Aston Martin is not exactly your poster child for fuel economy, as every model, sans a re-badged Toyota iQ, boast either a V-8 or V-12 engine. That about puts them near the bottom of the list in average fuel economy. With new CAFE and emission standards coming about each and every year, Aston Martin needs to get up to speed with creating slightly more efficient cars.
According to a report from Autocar, Aston Martin boss, Ulrich Bez, said that Aston is “open to the concept” of using small-displacement engines under the stipulation that they do not hamper the boutique automaker’s desirability. This ultimately translates out to “as long as it is still fast.”
This need for speed means that the likely replacements for the powerful V-8s and V-12s that Aston Martin uses would be 6-cylinders with some serious boost. A supercharger certainly would not give a 6-cylinder the kind of pop that Aston Martin would require, so a turbo or pair of turbos would definitely be the only route to take.
We have already seen BMW making use of forced air to pump up its in-line 6-bangers. Take the 2012 BMW 335i xDrive Coupe for example; it has a 3.0-liter engine that pumps out a healthy 300 horsepower. Of course, BMW also de-tuned it a little to avoid it conflicting with M3 sales. At full tilt, we would anticipate a boosted 3.0 to crank out upward of 400 horsepower.
That would give Aston the chance to just about match their V-8-powered cars’ current output rating while helping save a few mpg. It would obviously be a win-win situation, with the exception of the likely price hike for the increased technology.
We’ll keep an eye on this situation and update you as more information becomes available.
While the current economic crisis has resulted in a few interesting partnership with a number of unlikely automobile manufacturers and other manufacturers weary of risky high priced ventures, the man from Prodrive feels that his super car company can sell premium compact city car for the not so unheard of asking price of $32,000; after all it is an Aston Martin. As part of the English coach builder’s plans to unroll a few new vehicles in order to recuperate some profits the powers at be behind Toyota and Aston Martin have joined forces to create a fashionable compact city car for the crowded narrow streets of densely populated European urban environments. What they ended up with is the upscale Aston Martin Cygnet based on the economical Toyota i.Q.
The venture actually sounds like another English sport/luxury hybrid when Mini commissioned the design team at Rolls Royce to produce a series of extremely extravagant small cars. The car’s foundation will be built at Toyota’s factory in Japan and then shipped to the Aston Martin factory in Gaydon where the team of hand built super car interiors will have a go at restyling the lowly Toyota’s interior bringing it up to super car status. Obviously the Cygnet should also wear some unique body work like an Aston Martin style twin vented hood, some flared arches and plenty of winged emblems.
This is a very bold move for the English automaker, attempting to sell a car smaller than a Smart for a little over $30,000. The German luxury automaker Audi has recently admitted to having ahard time justifying a premium hatchback for the U.S. market, dooming whatever chances we might have had for an RS3 stateside. The Vantage should be happy because it can now pass on the title of being the baby Aston; if they can keep production limited and watch the demand skyrocket, they should have no problem selling out of their Cygnet inventory. After all, who would pass up on the chance to buy a brand new Aston Martin for the price of a Nissan Maxima.