2014 Aston Martin DB9Enlarge Photo
Aston Martin has confirmed it is working on a new platform to underpin its next generation of sports cars, but apart from the fact the platform will be designed to accommodate a new V-8 engine and electrical systems sourced from Mercedes-AMG, there is very little we know about it.
The platform will be Aston Martin’s first all-new design since the venerable VH (Vertical-Horizontal) platform introduced in the first-generation Vanquish back in 2001. The automaker says the platform will enable its cars to be at the forefront of design, performance and technology, and in addition to Mercedes-AMG’s V-8 engine the platform will also likely fit the current 6.0-liter V-12, which will be supplied to Aston by Ford until at least 2018.
According to Auto Express, Aston Martin's new platform will debut in the next-generation DB9 in 2016 before eventually appearing in a new Vantage. That means existing versions of the two Aston sports cars still have several years left on the shelf.
Expect Aston Martin engineers to stick with bonded aluminum construction for the new platform, but with weight and rigidity metrics improved compared to the outgoing VH platform. The new platform is also expected to be more flexible in terms of wheelbase and track width, meaning the next Rapide is likely to grow in size. The platform won't be able to accommodate an SUV, however.
Auto Express also reports that the Mercedes-AMG engine to be supplied to Aston Martin will be a variation of the new twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 destined for models like the Mercedes-AMG GT sports car and next-generation C63 AMG. Output will likely be capped at around 500 horsepower, with the existing V-12 to serve as the performance flagship. Output of the latter will likely match the latest Vanquish model’s 565 horsepower in the next DB9. The current one makes do with 510 hp.