Few places illustrate the pinnacle of the combustion engine better than the Mercedes-AMG plant in Affalterbach, Germany. There, individual workers assemble entire engines by hand, each with a decal bearing their signature. The business philosophy? “One man, one engine.”
That philosophy has helped build the AMG brand for decades. The Mercedes subsidiary is known for taking luxury cars and turning them into the German equivalent of muscle cars: fast, loud and a little bit brutal. The hand-built engines were not only sought after by consumers, but also by other companies. Ten years ago, it signed a deal with Aston Martin to supply the British marque with its 4.0-litre V8.
Now that deal is living on borrowed time. On Monday, Aston Martin announced a partnership with Lucid. The startup automaker would provide electric motors, powertrains and battery systems as Aston Martin transitions its core models to electric powertrains by 2030. 10%.
For more than a century, car manufacturers used engines to differentiate themselves from the competition. AMG was long known for hand built high output V8 engines. BMW’s reputation comes through in no small part silky smooth inline-6s. Dodge’s muscle-car image was built on the back of the brand hemi of V8s. Honda has made a name for it VTECGM with the small block V8and Audi got weird with inline-5s. There are more, but you get the idea.