Aston Martin’s Old V12 Has A Surprising, and Slightly Confusing History

By -

We have all heard about Aston Martin and the Ford V6 connection, but the truth is even more incredible.

Aston Martin’s previous V12 engine has a lot going for it. It’s powerful, it sounds fantastic, and it’s found under the hoods of some of the greatest sports cars to ever wear the Aston Martin badge, including the DB9.

However, this V12 carries a dirty little secret. Despite its exotic nature, it’s alleged that the Aston Martin V12 is the lovechild of a pair of Ford Mondeo Duratec V6 engines. That’s a decidedly un-exotic precursor to a beloved powerplant. Fear not, however, as Drivetribe on YouTube breaks it down in greater detail.

Ford Mondeo

Is it true? In short, yes, but it’s not the entire story. The Aston Martin V12 does share much of its architecture with the Ford Duratec V6, like the pistons, connecting rods, valves, and rocker arms. However, the engine block, crankshaft, and camshafts are entirely new components (although the camshaft profile is similar to the Ford V6). Most importantly, however, the engine design was worked over by none other then Cosworth.

Cosworth has a long-held reputation for building truly incredible engines. Their specialty seems to be turning relatively unassuming family car engines into fire-breathing monsters. A prime example of this is the Toyota-derived, Cosworth-modified engines powering newer Lotus sports cars.

Aston Martin V12

When given twelve cylinders to play with, Cosworth was able to derive 450 thundering horsepower from the Aston Martin V12. Of course, it’s not like the Duratec V6 was a bad design to begin with – when Ford initially developed the engine, they enlisted the help of Porsche engineering.

In a very roundabout way, Porsche helped to design the V12 that would go on to power road cars and championship-winning race cars from Aston Martin. While that’s probably more infuriating to most Aston Martin fans than the Ford connection, it doesn’t take away from the beauty, style, or grace of those cars. To us, it simply adds to the mystique.

Join the 6SpeedOnline forums now!

Longtime motorcyclist and automotive journalist Cam Vanderhorst is a regular contributor to Harley-Davidson Forums, Ford Truck Enthusiasts, Corvette Forum and MB World, among others.

When he's not busy working on his Harley-Davidson bike, the vastly experienced writer has covered an array of features, reviews, how-tos, op-eds and news stories for Internet Brands' Auto Group and is also a co-founder and co-host of the popular podcast Cammed & Tubbed.

Check him out on Instagram at: Camvanderhorst.

Comments ()