to comply with the efficiency regulations.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      I don’t care about “eventually”. Today is today. Why succumb today to eventuality.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      It’s nothing to do with efficiency or environmental regs. If you’re trying to build the ultimate performance vehicle, ICE isn’t the way to go. They’re outdated and slow. Cars like the all-electric quad motor Rimac C2 with 1,914 hp are the future. Aston’s POS “62k mile rebuild” V12 is the past.

      • 0 avatar
        John

        Electric Cars have No Soul!!!. They are just Glorified Golf Carts. My wife has a 2019 Tesla P100D, yes it can accelerate at an obscenely fast pace, but there is No Connection between the Car and Driver. Where as I feel connected and part of my 2018, 7-speed Corvette GS, with a Katech Stage-2 V8 upgrade, how do I say this so you can understand, I’ll just say that it’s FUN to Drive.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        Maybe if you are drag racing, but my last track day would have been considerably shorter with any of the EVs currently on the market and lap times would have tanked very early in the run with any of them except a Taycan.

        Furthermore, nobody runs stock at the strip. Are there any Tesla’s running 7’s?

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        Sure, the ultimate performance vehicle. I.e. a box to generate bench racing headline figures. What about the other 95% of the time you don’t have the go pedal to the floor? Performance without character has no value.

  • avatar
    Boxerman

    Its interesting that the mass euro cars are going all electric and small displacement turbo 4s. Possibly if they want to sell competitive products in the land of the free they need to reconsider.

    Aston has the right idea. Ice will be around for a long time, and if you want to sell premium ice cars 4cls is a barrier. A 4 cyl sounds like crap sand they always vibrate.

    V8s sound great and a 6 can be as smooth ans almost as tuneful as a 12, and yes elec assist can make all the off the line low down tq as any motor.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      So I guess that confirms the AMG rumors. Talk about idiotic. If Cadillac was smart, they would take the opportunity and run with it. GM already has one of the best lines of V8s. Put one in the top of every model. The Eco-zealots won’t buy a Cadillac or Mercedes Benz anyway. The customer bases of both brands are willing to pay for whatever eco penalty gets added to them.

  • avatar
    Maymar

    With Aston’s heritage, I’m fine with the drop from 8 to 6 cylinders (they certainly pull out a certain silver birch DB5 at every opportunity). That said, it seems wrong to arrange them in a vee instead of inline. Given the Benz connection, couldn’t they do anything with MB’s new straight six?

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    If you care about today and want an Aston Martin with a V8 then buy one now. Neither you or I have any control over what happens in the future.

  • avatar
    mcs

    Hopefully, it has a longer life than their 12:

    https://www.motor1.com/news/297399/aston-martin-valkyrie-engine-life/

  • avatar
    Vanillasludge

    If they leverage the marketing value of their new connections to F1, this could make a lot of sense. Hybrid v6 engines are the configuration for Formula 1 for the foreseeable future.

  • avatar
    sin43k

    In an interview with Car & Driver, Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer explained that the company plans to replace the German V8 with the homegrown hybrid V6 it has scheduled for the upcoming Valhalla and Vanquish models.

    it’s nonsense, lol

  • avatar
    rpm773

    “You could get the Reno with a manual transmission, but few buyers did so.”

    Methinks *few* buyers went with the automatic, too.

  • avatar
    conundrum

    The V12 Aston engine in higher-end models is two old Ford Duratec 3.0 V6 engines laid end to end with beefier mains. Noble made many souped-up turbo versions of the Duratec V6 engine in 3 litre form to get about 425 hp. The V12 blocks and heads are cast by the Cosworth Coscast system by the real folks themselves. Easy enough to make a pretty radical turbo V6 from that base, without reinventing the wheel, surely? Enough spare engineering resources lying around with experience in the UK. All it needs are more modern heads with new combustion chambers, DI and exhaust manifolds in the head which is the trend everywhere to keep the turbo as close in as possible.

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