Is it time for the Ferrari F12 and the Lamborghini Aventador SV to start looking over their shoulders?

The Aston Martin Vanquish has regularly sat as the British automaker’s top-of-the-range model and, as the second-generation version of the Vanquish nears its end, word has it that the third-generation model is going to receive a highly tuned version of Aston Martin’s new 5.2-liter twin-turbo V-12 engine that will have more than 700 horsepower on tap.

Production of the new V-12 engine, dubbed the AE31, recently began in the company’s engine plant in Cologne, Germany and, while Aston said that it has an official output of 600 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, its chief powertrain engineer Dr. Brian Fitzsimmons told Auto Express that the twin-turbo V-12 has hit 820 horsepower during testing. That allows the company to tune the engine to fit into the Vanquish’s status and, since the DB11 will have 600 ponies on tap when it hits dealerships later this year, it’s important for the Vanquish V-12 to eclipse the DB11’s power output to retain its flagship stature.

Fitzsimmons didn’t dive into the specifics of how Aston Martin plans to increase the V-12’s output to hit 700 horses, opting only to say that some “elegant solutions” are being worked on get to that number while also keeping emissions at a minimum. What appears certain is that the new V-12’s characteristics - the extra turbochargers and the more efficient nature of the whole system - will play a big role in its ability to be versatile with its power output.

If the next-generation Vanquish does get north of 700 horsepower, it would be a significant jump from the incumbent’s 568-horsepower output. 700 horses would put it in the league of the Ferrari F12 and the Lamborghini Aventador SuperVeloce. That’s elite company right there.

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Why it matters

This if pretty big news for Aston Martin if it does come to fruition. Not only does having 700 horsepower elevate the next-generation V12 Vanquish into the realm of supercars, it effectively gives automakers like Ferrari and Lamborghini enough reason to keep tabs on Aston Martin, something they probably haven’t done in a while.

It also appears that the British automaker’s new 5.2-liter V-12 AE31 engine is more potent than people initially thought. If it can produce as much as 820 horsepower like what Dr. Brian Fitzsimmons said, that gives the British automaker a lot of options to go with as far as the V-12 engine is concerned. Apparently, the engine is also be designed to be used for electrification, adding to its all-purpose appeal.

Granted, none of this is confirmed yet and there’s always that possibility that the next-generation Vanquish will be packaged differently when it launches in 2018. Unforeseen things happen in this industry on a regular basis so, until there’s confirmation from Aston Martin about the capabilities of the next-gen Vanquish, it’s probably best to turn the notch down on the excitement meter.

Still, I can’t help but get a little tickle in my feet thinking about a 700-plus-horsepower Aston Martin Vanquish V12. It’s about time that Aston Martin fields a car that can give the kingpins of the supercar market a legitimate reason to be worried.

Aston Martin Vanquish

2014 - 2015 Aston Martin Vanquish High Resolution Exterior
- image 563426

Read our full review on the Aston Martin Vanquish here.

Source: AutoExpress

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