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Aston Martin working on an inline-six to replace Mercedes-sourced V8?

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There’s no straight line to figuring out whether

Aston Martin

plans a straight-six motor for future products. In March, comments by the automaker’s chief engineer for vehicle attributes,

Matt Becker, led many to believe

the British firm could use the




inline-six from the new CLS53. A week later,

Becker said his comments had been misconstrued

, that he “was speaking in more general terms that we might have to one day look at downsizing engines.”


just threw a new curve, citing “a source close to the firm” to report that

Aston Martin’s

working on its own straight-six.

The English outlet says the deal Aston Martin signed with Mercedes-AMG was a stopgap deal while Aston Martin worked on proprietary engines. The report says the inline-six developed in Gaydon would eventually replace the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 currently powering the





If this purported inline-six were augmented with electrification, perhaps developed with help from

the electric Rapid E program

, it could make more sense of Becker’s first, misconstrued comments. At the time, Becker said the


hybridized engine “could fit with the brand in the future.” Taken generally, he could have meant an Aston Martin version of the German engine.

The certainty is that there’s a six-cylinder coming for larger-volume series production models, yet the reports and denials put competing


and powerplants in play. Aston Martin installs a 5.2-liter V12 in the

DBS Superleggera

, and


suspects an inline-six could be derived from that engine. The automaker already has a six-cylinder in development, though, that being the turbocharged hybrid V6 said to be headed to the


– and




. Creating two new six-cylinder engines in different formats seems an odd choice for a tiny manufacturer.

What about the rumors that say the

DBX crossover could get a six-cylinder

? In July, when


asked chief creative officer Marek Reichman about it, he said the

DBX “could [use a Mercedes-sourced

six-cylinder], because that would be a pretty good engine and combination. Potentially.”


suggests, however, that the


will be first in line for the in-house inline engine.

Aston Martin has a storied history with the inline-six, all of them with links to other automakers. The legendary inline-six in the original DB cars of the mid-20th century were

originally drawn up by Walter Owen Bentley

– yes,




– for Lagonda automobiles. David Brown liked Lagonda and the 2.6-liter straight-six so much that he bought the company and used the motor in the Aston Martin DB2. The 1997 DB7 restored an inline-six to the company’s lineup for a couple of years, but that began life as the aluminum block from the


3.2-liter AJ6 motor.

No matter what nor where the sixer comes from, once Aston Martin sells more than 10,000 units per year, the company will be bound to stricter emissions standards necessitating smaller engines. If Mercedes gets the nod and the V8 goes away, this might not happen until


ups its three-liters’ output. We’d be surprised if


buyers would trade two cylinders


73 hp for better emissions.

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