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Aston Martin to retain a V12 for DB11

First forced induction V12 engine revealed in Aston Martin DB11 teaser video

13 Jan 2016

ASTON Martin has kicked off the hype campaign for its forthcoming DB11 supercar with a short teaser video revealing that the new British sportscar flagship will be powered by a 5.2-litre twin-turbocharged V12.

This means Aston not only has embraced forced induction for the first time but maintained its allegiance to V12 power.

The origins of the engine remain a mystery for now, but it is likely to be downsized version of the hand-built 6.0-litre Mercedes-AMG unit that powers the SL65 sportscar and S65 coupe, cabriolet and sedan range.

In 2013, Aston signed a powertrain agreement with Mercedes-AMG to replace the company's ageing engines.

At the time, only a replacement V8 was mentioned, prompting speculation that V12 power would disappear from the range.

However, the video suggests the Mercedes collaboration has either cleaned up the old unit or – more likely – replaced it with Mercedes metal.

No power, torque or performance figures accompany the 30-second snippet, but using Mercedes' 463kW/1000Nm 6.0-litre as a guide, the new 5.2-litre DB11 could have about 400kW and 860Nm, although its smaller, higher-revving capacity is likely to push the power higher while sacrificing torque.

Aston’s current power champion – the V12 Vantage S – pumps out a hearty 441kW from its naturally aspirated 6.0-litre V12, while the DB9 that the DB11 will replace has 409kW from its 5.9-litre V12.

It is unlikely the company will let the DB11 to take a step back in power.

Aston's previous range of Ford-sourced, naturally aspirated V engines were feeling the weight of emissions regulations around the world, as well as the United States corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) ruling.

But like many other manufacturers, Aston has looked to turbocharging to bring emissions back into line without sacrificing performance.

No views of the rest of the car are teased in the film, but a showcar in the latest 007 film Skyfall might hint at some of its styling cues.

Aston Martin previously introduced a heavily modified version of Toyota's iQ city hatchback in a bid to kerb its high CAFE score and similar European penalties, but following poor sales the company pursued more efficient performance models instead.

A report suggests the company is in the latter stages of evaluating a shortlist of locations to construct a new production plant, with sites in the US, Macedonia, the United Kingdom and a Middle Eastern location all still on the table.

The Reuters report says the factory is necessary to build the forthcoming Aston Martin DBX luxury SUV that was revealed in concept form at the Geneva motor show last year.

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