Plans to go full hybrid are being set into motion

While much of Aston Martin’s focus these days rests on the Valkyrie hypercar, the British automaker is also keeping one eye to the future. Don’t look now, but that “future” that Aston’s looking into could be devoid of any traditional V-12 or V-8 engines. Instead, the future of the British automaker’s engines could come in the form of a smaller V-6 engine, starting with the sports car it’s developing to rival what the likes of Ferrari, McLaren, and Lamborghini are currently offering.

Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer didn’t flip into the details of the company’s plans, but he did tell The Financial Times that the upcoming sports car that will slot below the Valkyrie hypercar will feature a turbocharged V-6 engine and a manual transmission to go with it. Without revealing the reasons why, Aston Martin’s decision to go small on the engine was likely done to accommodate displacement-based laws being enacted in countries where the company plans to sell the sports car. In other words, stringent laws that cater to smaller engines will prevent Aston from going down its usual V-12 or V-8 paths, unless the company is perfectly suited to paying stiff taxes for these cars, of which Aston Martin apparently has no plans of doing. It’s may be a disappointing turn of events for purists who love themselves the thirst-quenching roar of a naturally aspirated V-12 engine, but the decision to go with a V-6 for its future sports car is a sign that Aston Martin is willing to forego heritage in favor of acquiescing to the ever-evolving landscape of the business.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Sign of things to come for Aston Martin?

Aston Martin Valkyrie Is Getting Ready For Its Close-up Exterior High Resolution
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It’s easy to lose focus on Aston Martin’s other plans when everything we can really think about this time is the Valkyrie hypercar. That’s how important the Valkyrie is, not just for the British automaker that’s developing it, but for the entire industry as a well. But hey, don’t just sweat on the hypercar exclusively too because the company also has other cars it has to deal with, none more important than the sports car it plans to launch to compete against the European establishment.

It’s always been V-8s and V-10s for the company so the decision to go with a smaller V-6 is an important details that could be a sign of things to come for the company

The news that it’s getting a mid-mounted turbocharged V-6 engine is revealing because it’s been years since Aston Martin has actually used a V-6 for any one of its cars. It’s always been V-8s and V-10s for the company so the decision to go with a smaller V-6 is an important details that could be a sign of things to come for the company. Remember, no less than Andy Palmer himself said that the company will be “100 percent hybrid by the middle of the 2020s” so this could be the company’s way of weening off the V8s and V12s and transitioning more to turbocharged V6s that are easier to combine with electric motors. This is not to say that the company is completely dumping the bigger-displacement engines, because purists will understandably have a riot if Aston Martin did.

From where I’m standing, I think this is the company’s way of embracing what its future could look like while keeping its past and present in its back pocket, ready to bring them out should circumstances call for them to come out.

2018 Aston Martin AM-RB 001 Exterior High Resolution
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The other scenario here on why Aston Martin is going for a smaller V-6 on its upcoming sports car has everything to do with regulations

The other scenario here on why Aston Martin is going for a smaller V-6 on its upcoming sports car has everything to do with regulations. I touched on it earlier, but it’s an important element for a company like Aston Martin that has long used V-8s and V-12s on its models. Regardless of how popular they were and still are, these engines are no longer being embraced by governments who are now more inclined to embrace fuel efficiency above all else. Aston could still build a V-12 sports car if it wanted to, but there’s literally a price it has to pay to do that in the form of heavy-handed taxes.

However this plays out, it’s going to be interesting how Aston Martin packages its upcoming sports car to compete against the likes of Ferrari and McLaren. Unfortunately, we’re going to have to wait a little longer to see it because it isn’t expected to be launched until around 2020, or just after the launch of the DBX crossover.

References

Aston Martin Valkyrie

2018 Aston Martin AM-RB 001 Exterior High Resolution
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Read our full review on the Aston Martin Valkyrie.

Aston Martin DBX Concept

2015 Aston Martin DBX Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the Aston Martin DBX Concept.

Source: The Financial Times (subscription required)

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