Aston Martin could share Mercedes-AMG platforms as part of its tie-up, says company boss Ulrich Bez.
The partnership could also lead to the revival of a plan to build Aston's first SUV.
Speaking to Autocar, Bez said there “was lots of potential to be discovered”. The initial technical deal between the two firms outlined in July gained Aston access to bespoke V8 engines and AMG electronic architectures for the next generation of Aston Martins.
“There is a potential to see how far it goes,” said Bez, referring to possible platform sharing. “I look at what Porsche is doing with the 911 as its core business and then it is able to do models like the Cayenne based on the Volkswagen Touareg. It is good business.”
Bez said he had courted a partnership with Mercedes-AMG since Aston revealed the Mercedes GL-based Lagonda SUV concept at the 2009 Geneva motor show. The deal means Aston can now consider putting an SUV into production.
Likely to be launched around 2017 and based on the next Mercedes M-class, the SUV would be badged as an Aston Martin Lagonda, but it would be a complete reworking of the unpopular Geneva concept.
Bez said the partnership also gave Aston the ability to react quickly to regulation changes. “The challenge in the future is for me to have a solution to, say, tax brackets in China; at the moment there is 100 per cent tax on engines over 4.0 litres,” he said. “In the future it might be less. You need to be flexible but, selling 5000-7000 vehicles a year, we can’t be.”
Bez said one thing that wouldn’t be affected by the tie-up is Aston’s 5.9-litre V12. “I believe the potential of our V12 is there for another 10 years at least,” he said.
Mark Tisshaw & Andrew Frankel