Aston Martin's revamped Vantage is a stunning preview into the bold moves the British sports car maker has planned for its broader business. These plans could include the return of a classic engine offering according to a recently published report.
According to the fore-mentioned report the company is strongly considering the 3.0 liter Mercedes sourced turbocharged inline six for future models. Matt Becker Aston Martin's chief engineer revealed he recently drove a Mercedes-AMG model equipped with the new engine in Stuttgart at Benze's test facility in an interview with Wheels Magazine.
Becker claimed he was impressed with the engine, but revealed Aston would likely not modify the existing 435 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque on tap. We wouldn't blame them, considering that these figures help the E53 and the CLS53 stand out in their respective segments. Transmission software on the other hand could be tweaked to help deliver the precision many Aston drivers expect.
Becker also revealed that tightening emissions regulations are also playing a key role in Aston's pondering on the matter. While the Vantage itself has never had an inline offering (two different V8s were the "base engine," the inline engine has existed in other Aston models, especially in the 50's and 60's when nearly all of its offerings boasted inline motivation.
The last inline engine to appear in a production Aston was in the DB7 during the firm's time with Ford's Premier Auto Group (PAG.) That particular inline six was based on a Jaguar unit, and initially was the sole engine offering in the DB7, providing buyers with a healthy 335 horsepower and swift acceleration. However, despite its supercharged charms, it was ultimately forced out of the DB7 by the decidedly more popular V12 engine in the Vantage model.
If this engine does indeed make an appearance in the Vantage, it will not be the first time that Aston Martin has turned to a Mercedes-AMG sourced engine for one of its models. The DB11 features a 4.0 liter twin-turbocharged V8 which was developed in house by Mercedes-AMG and is the first fruit of a technology agreement that was signed between the two companies back in 2013. While we highly doubt the inline motor will find a home in bigger Aston offerings, the Vantage does emerge as a potential transplant candidate due to its smaller proportions, as well as the more volume focused nature of its sales pitch. It would also give Aston a true gateway model for buyers looking to get into the brand, but without paying the V8 version's sticker price.
With the on again off again Lagonda brand revival still stewing in limbo, an inline powered Aston Martin model could help bring more buyers to the company, while also allowing it to tap into its history at the same time.