• Oct 23rd 2008 at 1:27PM
  • 14
In today's chaotic automotive industry, if you're not merging, divesting, or collaborating, then you're just not trying. Both Aston Martin and Mercedes are only about 18 months removed from their respective divorces from Ford and Chrysler, and now the two luxury automakers are looking to shack up with one another. This time, though, they'll skip wedded bliss in favor of a limited agreement between two consensual companies. CAR gave us some details in on the limited partnership in its September issue, and now the British rag is making with the details.

Make the jump for the skinny.

Aston Martin has terrific brand value, but the independent British marquee can't touch Daimler's vast cash and engineering might. For that reason, Aston is reportedly interested in Mercedes for its engineering prowess. The next generation S-Class will feature a choice of mild, full, and plug-in hybrid variants, as well as smaller petrol engines to increase efficiency. Those powertrain combos will reportedly end up under the bonnet of the 2010 Rapide sedan, as well as the rumored Lagonda lineup. Aston is also looking to swap out its Ford-derived V12 engine in favor of Merc's M275 twin-turbo twelve-banger. Dr. Z has reportedly already given the thumbs-up on the V12, along with hybrid powertrains, which in total could be worth €150 million or more. Aston may also utilize Daimler's next generation CL platform on a successor to the DB9.

To receive all this wonderful technology that a niche automaker wouldn't otherwise be able to afford, Aston will be charged with the monumental task of overhauling Maybach. The ultra-expensive Rolls Royce competitor has been less than a sales success, and the brand is a sore spot with Daimler execs. The German automaker is hoping the flexibility, speed, and absence of bureaucracy will enable Aston to design a better Maybach inside and out. After looking at some of the things Aston has pulled off since it left the Ford umbrella, we're guessing Mercedes will get the distinctive styling the current model lacks. Aston has plenty of incentive to do the Maybach right, because a future Lagonda saloon could effectively be a sporty version of the next 57 or 62. We're guessing this won't be a badge engineering job, either, so stop imagining a Maybach with a carbon fiber splitter and a Cobalt SS spoiler bolted to the trunk.

A €300 million Aston/Daimler collaboration could wind up being yet another bad idea, but there's also a good chance this Euro luxury hook-up could result in some good-looking offspring. We may find out sooner than later, too, as the first Lagonda concept is rumored to be unveiled next year, and under that beautiful Aston sheet metal may well be some fine German engineering.

[Source: CAR]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      IMO, Daimler's barking up the right tree if they're looking for style in their Maybach line. AM makes the most beautiful vehicles in the world.
        • 6 Years Ago
        They could bark up the tree of a 5th grade art class and get a better disign than they currently have.

        That being said, i agree, Aston Martin could create a stunning Maybach.
      • 6 Years Ago
      About time...a partnering deal that really makes sense!

      M-B really needed help with Maybach, and I wasn't going to believe that the Maybach brand was going to be shelved while Rolls-Royce continued to have success. An increase in ultra-luxury competition (4dr uber-lux cars for traditionally 2dr car makers) had definitely added many reasons why Maybach should be re-engineered with the help of another successful luxury car maker.
      • 6 Years Ago

      I think that the collaboration is going to be great as long as Aston style dominates because its modern and fresh. While Mercedes is getting a little cold fashioned. But regardless these companies are going to come out with a line up of beautiful beasts to put Bentley, Ferrari, and Rolls on the look out.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Hey Juan.

        Your first? It doesn't look it.

        • 6 Years Ago
        I agree...this is a great merger as long as Aston (like any merger) stays true to its design. Plus it opens more platforms up for them

        As far as merc. They are on there way to finding a style. They are known for being the premier brand however they haven't found there true fit. BMW's the drivers car, Audi is about the Engineering, Merc is ???. Once they find this (hopefully they do) you will see a much more cohesive line.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Agreed. Keep the "firsts" to yourself. This isn't AICN.

        Anyways, this collaboration makes a lot more sense than either of the previous two these companies have been involved in.

        As long as Aston doesn't get watered down, this is a win-win.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Commenting with "1st" is lame even when you are the first to comment, and you weren't even first.

        I don't think Mercedes is as cold as they are looking for something and just not finding it as far as style or direction is concerned.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is one of the few partnerships that makes sense, at a first glance. But it always comes down to the execution.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This makes perfect sense!

      I mean, since my divorce, I have favoured limited agreements between two - or more - mutually consenting partners myself. ;-}
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think if anyone could improve Maybach, it would be Aston. The best part of Aston Martin's cars is their beautiful design, whereas, that seems to be an area Maybach has a bit of a problem with.

      • 6 Years Ago
      I hope this means Merc will get rid of Maybach. Lord I can't stand those ugly, bloated, stupid poser mobiles. Astons would be a really classy replacement for that overpriced junk.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I don't know about you, but I don't know of any poseurs that can afford $300k+ automobiles. They're not pretty cars by any means (the Exelero aside), but they are vastly superior to the Rolls Royce Phantom.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The critical piece for Aston will be trying to imbue Maybach with the critical image quality it's been missing. The mere mention of their name should really help. "Yes, I've got one of the new Maybachs-- the one Aston developed."

      I know the Benz V12 will be a stormer, but will it really make the kind of noise worthy of an Aston? And will it have forced induction in future DB/Vanquish/Lagonda cars? I'd hope not, for the sake of brand consistency.
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