Aston Martin is pushing ahead with plans to strengthen its image as a bona fide British rival to Ferrari and is readying an entry-level supercar with a mid-mounted V8 to take on the new Ferrari 296 GTB.
It will be the third addition to Aston Martin’s mid-engined supercar line-up, following the launch this year of the Cosworth V12-engined Valkyrie hypercar and the 2024 launch of the V8-powered Valhalla. The trio were shown together for the first time at the Geneva motor show in 2019, but Aston has since undergone a dramatic process of reinvention under new management and ownership, with the evolution of the Valhalla production car testament to a shift in priorities over the coming years.
Like the Valhalla, the entry-level mid-engined supercar – originally called the Vanquish but likely to drop that name, according to company chairman Lawrence Stroll – is expected to be a radically different proposition by the time it is revealed in its final form.
Chief among the changes is set to be a switch from Aston’s own V6 petrol engine to a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 supplied by majority shareholder Mercedes-AMG. The V8 will be paired with an electric drive unit to form a plug-in hybrid system that will rival today’s most powerful supercars for outright potency.
The Valhalla, which straddles the boundary between supercar and hypercar (and thus commands a price of around £650,000), uses the most highly strung version of AMG’s M178 V8, as featured in the hardcore Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series, with a flat-plane crank and a 7200rpm redline. In keeping with its entry billing – and a price expected to be nearer the £250,000 mark – the less potent Aston is more likely to use the engine in the same state of tune as the Mercedes-AMG GT 63, for a pure-combustion output of around 630bhp.