2013 Mercedes-Benz GL550The agonizingly slow courtship between Aston Martin and Mercedes-Benz has been a regular topic of conversation ever since the 2009 Lagonda Concept debuted, riding on a Mercedes GL chassis. Beyond that one polarizing concept, though, nearly every other attempt to pair the two brands up in a major way has fallen through. Only the technical partnership between Mercedes and Aston for certain components from AMG, which was negotiated back in July, has held up so far.

That may finally be set to change, according to an excellent profile of the two brands' relationship from Automobile, which claims that two platforms will unite the Germans and Brits. The first tie up is, not surprisingly, a sports car.

As Aston Martin's VH platform - which underpins every car that comes out of Gaydon - continues to age, the pressure will well and truly be on Aston to find a next-gen replacement to underpin the successors to the Vantage, Vanquish, DB9 and Rapide. Automobile claims Mercedes has just such an architecture, in the form its new modular sports car platform. This new platform is slated for the next-generation SLK and SL and is still in its design infancy.

Automobile claims that this fact, along with MSA's versatility - MSA can handle just about any body style - makes it a logical replacement for VH. The fact that it's being designed with plug-in and autonomous technology in mind is a big bonus as well.

As for the other platform, well, it's an SUV. It is not, however, a production version of the Lagonda Concept. Instead, Automobile claims this will be a proper, big, high-riding SUV in the same vein as a Range Rover. Despite previous reports, the Aston SUV would likely end up riding on the next-generation GL platform, which is codenamed X167, although it's still far from a done deal.

"Dieter [Zetsche] is quite chuffed about the Aston thing and he is willing to let them in on X167," an anonymous Mercedes board member told the mag. "Money, however, is a big issue. Aston's 500 million pound ($833.5 million) four-year investment plan is just not enough when you need to renew your entire model range and think about adding an SUV."

According to the board member, to make sharing X167 palatable to Mercedes, Aston will need to hand over another batch of stock, increasing the five-percent share already owned by MB.

The entire profile of Aston's future with Mercedes is available over on Automobile. It really is worth a read. What are your thoughts, though? Should Aston be handing over stock to gain access to additional platforms? Is a car that rides on the bones of an SLK really a proper Aston? Have your say in Comments.


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  • 24 Comments
      Winnie Jenkems
      • 9 Months Ago
      The headlamps on that SL are in desperate need of a re-work. Like, really bad.
      thedriveatfive
      • 9 Months Ago
      Here you can have this platform, it weighs 2 tons, why dont you make a sports car out of it?
      Matt Frawley
      • 9 Months Ago
      I knew German brand BMW bought Rolls Royce. Volkswagen bought Bentley can exist Porsche and Audi. next phase Mercedes Benz interest buy Aston Martin. it is best German mechanic for British brands cars. next who interest buy Jaguar and Land Rover from Indian Tata Motor?
        adam1keith1980
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Matt Frawley
        Actually, I think Tata money is helping Jaguar to turn itself into a real German fighter. Tata does not directly involve itself with Jaguar R&D. Soon, they will have an aluminum-body 3-series fighter. Aston Martin needs an arrangement like Tata-Jaguar-LandRover to survive.
        gameover
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Matt Frawley
        for now no one , they are making tons of money all thier models are new RR evoque and next freelander on the way , XF XJ F type and the new 3 series rival and cross over are on the way , once they will no longer sell cars expect Ford to take them back as always
      J.A. Smith
      • 9 Months Ago
      If Aston cared about aesthetics, they wouldn't even consider building an SUV. But since they care more about bottomline, they will. It doesn't mean it's right, though. Kind of like hell freezing over. And if they are going to make an SUV, they should make one more like the G Wagon than the GL. At the bare minimum, it should be able to go off-road, because I'm sure they're going to charge $200k for them. And that's not a very appealing price for a bulky, mall cruiser that handles like a boat.
      Muttons
      • 9 Months Ago
      The front end of that SL is a travesty. Seriously, who signed off on that?
        ferps
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Muttons
        the pedestrian safety standards make it really hard to design a good front-end for a long hood like this.
      Britt Benston
      • 9 Months Ago
      Mercedes does not need Aston Martin. This puts Aston in a position of continual bargaining and compromise for a platform and engineering, tooling and parts distribution logistics. Zeitsche has not proven to be great partner material in the past (or present), as he makes deals and then accomplishes little with the partnership. I don't know enough about operations, but I wonder if Tata/Jag/LR might be a better partner? Either way, Aston needs to come to the table with something other than money to offer, so there's symbiosis.
      Ed Rocco
      • 9 Months Ago
      Good move
      axton72op8
      • 9 Months Ago
      man those are some ugly headlights...
      fran
      • 9 Months Ago
      I believe it will really benefit Aston Martin if Mercedes takes over. Think about it. AM makes nothing but sports/GT cars. A car brand in this age can just not survive long enough selling only one kind of car. Biggest example to learn from? Porsche.
        Shahul X
        • 9 Months Ago
        @fran
        100% true... the soccer moms in Cayenne/Panameras keeps the 911 around for old people that like their engines in the wrong place. Haha, I kid I kid... sort of. Mercedes should just absorb Aston. Jaguar and Land rover are already part of Tata.
      Shiftright
      • 9 Months Ago
      So, buy an Aston now if you can, while they're still real Astons.
      GoGOGadgetZOom
      • 9 Months Ago
      Aston definitely needs the help, but I'm not 100% certain it should come from Mercedes. As long as the MB boys were locked-out of the design & styling process, and relegated to motorworks and chassis-manufacture, it could be a palatable move for Aston.
      Sam123
      • 9 Months Ago
      They should borrow platforms from ford
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