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Aston Martin understands: people want big engines

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Aston Martin understands: people want big engines


In the era of downsizing, forced by stricter emissions regulations, Aston Martin dares to go against the grain. It recently announced a new twin-turbo V12 engine developing a colossal 824 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque. For what? It’s what the ultra-rich want, but also the rest of us who will never afford an Aston, whether new or even after depreciation hits hard.

Talk with Car accelerator, the company’s head of product strategy, Alex Long, says internal studies have shown that people just want big engines. It’s that simple. In 2024, when tiny 1.0-liter three-cylinder turbocharged engines are common in Europe, Aston Martin reckons even a V6 won’t make the difference. Long mentions a “real emotional connection” between drivers and a V-12 or V-8 that a smaller six-cylinder engine can’t offer, or at least it “doesn’t yet.”

Of course, Ferrari, Maserati and McLaren would disagree with their V-6 supercars. Aston Martin itself had plans for six-cylinder models not long ago. The Valhalla was initially supposed to come with a twin-turbo V6, but the British luxury brand ultimately decided to go with AMG’s powerful V8. The mid-engined Vanquish Vision concept debuted with a V6 before the company pulled the plug on it in late 2019.

The DBX got an inline-six a few years ago in China with a 3.0-liter engine sourced from Mercedes. However, Aston Martin has ditched the smaller engine with the SUV’s recent facelift. Moving forward, the Lamborghini Urus rival is offered exclusively in the DBX707 flavor.

Long believes that six-cylinder engines are more common than a V-8, let alone a V-12, arguing that smaller powertrains “aren’t really in the premium segment.”

Aston Martin had planned to go all-electric by the end of the decade. However, the Gaydon-based brand has reversed course and will continue to make cars with combustion engines until the 2030s. Company boss Lawrence Stroll said automobile car earlier this year, customers wanted “sounds and smells” from ICE. Plug-in hybrids are coming as FA is not immune to increasingly strict legislation on emissions standards.

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