Sorry old-school Aston purists fans, the company isn't returning to the inline-six.
Aston Martin has a long association with inline six engines – even James Bond had one in his famous DB5 – but don't expect to find a six-pot engine in any new Astons unless you're buying one of the DB4 GT continuation specials (see the old-school mill below). Despite earlier rumors, senior engineering executive Matt Becker now tells Motoring that there's no current intention to to use a six cylinder.
Becker was also partially responsible for the speculation that Aston Martin might use its close relationship with Mercedes-Benz and use the German firm's new 3.0-liter inline-six. At the time, he said the powerplant was “something that could fit with the brand in the future."
“I was speaking in more general terms that we might have to one day look at downsizing engines,” he told Motoring. "To be honest I don’t know whether the engine would fit."
Mercedes' new inline-six could have been a good fit for an entry-level Aston. In recent models like the CLS 53 the mild-hybrid mill produces 429 horsepower (320 kilowatts) and 384 pound-feet (521 Newton-meters). It's not hard to imagine that some additional tuning could take the output even higher. Those figures are in line even with late versions of the previous V8 Vantage S, which has 430 hp (321 kW) and 361 lb-ft (490 Nm).
Aston Martin's current partnership with Mercedes-Benz lets the British firm use the German 4.0-liter biturbo V8 in the latest Vanquish and a version of the DB11. The powerplant produces 503 hp in both models, but the DB11 has 513 lb-ft of torque instead of the Vantage's 505 lb-ft. Rumors suggest the V8 could go into more future models, like an upcoming mid-engined vehicle.