Aston Martin recently signed a letter of intent with Mercedes-Benz's AMG performance division to share powertrain technology and interior-electrical architectures. But don't expect an immediate impact on Aston's product plans.
The deal probably won't be completed before year end and it will take two or three years before any AMG engines are ready to match up with Aston Martin platforms. It won't be plug-and-play. Mercedes and Aston want the engines to have their own personalities.
Aston Martin's powertrains come from Ford, which owned Aston until 2007. The V-8 and V-12 Ford builds in Cologne, Germany, are no slouches, but they are based on decade-old technology. Hard-core Aston Martin fans may decide to wait for AMG firepower.
Meanwhile, expect styling and design to remain consistently British.
Cygnet: For now, the rebadged Toyota iQ is sold in Europe, Japan, Hong Kong and a few other dense urban markets. It will not be sold in America.
Vantage: A Vantage V-12 S is being added this fall. The existing V-12 version, more popular than the Vantage V-8 in the United States, gets an 11 percent horsepower increase, a 3.7-second 0-to-62 mph time and a top speed of 205 mph.
DB9: Expect some Vanquish, DBS and Virage tidbits to filter down to the re-engineered DB9 that arrives this fall, such as the 510-hp engine and adaptive damping.
Virage: Removed from the lineup.
Vanquish: The flagship coupe replaced the DBS atop the Aston Martin lineup last fall. About 65 percent of the car's parts are new compared with the DBS. The Volante convertible version will arrive in the United States in early 2014 with a 565-hp engine and all panels made from carbon fiber. Although pictures have been released, its first public exposure will be this month at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.
Rapide: The Rapide S arrives in the United States this fall as a replacement for the standard Rapide sedan. It gets a new rear deck, bolder front fascia and a 550-hp engine.
Rapide Shooting Brake: A concept wagon version of the Rapide, styled by Bertone, is on a world tour gauging customer reaction. If the car goes into production expect it to be hand-stamped, with limited sales.
Lagonda SUV: A version of the SUV shown at the 2009 Geneva auto show is still in the product plan, especially if the deal with AMG expands beyond sharing powertrains. But it is at least four years away. Aston Martin could borrow underpinnings from the Mercedes-Benz GL.
Lagonda sedan: Complaints that the Rapide back seat is too small has Aston Martin hoping its relationship with Mercedes-AMG might allow access to the S-class platform. An Aston source said the automaker can shop around for the best donor platform.