Aston Martin Product Manager: People want big engines

Aston Martin’s DBS successor will feature a new V-12 engine because that’s what its customers want, said Alex Long, the automaker’s head of product and marketing strategy, in a recent interview with CarThrottle.

The engine was recently confirmed by Aston Martin to be a newly developed version of the existing 5.2-liter twin-turbo V12, and develops 824 horsepower in the DBS’s successor, a car intended to revive the nameplate of the Vanquish.

Big engines aren’t really necessary for performance anymore. Aston Martin currently races in Formula 1 with turbocharged V6 hybrid powertrains, and the Ferrari 296 GTB and McLaren Artura supercars use twin-turbo V6 engines as part of their respective plug-in hybrid powertrains. But customers in this premium segment also want emotion, and that requires more cylinders, Long explained.

“It’s not just about going as fast as possible,” Long said. “I want emotion along the way, I want real sound and real rumble, and I want to know and think and say it’s a V-8 or a V-12 because V-8s [and] V-12s have generally been reserved for very special and interesting products while V-6s aren’t really in the premium segment. »

Aston Martin DB12

Long also noted that, since the pandemic, there has been “a real resurgence of the V-8,” in part because of the use case for Aston’s wealthy customers. An Aston Martin typically isn’t the only car in a household, Long said, explaining that customers can even have an electric vehicle for more regular use, keeping the V-8 car nearby for its “sound, noise , its vibrations, etc. “

Stricter emissions standards are pushing even premium brands to take a closer look at electrification and smaller engines, but Long isn’t the only executive hesitant about the trend. Lamborghini will launch its first electric vehicle in 2028, but it won’t be one of the brand’s traditional supercars because, CEO Stephan Winkelmann said, demand for electric supercars remains nascent.

Even Mate Rimac, founder and CEO of electric hypercar maker Rimac, sees a future for big engines. As head of Rimac and Bugatti’s parent company, he is currently overseeing the launch of a Bugatti Chiron successor with a V-16 hybrid powertrain. And he said Rimac’s future lies in revolutionary technology, not just electric vehicles.