Warwickshire sports car manufacturer Aston Martin has begun production of the engine that will power the latest version of the historic marque.
The 5.2 litre, twin-turbo V12 will power the all-new £150,000 DB11.
Designed in-house and manufactured at the Aston Martin Engine Plant (AMEP) in Cologne, the new engine will develop 608PS and 700Nm of torque, making the DB11 (see above) the most powerful production DB model ever produced by the Gaydon-based firm.
It is also the fastest and most accelerative DB sports car produced by the firm, boasting a top speed of 200mph and a 0-62mph time of just 3.9sec.
The company has high expectations for the new power unit as the added potency is delivered with greatly improved efficiency.
Opened in 2004, the AMEP is a dedicated, state-of-the-art facility created solely for the production of Aston Martin power plants.
Employing more than 100 skilled engineers, the 12,500m² production hall is divided into four distinct areas: one for the machining of the enginesâ cylinder blocks, one to machine cylinder heads, an assembly area where a team of specialist technicians meticulously hand-build the engines and one for receiving components and shipping completed engines.
The factory will also produce future versions of the engine, including a 6.0 litre V12 and a 4.7 litre V8.
Each engine will be hand-built by a single assembly technician, who will follow the building process through from start to finish.
It takes a total of eight hours to build one V12 engine and the AMEP has a production capacity of 8,000 engines a year. Once completed, each engine will undergo 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 headquarters in Gaydon.
Brian Fitzsimons, Aston Martin Chief Engineer, Powertrain, said: 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. Itâs 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 CEO, added: 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.
The DB11 is expected to sell for £154,900 in the UK, with the first deliveries scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2016.