In the current automotive realm, automakers are scurrying to find ways to remain emissions-compliant in some of the largest markets around the world. Namely, North America and Europe, two markets that are becoming the strictest as they continue to tighten regulations and standards. While I am a fan of seeing the Earth become a better place, I am a bit torn, as we are now seeing large-displacement engines disappear, and one manufacturer that may be affected by this is Aston Martin.

The company is notorious for being one of the few automakers to still offer a V-12 engine, but many people in the industry think that this engine is on the way out. That may be a little premature, as according to new Aston boss, Andy Palmer, there are future plans for its existing 5.9-liter V-12. Sure, Aston is soon going to start offering its cars with AMG-built 4.0-liter V-8 engines, but it also plans to update its 5.9-liter V-12 to keep it emissions-compliant and continue to offer it in its top-range models like the upcoming DB9 replacement.

What’s more, Palmer also addressed manual transmissions, and was clear about the company’s desire to be the last man standing in the world of rowing you own gears. This will make things rather interesting once the 4.0-liter V-8 makes its way over from Mercedes, as there are no Mercedes or AMG models that have a manual transmission paired with this engine.

Continue reading to learn more about Aston Martin’s V-12 engine.

Why it matters

While the V-12 engine is great news, the big news here is Aston’s dedication to manual transmissions. While I love shifting my own gears, I can also appreciate the ease of using a dual-clutch gearbox or a fast-shifting automatic. However, I guess if it doesn’t add too much to the bottom line, it is fine to offer the manual as an option. That will at least keep stubborn traditionalists happy.

What concerns me is whether or not Mercedes will even permit Aston to use a manual transmission with its 4.0-liter biturbo V-8. This could possibly pull sales away from Mercedes, so I wouldn’t be shocked to find out that a no manual transmission clause is included in the contract between the two.

Aston Martin Vulcan

2016 Aston Martin Vulcan Exterior
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Source: Car and Driver

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