The head of Aston Martin has confirmed the British firm plans to stop using Mercedes-AMG’s V8 engine and replace it with an in-house developed V6 hybrid.
Speaking to Car and Driver, Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer suggested Mercedes-AMG’s rumoured move away from large-capacity engines to electrified four-cylinders would not work for the Gaydon-based firm.
Under a technical agreement between the two companies, many current Aston products – including the base DB11, Vantage and new DBX – employ a version of Affalterbach’s twin-turbo 4,0-litre V8 petrol engine. But that looks set to change.
"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. So we’ve got to make our own journey," Palmer told the US-based publication.
He went on to suggest one of the most crucial parts of the new 3,0-litre V6 hybrid to get right was sound.
"The key is sound, tuning the pipes to make it sound like an Aston. 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 a four [cylinder] would be for us."
Palmer added he expected the new powertrain’s total output to exceed that of the current V8.
"As you move on, you normally expect a power increase, not a decrease. You're supposed to do that even with a smaller power unit, so there's no way our customers are going to expect to step backward."
He also said he hoped the firm’s 5,2-litre V12 engine would be around “for a good while longer".
"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.”