Aston Martin's DBS successor will feature a new V-12 engine because it's what its customers want. So 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 twin-turbocharged 5.2-liter V-12, and carry an 824-hp output in the DBS successor, a car tipped to revive the Vanquish nameplate.

Big engines aren't really necessary anymore for performance. Aston Martin currently races in Formula 1 with turbocharged V-6 hybrid powertrains, and both the Ferrari 296 GTB and McLaren Artura supercars use twin-turbocharged V-6 engines as part of their respective plug-in hybrid powertrains. But customers in this high-end segment also want emotion, and that requires more cylinders, Long argued.

"It's not just about going as fast as I can," Long said. "I do want some emotion on the way, I want some real sound and 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 whereas V-6s very much aren't in the premium segment."

Aston Martin DB12

Aston Martin DB12

Long also noted that, since the pandemic, there has been "a real resurgence for V-8," in part because of the use case of Aston's wealthy customers. An Aston Martin typically isn't the only car in a household, Long said, explaining that customers may even have an EV for more regular use, keeping the V-8 car around for its "sound, noise, vibration, and so on."

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

Even Mate Rimac, founder and CEO of electric hypercar builder Rimac, sees a future for big engines. As head of the parent company of both Rimac and Bugatti, he's currently overseeing the launch of a Bugatti Chiron successor with a V-16 hybrid powertrain. And he's said Rimac's future lies in groundbreaking tech—not EVs alone.