Aston Martin's tie-up with AMG is set to spawn an SUV using Mercedes-Benz architecture
7 February 2014

Mercedes-Benz boss Dieter Zetsche is "open" to sharing the platform of the Mercedes GL-class new partner Aston Martin to underpin its recently-resurrectedSUV.

Speaking at the launch of the new V-class, Zetsche said any co-operation would “depend on Aston Martin’s product plans”. 

Last year Aston boss Ulrich Bez confirmed that the SUV was still on the company’s radar, but that any production car would be badged ‘Aston Martin’, rather than Lagonda. The concept was first shown at the Geneva motor show in 2009.

The full-size Aston Martin SUV could be seen as early as 2017, but won't include any Mercedes or AMG badging when it goes on sale. Zetsche has said he would prefer AMG's partnership with Aston to be "subtle", meaning there's likely to be no visible sign of the company's involvement on Aston models.

Aston Martin's SUV project has been moved to the back burner many times previously because a suitable vehicle platform wasn't available. The company's tie-in with AMG currently means it has access to a bespoke range of V8 engines and electrical components to power its next-gen models, but could well be extended to include platform sharing.

Zetsche also said Mercedes is open to co-operation with electric car maker Tesla. “We have very good links [with Tesla] which certainly have room for further expansion,” he said.

Tesla is currently working on its own SUV, an all-electric seven-seat Model X which the US company says can beat a Porsche 911 to 60mph.

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Comments
12

7 February 2014
please, please, please Aston - if you're going to nick Merc running gear then refresh the Lagonda Vignale concept from 1993 and build it on the new S-class platform

7 February 2014
I'm awaiting those who'll say this isn't an Aston Martin because the chassis isn't developed by Aston. But consider this: what if the platform is better than Aston could have developed by itself? Mercedes will have spent vast sums of money on this new platform, more than Aston could ever hope to, but still Aston will get all the benefits. It could be rather good.

7 February 2014
I don't care if Aston use a Merc platform for an SUV - I do care if it looks like the hideous Lagonda concept car pictured. The designer chips are down: Ian Callum did some of the most beautiful Astons ever, and has now proved he can do a good-looking SUV (the Jag concept). Every design of Aston soince his days there have merely tinkered with what he did. So are the current Aston design folks up to the job of doing a good-looking Aston SUV? Not based on the Lagonda concept they aren't. Come on Aston, you can do better than that.

7 February 2014
...and just buy Aston outright, expand it and use the name for a range of top end models where the Maybach failed so dismally. Then they'll finally be able to rival BMW owning Rolls Royce and VW owning Bentley. I'd rather that the UK company had the money to do it themselves, but clearly they don't so I'd rather see a wholehearted effort for a great brand than a token gesture. If joint development work on the new Mercedes GT platform isn't already being shared for the new Vantage also then people want their heads knocking together.

7 February 2014
Do you always give in so easily? So Aston is, or should be, no more than a name on someone else's cars??? How utterly pointless, and so very sad. An "Aston Martin" SUV that's a Benz underneath. Disgusting. At least have the integrity not to badge it an Aston. If they must skewer a marque, poor Lagonda would be a better choice. I'm sure that won't happen, given that Bez put an Aston badge on a tiny Toyota (a big failure, of course). There IS money now -- invest it and spend it PROPERLY, not by rebadging someone else's vehicles. Ford did it right, so surely could Mercedes and Investindustrial etc. No, Symanski, if it's a Mercedes under the skin, then it's not an Aston. What a revolting concept. If the next Vantage is based on the Merc GT (or any other Merc), I'll be keeping my V8 Vantage. Or looking at Jaguars and Ferraris.

7 February 2014
Speedraser wrote:
No, Symanski, if it's a Mercedes under the skin, then it's not an Aston. What a revolting concept.
If done right then it can be a very good idea. It doesn't have to be a Merc in drag; it can be an Aston Martin. Better than the sum of it's parts. Trust in Bez.

7 February 2014
Trust in Bez??? You must be joking! After the Cygnet??? I used to be a big fan of Bez, and he did a lot of good for Aston, but no longer. There is no reason to trust him anymore. An "Aston" based on a Benz may be a great car, but it won't be an Aston Martin. I would no longer be a customer.

8 February 2014
Speedraser wrote:
Trust in Bez??? You must be joking! After the Cygnet???
Look at what Bez brought to Aston with the VH platform being able to produce the DB9, V8 and V12 Vantage, and the Rapid. Then the 1-77. He was bold enough to try something nobody else was doing - a luxury city car. That was brave and perhaps it didn't work because of some narrow minded people? You dismiss him because of the Cygnet, but his SUV idea is being copied by many others with, for example, both Jaguar and Bentley looking at bringing them out. Look at what the Cayenne has done for Porsche - 40% of their profits from this one model. For Aston Martin to stay relevant it's got to keep moving forward and if it doesn't it has no future.

7 February 2014
How on earth do you get from "Dieter Zetsche is "open" to sharing the platform of the Mercedes GL-class new partner Aston Martin... depending on Aston Martin’s product plans” to "Aston SUV to use Mercedes GL platform"? This surely must be the automotive equivalent of the Mark Twain story. On hearing that his obituary had been published in the US, he sent a telegram from London in 1897 saying: "The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated".

8 February 2014
Bez, Benz, buyout... it was always coming.

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