Tuesday, 21 June 2016
Latest V12 rolls off the line at Niehl
The Aston Martin Engine Plant (AMEP) in Cologne, Germany, has launched production of its latest engine, a 5.2L twin-turbo unit for the DB11.Designed in-house, this new down-sized engine develops 608PS and 700Nm of torque. Aston Martin claims this makes the DB11 the most powerful production DB model.
Aston Martin claims also a top speed of 200 mile/h and a 0-62 mile/h time of 3.9 s.
The latest engine has intelligent cylinder bank activation and stop-start technology to offer improved efficiency.
AMEP is a dedicated, state-of-the-art facility created for the production of Aston Martin power plants. When the facility, located in a separate building at Ford Motor Company’s Niehl Engine Plant in Cologne, was opened on 28 October 2004, Aston Martin said that for the first time it had a purpose-built engine production facility.
The plant is equipped to work solely on Aston Martin engines and the building carries the marque’s corporate identity. Workplace for over 100 highly-trained employees, the 12,500 square metre production hall has four distinct areas: machining engine cylinder blocks, machining cylinder heads, an assembly area where specialist technicians hand-build engines, and a final area for receiving components and shipping completed engines.
Production of 6-litre V12 and 4.7-litre V8 engines will continue at AMEP.
To ensure the highest levels of quality and consistency, one engine assembly technician will build each engine, following the process through from start to finish.
According to Aston Martin it takes a total of eight hours to build one V12 engine and AMEP has a production capacity of 8,000 engines a year.
Once completed, each engine undergoes stringent cold and hot testing within the AMEP facility, and only when it has satisfied the various test criteria is it released for shipment to the Aston Martin assembly plant in Gaydon, Warwickshire, UK.
Brian Fitzsimons, Aston Martin chief engineer, powertrain, says: “To see this new engine go into full production at AMEP makes me very proud. Designing and developing the 5.2L twin-turbo power plant has been an all-consuming passion for me and my team. Knowing that the end result would be built with meticulous care in a truly state-of-the-art facility such as AMEP was an added motivation. It’s a hugely exciting time to be an engineer at Aston Martin, not least because this is just the beginning for the new twin-turbo V12.”
Dr Andy Palmer, Aston Martin president and chief executive officer, noted: “AMEP is one of our great success stories and one of the jewels in the Aston Martin crown. To have the ability to design and then manufacture our own high-performance engines in-house is something very special. It gives us ultimate control of quality and that all-important character for which Aston Martin cars are renowned. I have no doubts that our new twin-turbo V12 is the start of an even greater era of success.”
Recommended retail price for the DB11 is from £154,900 in the UK, €204,900 in Germany and $211,995 in USA, first deliveries of the DB11 are scheduled to begin during the fourth quarter of 2016.
The V12 DB11 is one of a series of cars Aston Martin is working on to reinvent the business as luxury car maker for the modern age. The range includes the all-electric DBX the company will build in a vacant plant in St. Athan, in the Vale of Glamorgan from 2020 onwards.
Dr. Palmer has secured £500 million with which to turn round the business and has six years in which to do it. Last year, he raised another £200 million by issuing preference shares to investors. He believes that by having a series of models – maybe as many as seven – he will be able to avoid the downward spirals of the past.