Aston Martin Starts Production Of New 5.2-Liter Twin-Turbo V-12 Engine
Production of Aston Martin’s new 600-horsepower, 5.2-liter, twin-turbocharged, V-12 engine has begun with the first unit having already been built in the company’s engine plant in Cologne, Germany. The new engine is internally known as the AE31 and has an official output of 600 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. It is also expected to take the reins from the 6.0-liter V-12, known as the AE28, as the company’s new flagship powertrain. The AE28 engine has been around since 2003 when Aston Martin relaunched under Ford ownership and debuted the DB9.
13 years later, the British automaker is once again preparing to turn a new chapter in its history and it’s doing so by not only reinventing its lineup, but by offering a new V-12 engine that will be used in a handful of its new models, most notably the DB11. In fact, the first production DB11 is expected to receive the first 5.2-liter V-12 engine that’s signed by Aston Martin. There are no plans to sell that model at the moment, although those plans could change in the future in the event the company decides to allocate it to a loyal customer.
Other than the DB11, the new 5.2-liter V-12 engine is also expected to be used on the company’s new V12-powered Vantage models and the Lagonda SUV. More importantly, Aston Martin is developing the AE31 to be just as durable and long-lasting as its predecessor. Unless something unforeseen happens, the AE31 engine will have a similar, if not longer, life span than the AE28 engine.
The automaker is at least seeing to it that production of the AE31 engine is up to company standards. One engine takes a total of eight hours to build with one engine assembly technician responsible for building each engine following the process through from beginning to end. As soon as the engine is completed, it is subjected to hot and cold testing from inside the same facility in Cologne. Once it passes all of its tests, the engines will be shipped to Aston Martin headquarters in Gaydon, UK.
Meanwhile, production of the 6.0-liter V-12 engine and the 4.7-liter V-8 engine will continue in the same facility, which has a production capacity of 8,000 engines a year.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
We would have really loved seeing the faces of everyone after reading the title. We certainly wouldn’t blame anyone for being as shocked and dumbfounded as we were when we discovered Aston Martin’s intentions with their city car.
Sources say that Aston Martin has completed studies based on the possibility and feasibility of a V12 engine being fitted to the - wait for it - Cygnet, without extensive modifications. How is it possible? The car is only the size of a shoe with a tiny 1.3 liter 4-cylinder engine that develops 98bhp. Now imagine putting Aston Martin’s very own 6.0L V12 engine that produces at least 510bhp on a car that weighs 988kg. If our calculations are correct, the power to weight ratio of this car will not only put its bigger brothers to dismal shame, but most of the hypercars that we all enjoy drooling at as well. In layman’s terms, it’s a recipe for disaster.
Aston Martin says it will carry out significant upgrades for the Cygnet to handle the immense weight, horsepower, and torque. What kind of upgrades? How about multiple spoilers all over the car just to keep it planted on the ground.
If the project receives a green light from the board, it will enter a new segment called over-powered city cars that also includes the Nissan Juke-R.
That being said, Aston Martin will go ahead with the project only if there is sufficient customer demand. So, people who want to break records or experience crazy, visit your nearest Aston Martin Showroom and inquire about this project.
Do you think this is an upgrade that the Cygnet deserves or does it have disaster written all over? Let us know in the comments.
Earlier this week, we brought forward reports that Aston Martin is considering downsizing its lineup of engines, which almost exclusively include V-8s and V-12s. This consideration is an obvious attempt to squeeze a few more mpg out of its lineup without depleting horsepower, which will allow the boutique automaker to achieve the fuel economy numbers required by the ongoing CAFE standards.
According to De Telegraf, Aston Martin may be considering Toyota as a partner in this downsizing attempt. In particular, Aston is eyeballing the V-10 engine used in the Lexus LF-A and the 8-pot used in several other Lexus models.
If you are wondering how Aston plans to milk these engines out of Toyota, keep in mind that Aston and Toyota already have a working agreement for Aston Martin to use the Toyota iQ to create its own Cygnet. So, for Aston Martin executives to get into conversation with Toyota brass about this possibility wouldn’t take too much.
The only issue that Toyota may have is the fact that this sharing of engines may result in added competition for the LFA and other Lexus models. Then again, with Aston Martin being such an exclusive brand without a long production list, Toyota may not see this as a threat, but rather a way to get its name on the tip of premium sports car buyers’ tongues. This could result in the ultimate word-of-mouth advertising for Lexus’ sports cars, which will soon include a car that may rival Aston Martins, the LF-LC.
We’ll keep you up to date on this developing situation and let you know as soon as more details become available.
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.
What is with this latest trend for the auto makers to want something else than the usual cars? For example, if Ferrari asked for a antivirus, now Aston Martin has requested a personal cellphone. It has been designed by Mobiado and is still in concept form. Official debut will be made at the world watch and jewelry show in Switzerland.
And if you believed this is just a phone, you were wrong. The CPT002 is the key to your Aston Martin vehicle, automatically unlocking the doors as you approach, and when connected to the GPS in your car it will offer you a new level of social network experience; like this is everything you needed when you’re behind the wheel.
The heart of the CPT002 is the solid sapphire crystal, see-through capacitive touch screen. The sides of the CPT are crafted from platinum; they incorporate the battery, electronics, and SIM card allowing for the screen of the phone to be transparent giving the phone a simple modern look while maintaining a luxurious appearance.
Aston Martin may be making headlines with their new Virage powered by the company’s 490hp V12 engine, but back at the headquarters, execs are talking about the return of a specific engine used back in their heyday. The future generation of Aston Martin sports cars may come packing the classic ’straight six’ engine configuration that dominated Aston Martin during the time of the DB7.
Aston Martin’s chief exec, Dr Ulrich Bez, said that the company is already preparing an inline engine of "around 2.5 liter capacity with direct injection and turbocharging." If this kind of engine is used, the models featuring it will be built on the same VH platform that underpins all its current models: "And of course a straight six will fit, because we can already get the V12s in."
The DB7 was actually the last Aston Martin to carry the straight six configuration, so we’re wondering if this particular badge will make a comeback in the next five years. There’s not really much to go on to make an accurate prediction, but considering the Aston Martin DB7 was the highest production Aston Martin model ever, we think bringing it back may not be such a bad idea.
There are whispers going around that Mercedes and Aston Martin are looking to forming a partnership sometime in the future. Lord knows what we’re going to make of this, but since the word came from Mercedes chief Dieter Zetsche himself, we figure that there might more truth to this than what we originally thought.
Speaking to Autocar, Zetsche mentioned that he believes that a collaboration between the German automaker and the British marquee could happen down the road. “Smaller brands need help with new technology,” he said.
“It’s possible we could do things in the future."
The two car brands aren’t strangers to one another. Two years ago, Aston Martin and Mercedes launched a partnership that was called ’Project Alligator’. Now, it looks like the two brands are poised to renew their partnership which, in the event it happens, could see both Mercedes and Aston strike an agreement for a number of ventures, not the least of which could include a variety of things like research, development, and production of new engines as well as new models in the future.
Prince of Wales has aluminum pistons from Aston Martin DB6 Volante melted into cufflinks for charity
For a lot of us, an Aston Martin DB6 Volante is a car that should be treated with utmost care. But if you’re a member of the Royal Family of Britain, well, cars like that are pretty much expendable.
That wasn’t any more evident when the Prince of Wales decided to melt the aluminum pistons of his DB6 Volante and turn them into - of all things - cufflinks.
In fairness to the Prince of Wales, he didn’t completely lose his mind when he decided to use the DB6 Volante’s pistons because they became disposable after he converted the car’s engine to run on biofuel. So with nothing to do with the aluminum pistons, he asked TMB ArtMetal to turn them into special-edition cufflinks.
In total, 200 cufflinks were created with each having the same DB6-themed design, with matching spinners to boot. TMB ArtMetal also accented each set of cufflinks with 18ct gold, making them extremely pricy at £995 ($1,600) for one set.
For those interested in these cufflinks, it’s worth noting that all proceeds generated by these cufflinks will not go to the Prince of Wales’ pocket, but to his own youth charity, the Prince’s Trust.
Press Release after the jump
Remember the watch we told you about from the party last night. The exclusive timepiece is officially known as the Aston Martin transponder watch made by Jaeger-LeCoultre and is the perfect accompaniment to the new DBS Volante. Aston Martin’s Director of Design, Marek Reichman, took time out of is busy schedule to give Top Speed a personal demonstration. The wrist watch can open and close the doors of the Aston as well as turn the lights on and off.
Did you know that James Bond originally wore a Jaeger-LeCoultre around his wrist? So it is only fitting that drop top DBS buyers can purchase an accessory that would make even Q jealous. Retailing for around $40,000 the wristwatch will easily make any new Volante owner feel just like 007.
Thank you Mr. Reichman.
Aston Martin promotional footage after the jump.
First unveiled at the 2007 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the Aston Martin DBS gets new ‘Touchtronic 2’ transmission. Introduced as an alternative to the standard six-speed manual gearbox, DBS customers will now be afforded the option of the ‘Touchtronic 2’ six-speed automatic transmission. Derived from the same ZF transaxle unit that was developed for the DB9, the system has been substantially re-engineered to accommodate the power and performance characteristics of the DBS.
The DBS Touchtronic transmission features a final drive ratio shortened from 3.15:1 to 3.46:1, aiding quicker acceleration times and an improved performance feel. Additionally, changes to the gearbox calibration aid more aggressive gear shifts and greater usability, while retaining the performance potential of the manual gear box – matching the 0-60mph time of 4.3 seconds. System functionality is consistent with that on the DB9, with ‘Park’, ‘Reverse’, ‘Neutral’ and ‘Drive’ modes selected via facia mounted controls.
Aston Martin and Bang & Olufsen revealed today the BeoSound DBS - one of the finest in-car audio systems on the market.
The BeoSound DBS system has been developed exclusively for Aston Martin. The system is acoustically and physically matched to the DBS, with a design that follows the inherent quality and material honesty of the Aston Martin interior. The loudspeaker grilles are finished with smoothly contoured aluminium so as to integrate seamlessly with the fluid lines and curves of the cabin. When the system is turned on, the twin acoustic lens speakers emerge silently and swiftly, adding a touch of theatre and technological panache that is the perfect complement to the Aston Martin DBS.
Just about every car these days has a key fob. People who pay a premium price for a DBS should have the option of getting something a little more enticing. Aston Martin agrees, and so its official watchmaker Jaeger-LeCoultre has developed the ultimate accessory for the DBS supercar: a transponder watch. The AMVOX2 DBS Transponder will have the ability to lock and unlock the car. The wearer need only push the face to activate the remote entry. Push between 8 and 9 o’clock to unlock the car and 3 and 4 o’clock to close it.
Dr Ulrich Bez, Aston Martin CEO, said, “I’m delighted that we have been able to premiere this technology in such an elegant solution. It is the first time horology and automotive engineering have been combined in this way.”
The AMVOX2 DBS will be showcased for the first time at the Paris Motor Show. It is crafted exclusively for the DBS. Aston Martin says that the transponder module weighs “just a few grams” and is half the size of the identical system in the DBS’s key. They are offering the £22,000 ($41,000) device as an option on any new DBS, as well as a retro-fit for existing customers.