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Aston and Mercedes-AMG forge ties

German ties: British brand Aston Martin looks set to use AMG engines.

Future Aston Martin sportscars to use Mercedes-AMG V8 engines and electricals

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Aston Martin logo26 Jul 2013

ASTON Martin’s next-generation of sportscars will feature bespoke Mercedes-AMG V8 engines and electronic components if a technical partnership signed off this week progresses.

In return for providing Aston with powertrain and electrical technology, the German powerhouse will take a 5 per cent non-voting stake in the small British brand. Aston currently sources its V8 and V12 engines from former owner Ford, but that deal is drawing to a close.

Both Mercedes-AMG and Aston Martin have signed off on a letter of intent, and are working to have definitive agreements by the end of the year pending regulatory approval. While Mercedes-AMG would receive no voting rights, it would get observer status on the Aston board.

Such a deal was mooted in December last year after Italian equity firm Investindustrial took a major stake in Aston Martin. Investindustrial is a former owner of Italian motorbike brand Ducati, and is believed to have close ties with AMG from that time.

In a statement, Aston said the technical partnership would support the launch of a “new generation of models that will incorporate cutting-edge technology and newly developed bespoke V8 powertrains” - potentially spelling the end of the famous Aston Martin V12.

Engineers from both camps will work together to implement the technology sharing partnership. At this stage, there is no word on whether any deal could in time expand to other significant automotive infrastructure.

Aston Martin, based in the British village of Gaydon, is celebrating its centenary this year. Over the course of 100 years, it has passed through the hands of many owners, including the Ford Motor Company.

Current stakeholders alongside Investindustrial include Kuwait-based Investment DAR and Adeem Investment. Both will retain their existing stake in Aston under the proposed deal.

Aston Martin product development director Ian Minards said the proposed deal to secure a steady line of bespoke engines from the German giant – which also produces engines for several Formula One teams – was “good news” for the small brand, but added it would maintain its independence.

“Working with Mercedes-AMG in this way while, of course, remaining independent and preserving the unique character and style of Aston Martin that has been the mainstay of the company throughout its 100-year history, points to a very bright future for the company as it starts its second century in business,” he said.

Head of Mercedes-AMG GmbH, Ola Källenius, said the company was “proud to work with Aston Martin and provide them with powertrain and (electrical) components for their forthcoming sportscars”.

“This is proof of AMG’s technological and performance expertise and a real win-win situation for both sides,” he said.

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