With Mercedes-AMG reportedly set to replace its well-known V8 engine for a hybridised four-cylinder in the future, Aston Martin will have to look for a new powertrain solution for some of its current models, including the entry-level version of the DB11, Vantage and DBX SUV.

According to a report by Car and Driver, who spoke to Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer, the British carmaker will look to develop its own hybrid 3.0 litre V6 to substitute the AMG V8. “Mercedes have made no secret of where their engine technology is moving to, and obviously we don’t foresee four-cylinder engines in our Astons, so we’ve got to make our own journey,” said Palmer.

The move will see Aston Martin venture into new ground, and will result in a reallocation of resources from its pure electric Lagonda models to prioritise the development of the new V6. While the company has had experience in making straight-six engines before, it has no history in making V6s.

Even so, Palmer believes it will be able to deliver something that lives up to the brand’s character. “The key is sound, tuning the pipes to make it sound like an Aston. Obviously, we can use the hybrid system and the electric motor to fill in on torque so you can compensate for the cylinder size with the electrical assist. As long as it feels like a V8 and sounds majestic, I think it’s a perfectly sensible way to go, and a lot more sensible than an [inline] four would be for us,” he explained.

Specific details about the new V6 were not provided but Palmer notes that it would provide more power than the current AMG V8 used, and is compatible with existing transmissions. “As you move on, you normally expect a power increase, not a decrease. You’re supposed to do that even with a smaller power unit, so there’s no way our customers are going to expect to step backward,” he said.

On a separate but related note, Aston Martin will remain committed to making V12 engines, and plans to shift production of its 5.2 litre twin-turbo from the Ford plant in Cologne, Germany to the United Kingdom to be built alongside the new V6.

“I hope the V12 is around for a good while longer. You can see in the longer term it won’t last, but certainly over the next few years we can continue to produce V12 engines and we can make them more CO2 friendly. It will be a sad day when we see the V12 engine disappear from an Aston,” said Palmer.

He added that the UK government’s decision to ban all fossil fuel-powered engines by 2035 won’t necessarily impact other markets. “The key point is that we make cars for the world, and the world hasn’t said there isn’t a future for hybrids or plug-in hybrids. If we were only selling to the United Kingdom it would be different, but we’re selling to a worldwide market where there are a variety of views in terms of future technology and how it will be deployed,” he noted.