Aston Martin and AMG: PH Blog


So, are we concerned that when we lift the bonnet of future Aston Martins we may well be greeted by a Mercedes star on top of the engine? Some commentators seem to be, there being a degree of soul searching about 'ze Germans' getting a shoe-in on this most British of motoring icons.

Aston's V12 lovely but days are numbered
Aston's V12 lovely but days are numbered
PHers are, of course, smarter than that though, the comment thread following our news story earlier in the week pretty much unanimously favourable in tone and summed up thus: we love AMG engines, we love Aston Martins - great!

The business case is obvious enough. As a builder of fewer than 5,000 cars per year on what's perceived, rightly or wrongly, a solid but aging platform Aston badly needs to invest in new product. It's had a bit of a cash injection but nothing like enough to develop a cutting edge powerplant that can play against the big boys yet meet all the latest emissions standards. So it was going to have to buy engines in from somewhere.

AMG has everything from high specific output four-cylinders to naturally aspirated and turbocharged V8s in the 400-600hp area future Astons would surely be looking at. It can also supply mega horsepower V12s for halo models, if required. But turbos? In an Aston? Isn't that a bit, well, vulgar?

Does it matter if German engines go in here?
Does it matter if German engines go in here?
If not AMG then who? A few have said Aston should've stuck with recent tradition and gone to Ford which, after all, has that brawny Mustang V8 that'd fit well with old-school Aston manners and avoid the supposed shame of a German powerplant. Unlike the, er, Cologne-built V12s used currently of course.

Mighty as it is the Ford V8 isn't as 'futureproof' as the AMG alternatives and right now Aston needs to be looking forwards, not backwards. So, yes, turbos.

What about the Italians then? After all, DB-era Astons were never shy about their Italian styling influences and, via Maserati, Ferrari is building a new range of modern twin-turbo V6s and V8s that might have done. And Fiat needs the cash. But possibly not enough to equip a direct rival with its newest powerplants, even if there were capacity in Ferrari's engine production line.

If you're going to trust anyone to build you a V8...
If you're going to trust anyone to build you a V8...
Neighbours Jaguar Land Rover then? That'd be the most obvious alternative but their V8 is getting on a bit too.

Audi has a good range of normally aspirated and turbocharged V8s to choose from too. But little tradition of sharing them outside of the group. And of the Germans only AMG has really managed to carry the traditional V8 character into the turbocharged era intact.

All of this misses the most obvious reason for this being the dream collaboration of course. AMG's name is an abbreviation of the founders' names and the town in which the business was originally based.

Aston Martin, Gaydon anyone?

They won't even have to change the logos on the castings!

Dan

Comments (148) Join the discussion on the forum

  • keegs111 30 Apr 2014

    As current AM customer, I'd move away from the brand if they only had MB/AMG engines. I might as well just go back to an AMG SL

  • jp455 31 Jul 2013

    Plus with the horsepower wars going on now they would just not be able to reach competitive power numbers without turbos and meet the emissions at the same time. Two things they wont do wink

  • crispyshark 31 Jul 2013

    'But turbos? In an Aston? Isn't that a bit, well, vulgar?'

    The DB7 has a supercharger and I see no problem with that, in fact it heightens the experience and is quite nice to hear some of the raw mechanical noises behind it. You still get the "and how fast exactly would sir like to drive today"

    My tupence worth.

  • JMC1 30 Jul 2013

    DB7 Vantage with all works service mods including zagato rear end.

  • MonteV 30 Jul 2013

    JMC1 said:
    Seen the strings comments do not surprise me at all. But in some ways I am surprised that Bez wss not very welcome at Aston with his attitude. As an ex customer / owner the attitude that I always received by Aston Works Service (AMWS) was incredibly awful.
    Aston totally believe that they are always right and the fact that your car is back with them for the umpteenth time in 3 months for warranty work well it must be the customers fault. Every time my car was back with them for warranty work it usually came away with another fault to add to the list and usually the original problem was either not fixed at all or would reoccur. I think if I kept taking the car back AMWS eventually it would only have been fit for scrap. After 5 months with the car spending nearly 3 months of that time at AMWS he only way I could get all the work completed successfully was to give up on them and gave the car to Grange the Aston dealer in Exeter who managed to fix absolutely everything within 3 days.
    When I was purchasing my Aston my father warned me because in 1973 he had purchased a brand new Aston V8 injection and as we lived only 40 miles away he used to take the car to Aston to service it. Within 18 months he hated the car due to impolite and cavalier attitude of the factory service department. The car broke down a lot but he did not care about that as prestige cars of 1970's all did it was this attitude from Aston that he could not get along with. His car had 4 clutches in less than 15,000 miles they told him he was driving it wrong and that it was all his fault even though many other things kept breaking on the car. Naturally he started to wonder if they were right until one day whilst waiting in reception to collect the car he got talking with another owner who was collecting his Aston which had just had its sixth clutch within 18,000 miles. Eventually Aston found that my fathers car was suffering from a hairline crack in the flywheel.
    These Aston experiences are the complete opposite to those I have experienced with the Porsche factory in Stuttgart. For a while we had a factory Porsche racing car and when ever we needed parts or advice their Motorsport division would always be happy to take a phone call to chat and give advice whilst speaking perfect English. Also the main factory have been happy to let me chat to their classic division for advice about their older cars. These experiences always left you feeling that you are a valued customer which is the complete opposite to my AMWS experiences. Yet I still love Aston cars it is an emotionally thing which I worry could disappear if they are not careful with their future decisions.
    My point is that as I have already said the Bez attitude is not a surprise. If Aston are to be successful their high and mighty attitude that they are always right needs to change. Not only is it unpleasant from a customers point of view but I think it clouds their overall decision making as well their self belief of always being correct stands in their way to move forward down the right road.
    Great story. Thank you for sharing. I'm dissapointed in hearing this, of course. It doesn't sound like the right way to grow a company in a competitive market, that's for sure. Aston Works Disservice. Which model did you have?

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