What comes out of the exhaust pipe ,and what goes into developing new cars has created a marriage between a giant of the global auto industry, and one of the world’s smallest niche players.
The double pressure of development funds, and exhaust emissions means that Aston Martin has turned to Mercedes-Benz to solve a powertrain issue for the next version of the AM Vantage.
A twin-turbo 4L V8 from AMG will slot into the Aston Martin’s engine bay in the next year or so, to give Aston Martin relief from the cost of developing its own engine.
I’ve just been driving the same engine, in the latest Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG coupe, and in this package the V8 is a very convincing piece of kit.
In the C63 it’s coupled to a 7-speed multi-clutch transmission, which will also be used in the Vantage, because this is a complete AMG package.
The engine/transmission combination will feature the Sport+ shift pattern, which is a scarily prescient piece of automotive black magic.
In Sport+ you get automatic downchanges, complete with software-applied ‘throttle blips’ as you negotiate twisty, undulating road conditions.
The C63 AMG is a good offering, but I have the feeling Aston Martin’s Marek Reichman will do a super job on the styling front.
Looking at his DB 11 for inspiration, who knows what the new Vantage will be like, but I’m confident it will be a more cohesive shape than the C63.
The C63 is okay, but I think the emphasis on bumps, bulges and big vents spoils the overall appearance of the Benz.
Spending time in the Mercedes-Benz C63 won’t tell you anything about the forthcoming Vantage, but a few sharp-eyed snappers in Germany photographed an Aston Martin ‘mule’ (below) fitted with an AMG V8, when it turned up for track-testing at the Nurburgring, and they couldn’t help but notice the distinctive V8 burble.
Aston Martin’s new ‘full-size coupe' the 2+2 DB 11 will continue with the AM V12, as will later versions of the Rapide; but all eyes are on the next Aston Martin concept car slated for the 2017 Geneva Salon.