Aston Martin denies return to 6-cylinder engines

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Automakers worldwide are concerned with ever-tightening efficiency standards.

Some have taken to dropping cylinder counts and offsetting the loss in performance with turbocharging. However, that won’t be the case for Aston Martin, at least for the foreseeable future.

In an interview with published Tuesday, Aston Martin engineering boss Matt Becker denied recent rumors the automaker is planning to offer models with 6-cylinder engines. Aston Martin’s smallest engine at present is the AMG-sourced 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 in the DB11 V-8.

“I fear [the 6-cylinder rumors] may have come out of one of my answers [to a journalist’s question] at Geneva,” Becker told the Australian website. “I was speaking in more general terms that we might have to one day look at downsizing engines.”

Aston Martin has offered cars with 6-cylinder engines in the past. The last was the DB7, which offered a 3.2-liter inline-6. Aston Martin dropped the option in 1998 and hasn’t looked back since.

Should Aston Martin want to downsize to a 6-cylinder engine, it has a worthy option from current engine partner AMG. The Affalterbach tuner has just introduced a new 53 series range of cars, which combine 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 engines with mild-hybrid technology for V-8-like performance.

But Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer has stated he prefers electrification for improving the efficiency of the automaker’s fleet. Last August, he said every car his company builds will either offer a hybrid option or be an electric car by the middle of the next decade. Aston Martin’s first electric car will be the RapidE due in 2019. The automaker will follow up with an electric version of its SUV and then two electric-only models for the revived Lagonda brand.

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