New powertrain will be used on the Aston Martin DB11 and Vantage models among others

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.

Why it matters

Aston Martin Starts Production Of New 5.2-Liter Twin-Turbo V-12 Engine
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It’s been a long time coming for Aston Martin, but now that it’s got a new V-12 engine in the mix, it should set itself up quite nicely for the next decade. While most of the key components of the engine are new, there are some features that were lifted from the previous-generation 6.0-liter V-12 engine. Most notable of these features is the 0.84-inch (25mm) bore offset and the 60-degree eve-angle. The bore of the V-12 is also the same at 3.5 inches (89mm) but the stroke is a lot shorter now at 2.63 inches (69.7mm) compared to the previous-generation engine’s 3.12-inch (79.5mm) stroke.

Aston Martin also added a pair of twin-scroll turbochargers, one for each cylinder bank. Likewise, the company retained the port fuel injection and added a cylinder deactivation function that can effectively close an entire cylinder bank to cut fuel consumption. All together, the new V-12 weighs just 33 pounds (15kg) more than the previous-generation 6.0-liter V-12. It would’ve been 77 pounds (35kg) heavier on account of the two twin-scroll turbos and the extra plumbing and intercooler, but Aston managed to shave off the 44 pounds thanks to designs of the block, exhaust manifold casting, and crankshaft.

The full details of the new V-12 engine, including its performance numbers, fuel economy, and emissions figures are still being finalized by the company.

Aston martin DB11

2017 Aston Martin DB11 High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the Aston Martin DB11 here.

Press Release

The introduction of a new Aston Martin engine is always something special. When that engine has been created for a new Aston Martin model it’s a true landmark. Today at the Aston Martin Engine Plant (AMEP) in Cologne, Germany, just such a landmark has been reached with the DB11’s new 5.2L twin-turbo V12 entering full production.

Designed in-house this new engine develops 608PS and 700Nm of torque, making DB11 the most powerful production DB model ever. It’s also the fastest and most accelerative, too, with a top speed of 200mph and a 0-62mph time of just 3.9sec., while intelligent cylinder bank activation and stop-start technology ensures that potency is matched by greatly improved efficiency.

Opened in 2004, the AMEP is a dedicated, state-of-the-art facility created solely for the production of Aston Martin power plants. Workplace for over 100 highly-trained employees, the 12,500 sq metre production hall is divided into four distinct areas: One for the machining of the engines’ cylinder blocks, one to machine cylinder heads, an assembly area where a team of specialist technicians meticulously hand-build the engines and one for receiving components and shipping completed engines. Production of the 6.0L V12 and 4.7L V8 engines will continue at AMEP.

To ensure the highest levels of quality and consistency, one engine assembly technician will build each engine, following the process through from start to finish. It takes a total of 8 hours to build one V12 engine and the AMEP has a production capacity of 8,000 engines a year. Once completed, each engine undergoes stringent cold and hot testing within the AMEP facility, and only when it has satisfied the various test criteria is it released for shipment to the Aston Martin Headquarters in Gaydon.

Brian Fitzsimons, Aston Martin Chief Engineer, Powertrain, says of the new engine entering production: “To see this new engine go into full production at AMEP makes me very proud. Designing and developing the 5.2L twin-turbo power plant has been an all-consuming passion for me and my team. Knowing that the end result would be built with meticulous care in a truly state-of-the-art facility such as AMEP was an added motivation. It’s a hugely exciting time to be an engineer at Aston Martin, not least because this is just the beginning for the new twin-turbo V12.”

Dr Andy Palmer, Aston Martin President and CEO, commented: “AMEP is one of our great success stories and one of the jewels in the Aston Martin crown. To have the ability to design and then manufacture our own high-performance engines in-house is something very special. It gives us ultimate control of quality and that all-important character for which Aston Martin cars are renowned. I have no doubts that our new twin-turbo V12 is the start of an even greater era of success.”

Recommended Retail Price from £154,900 in the UK, €204,900 in Germany and $211,995 in USA, first deliveries of the DB11 are scheduled to begin during the fourth quarter of 2016.

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