Currently reading: Aston Martin's new hybrid V6 powertrain to roll out across range
All-new engine will gradually replace current AMG-sourced V8, while Ford V12 production will be brought back to UK
News
4 mins read
16 April 2020

Aston Martin’s hybridised V6 will rapidly be deployed across most of the marque’s range once it has made its debut in the Valhalla supercar, Autocar has learned.

The all-new powerplant, due to enter production in 2022, will replace the Mercedes-AMG 4.0-litre V8 that’s used in the Vantage, the lower reaches of the DB11 range and the soon-to-be-launched DBX SUV.

“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,” CEO Andy Palmer told Autocar. “So we’ve got to make our own journey.”

With integrated electrical assistance, the Aston Martin V6 should effectively be a modular replacement for the AMG V8, with Palmer confirming that it can be mated to existing transmissions.

Just as important, it will make at least as much power as the AMG engine in these applications.“As you move on, you normally expect a power increase, not a decrease,” Palmer said. “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 backwards.”

Aston Martin confirmed the new engine would be its most powerful yet when used in the Valhalla but that it would also be detuned and reconfigured to suit a variety of needs.

The British company has a long history of making straight sixes but has never done a V6 before. However, Palmer insists it will be possible to make sure it delivers a brand-appropriate experience. “The key is sound,” he said. “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 assistance.

“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.”

The V6 will be made in the UK by an as-yet-unspecified supplier. Autocar has been told that it definitely won’t involve Ford’s soon-to-close engine plant in Bridgend, despite its proximity to the new Aston Martin factory in St Athan.

We have also learned from insiders that Aston Martin is planning to move production of its twin-turbocharged 5.2-litre V12 engine to the UK (it’s currently made at a Ford factory in Cologne, Germany), with the plan being to add an electrical element.

Aston Martin sold nearly 1800 V12-powered cars last year, and repatriating the powerplant to the UK shows a continued commitment to it.

“You can see in the longer term that it won’t last,” Palmer admitted, “but certainly over the next few years, we can continue to produce V12 engines, and we can make them more CO2-friendly.”

While the UK government’s planned ban on the sale of all new petrol and diesel-fuelled cars – including hybrids – by 2035 will create big challenges, Palmer echoed McLaren boss Mike Flewitt by confirming his company won’t stop developing part-combustion cars for other markets if demand is still there.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Find an Autocar review

Read our review

Car review

Is the revived Aston Martin Vanquish a worthy successor to the range-topping Aston DBS?

Back to top

“The key point is that we make cars for the world, and the world hasn’t said there isn’t a future for hybrids or plug-in hybrids,” said Palmer.

“If we were only selling to the UK it would be different, but we’re selling to a worldwide market where there’s a variety of views on future technology and how it will be deployed.”

We also asked Palmer about Aston Martin’s withdrawal from the planned hypercar class in the World Endurance Championship after previously indicating that it would join.

“They changed the rules, nothing more, nothing less,” he explained. “They allowed in IMSA vehicles. It was nothing to do with the state of the company, nothing to do with internal politics, nothing to do with anything other than that [Le Mans organiser] the ACO destroyed the business case.

“We were led to believe we were going to be racing hypercar against hypercar, but we didn’t anticipate there would be a lower-cost way of racing a year later. The whole case just fell to pieces.”

READ MORE

Aston seals funds for DBX production, but issues long-term warning 

Analysis: Aston Martin is not out of the woods yet 

Lawrence Stroll to take bigger stake in Aston Martin

Join the debate

Comments
15
Add a comment…
Mikey C 16 April 2020

I imagine Ford are happy stop

I imagine Ford are happy stop producing the V12 for Aston anyway, a specialised low volume engine hardly fits in with the rest of the production there, especially with the related Ford V6 engine long discontinued

The Colonel 16 April 2020

Benign Occupation

Mikey C wrote:

I imagine Ford are happy stop producing the V12 for Aston anyway, a specialised low volume engine hardly fits in with the rest of the production there, especially with the related Ford V6 engine long discontinued

Ford don't produce it, AM do in a dedicated shed that is within Ford's Niehl plant, with the castings coming in from the UK.

Speedraser 16 April 2020

The Colonel wrote:

The Colonel wrote:

Mikey C wrote:

I imagine Ford are happy stop producing the V12 for Aston anyway, a specialised low volume engine hardly fits in with the rest of the production there, especially with the related Ford V6 engine long discontinued

Ford don't produce it, AM do in a dedicated shed that is within Ford's Niehl plant, with the castings coming in from the UK.

^^^This. It's not a Ford engine (as Autocar's headline strongly and incorrectly implies). Rather, Aston builds it in a dedicated Aston-only section of the Ford plant that is staffed exclusively by Aston employees.

To those who think Aston should use a 4-cylinder engine because it needs to "move with the times," tell that to Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren, etc.

Symanski 16 April 2020

Ford?

Speedraser wrote:

^^^This. It's not a Ford engine (as Autocar's headline strongly and incorrectly implies). Rather, Aston builds it in a dedicated Aston-only section of the Ford plant that is staffed exclusively by Aston employees.

To those who think Aston should use a 4-cylinder engine because it needs to "move with the times," tell that to Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren, etc.

It's a derivative of a Ford V6, extended out to V12 and then with every single component changed all over again for the new 5.2l!   And basing it upon a Ford engine was a superb idea; they put in more development money and miles but Aston got the rewards.

 

Even the very top of the V8 from AMG is unique to Aston.

 

As for the idea of a 4 cylinder?   It might come as part of a range extended electric car.   The Jaguar CX75 initially was going to be a 4 cylinder but with both turbo and supercharging.   Test cars sounded amazing, and it performed brilliantly.   It could be done.   Problem for Jaguar was it doesn't have the brand status of Ferrari, and those like Clarkson would have massacred it for being a four cylinder no matter how good the car was.

 

Citytiger 16 April 2020

Speedraser wrote:

Speedraser wrote:

To those who think Aston should use a 4-cylinder engine because it needs to "move with the times," tell that to Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren, etc.

You seem to forget, that Ferrari are part of a larger group and can share its emissions as are Lamborghini, and McLaren already have advanced hybrids in production, with more to come, and a full EV in the works, Aston have nothing.. 

Peter Cavellini 16 April 2020

Changing times.

Much as old codgers like us love the burble of a good V8 and the like, we have to accept today's modern engines are extracting more power and torque from aa lot less capacity, the modern engine may not stir the emotions and we have accept that, ICE powered cars won't disappear overnight.

Andrew1 16 April 2020

Peter Cavellini wrote:

Peter Cavellini wrote:

Much as old codgers like us love the burble of a good V8 and the like, we have to accept today's modern engines are extracting more power and torque from aa lot less capacity, the modern engine may not stir the emotions and we have accept that, ICE powered cars won't disappear overnight.

si73 16 April 2020

Peter Cavellini wrote:

Peter Cavellini wrote:

Much as old codgers like us love the burble of a good V8 and the like, we have to accept today's modern engines are extracting more power and torque from aa lot less capacity, the modern engine may not stir the emotions and we have accept that, ICE powered cars won't disappear overnight.

Obviously I am no expert, but could a smaller capacity V8 keep the sound we love, hybridised to keep the power and torque figures required and also provide lower emissions? Does it need less cylinders? Why can't it just be multi cylinder with lower capacity? Or maybe going for a V6/V4 with the same design cues as the V8s of Ferrari for a screamer or as an American or AMG for the thumping thunderous soundtrack? Flat plane and cross plane crankshaft?

si73 16 April 2020

So why are they moving V12

So why are they moving V12 production from cologne? Has ford said they're going to cease production? They also haven't said where as fords Bridgend plant would be an obviously logical location for V12 production even though they have stated it won't be used for V6 hybrids. Using fords UK plant would maintain the quality assurance symanski refers to as well as be convenient to their St Athan factory with the, more important, added bonus of keeping the engine building expertise at work building engines instead of being made redundant.
The Colonel 16 April 2020

si73 wrote:

si73 wrote:

So why are they moving V12 production from cologne? Has ford said they're going to cease production? They also haven't said where as fords Bridgend plant would be an obviously logical location for V12 production even though they have stated it won't be used for V6 hybrids. Using fords UK plant would maintain the quality assurance symanski refers to as well as be convenient to their St Athan factory with the, more important, added bonus of keeping the engine building expertise at work building engines instead of being made redundant.

It could be chalked up to something of a "brexit bonus".  Based on volumes it would make no sense to continue to build engines within the EU even if cross channel movements are not hindered as much as feared.  The V12s are built in an Aston annexe in the Niehl plant, not in a massive Ford shed, so there won't be much lost in terms of scale economy or QC by leaving.  I suspect they'll go back to Cosworth / G&W Coscast, who are based in Worcester.

si73 16 April 2020

Thanks, that makes sense.

Thanks, that makes sense.

Find an Autocar car review