Your Next Aston Martin Will Have An AMG Engine

Illustration for article titled Your Next Aston Martin Will Have An AMG Engine

Today, Aston Martin announced a technical tie-up with Mercedes' engine-building performance arm. What does that mean? Engines from AMG.


Here's the technical side of the deal: Mercedes-AMG gets a 5% equity in Aston Martin with a non-voting, 'observational' status on the Aston Martin board of management. On the other side, Aston Martin gets AMG engines as well as Mercedes electric/electronic components to go with them.

If you think I'm making this all up, here's what Ola Källenius, Head of Mercedes-AMG GmbH said about the deal.

We are proud to work with Aston Martin and provide them with powertrain and e/e components for their forthcoming sports cars. This is proof of AMG’s technological and performance expertise and a real win-win situation for both sides.

This is fantastic news for Aston Martin given that their current crop of engines are either heavily reworked versions of a Jaguar/Land Rover V8 that debuted in 1996, or derivatives of their sole V12, which debuted in the 1999 DB7. That V12 is, in fact, two Ford V6s held together with wallpaper paste.

If any of you are upset that Aston is losing some of its particularly independent charm, remember that Pagani uses AMG V12s and is all the better for it.


I could give a shit about what Pagani uses; Pagani had to use AMG engines because he couldn't afford to develop one his own. Aston Martin, on the other hand, has already delivered a stunning 7.3 liter V12, but flat-out refuses to use it in anything now that the One-77 is out of production. The V8 they already have is superb.

But really, what bothers me to a certain extent about this is that different brands are known for different engine characters. AMG is literally the German take on American muscle: they are large, comparatively low-revving torque monsters that snarl and growl almost like an SBC. Aston Martin, on the other hand, is known for comparatively less powerful engines that are a little bit smaller, but rev like a sport bike and sing like nothing else on the planet. From the DB7 onward, much of the character of Aston Martins is attributable to their high-revving engines.

The fact that they'll be getting AMG engines now is not necessarily a bad thing, but just a weird thing. It just doesn't seem to make cognitive sense. It's like thinking about a DB9 with an LS1. It's just not quite right.