Home Cars Will Aston Martin’s first SUV get a Mercedes inline-six engine as well?

Will Aston Martin’s first SUV get a Mercedes inline-six engine as well?

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The British automaker's first-ever SUV, expected to be called Varekai, is not far from production, slated to start rolling off the assembly line roughly a year from now. It has been a long road to production, following a full decade of very different — and very differently received — concept cars. Details are still scarce ahead of the launch of this 2020 model, but recent comments to Motoring by Aston Martin chief creative officer Marek Reichman suggest that the SUV could be one of the first recipients of the fruits of the company's partnership with Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler in the form of a six-cylinder mild-hybrid engine.

"It could (use a Mercedes-sourced six-cylinder) because that would be a pretty good engine and combination. Potentially," Reichmann told Motoring when asked about the possibility.

Motoring was referring to Mercedes-Benz's new M256 turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six gasoline engine, which incorporates a 48-volt mild hybrid system. Offered in AMG's current European-market lineup of "53" cars such as the E53 and CLS53, this unit produces 429 hp and 384 lb-ft of torque, while the EQ Boost system cranks out an additional 21 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque in short bursts when needed.

As of now the Varekai is expected to offer Aston Martin's own 5.2-liter V12 in addition to a Mercedes-AMG-sourced twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8, with the latter already found under the hoods of the DB11 and Vantage. A 3.0-liter inline-six could well be a third engine option in the upcoming SUV. A battery-electric version of Aston Martin's own design is a possibility as well down the road, if not right away.

What definitely will not be offered in the SUV, according to Reichmann, is a diesel; Aston Martin will leave that narrow niche to Bentley, which rolled out its diesel Bentayga last year.

The Varekai won't be the brand's sole SUV for long: The oft-dormant Lagonda sub-brand is expected to field its own SUV by 2022, likely with a battery-electric or hybrid powertrain. But even before that the Varekai will have plenty of competition from other luxury brands which, until a short while ago, were difficult to picture with an SUV or crossover (or 'high-sided vehicle') in their lineups.

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