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Auto blogSat, 16 Mar 2013 17:00:00 EST
The recent Geneva Motor Show was a festival of hypercars, with the presence of not one, but three over-the-top debuts: the Lamborghini Veneno, McLaren P1 and Ferrari LeFerrari. The latter two have hitched their carbon fiber bumpers to the electrification bandwagon by using hybrid-electric powertrains not entirely unlike the propulsion systems we've come to know in cars like the Toyota Prius and Chevrolet Volt. Does that mean the flow of electrons up the four-wheeled food chain will eventually consume our hallowed supercars? Not if AMG has anything to say about it.
AMG Director of Vehicle Development Tobias Moers recently confirmed that not only will there be a successor to the Mercedes-Benz performance division's SLS AMG, he notes that its internal combustion engine will most definitely not be sharing living quarters with an electric drivetrain. Instead, AMG plans to focus on further pushing the power and efficiency envelope of the internal combustion engine and advancing the use of lightweight materials to achieve their goals. The first example of this effort can be seen in the new SLS AMG Black Series that incorporates many weight-saving techniques to shed some 154 pounds from the SLS AMG GT (above), which itself is lighter than the standard SLS AMG.
Furthermore, Moers remarks that his company is happy to leave the hypercar segment to companies like Ferrari and McLaren. He admits that, "Ferrari in the hyper-car segment is still a different brand than AMG. We have to be honest..." So rather than taking the SLS further upmarket to do battle with bulls and stallions, Moers hinted that the next-generation SLS may be joined by another performance model that fits neatly between itself and the C63 AMG.
A little over two months ago came reports that Daimler and Aston Martin were in talks, again, about "supply and technical-cooperation agreements." The next step has been taken with Aston Martin announcing that it has signed a Letter of Intent that looks "towards a technical partnership" with Mercedes-AMG GmbH, and the two companies aiming to have definitive agreements done by year's end.
While it will get to use certain electric and electronic components from AMG, the true golden egg for the maker of the Vanquish will be the ability to develop a new line of "bespoke V8 powertrains" that will be fitted to "a new generation of models." In return for opening up the larder, Daimler will get a non-voting stake of up to five percent of Aston Martin.
Nothing else is being said about the tie-up for the moment, but there's a press release below with a few more details.
After flirting for several years, Mercedes-Benz and Aston Martin have finally tied the knot. Just don't expect to see any offspring to result from the union for at least three or four years.
This according to Auto Express, which spoke with Daimler chief Dr. Dieter Zetsche at the Frankfurt Motor Show last week. AE reports that a new range of AMG-developed turbocharged V8s, transmissions and electrical components will make their way into the successors to the current V8 Vantage and DB9, but that these models are still a few years off.
Purists might balk at the thought of a Mercedes-powered Aston holding true to the brand's heritage. But while David Brown (for whom the DB range is named) may have steered clear of shoehorning in Detroit muscle into his cars, the entirety of the company's current range is powered by engines borrowing technology from Ford, and that arrangement seems to have worked well for Aston until now. And if you're still skeptical, look no further than Pagani and its AMG-sourced engines and you should have all the proof you need that the new relationship between Daimler and Aston could be a success.