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by David Zalstein

An all-new Mercedes-Benz platform destined for the next-generation SLK and SL will underpin future Aston Martin sports cars, while the British brand’s first SUV will share its basic structure with the next GL-Class, according to the latest rumours out of the US.

Still in its early design phase, Automobile Magazine reports Mercedes-Benz’s forthcoming modular sports car architecture (MSA) that will underpin the fourth-generation SLK and seventh-generation SL – due in 2019 and 2020 respectively – will likely replace Aston Martin‘s ageing VH architecture currently in the DB9, Rapide, Vanquish (pictured below) and Vantage.

Debuting in 2004 in the DB9, the VH platform has underpinned every Aston Martin model since, with the exception of the One-77 supercar and the Toyota iQ-based Cygnet.

Aston Martin Vanquish Centenary Edition

The fresh speculation comes on the back of last week’s rumours that the German car maker is considering purchasing the iconic British marque, following its acquisition of a five per cent stake in Aston last July.

According to the US publication, Aston’s use of the MSA platform makes further sense for future models as, apart from being able to suit a large number of body styles, it is also being developed to support plug-in and autonomous car technology.

Also set to share its basic structure – or modular high architecture (MHA) – with the upcoming GL-Class due in 2018, Automobile reports an Aston Martin SUV is also believed to be in the pipeline, though, it will not simply be a production version of the Lagonda concept (pictured below) first seen at the 2009 Geneva motor show. The original concept was based on the GL-Class of the time.

Aston Martin Lagonda concept

According to an anonymous Mercedes-Benz board member, money is, as ever, the big issue with the potential platform sharing plan, with Aston needing to increase Mercedes’ stock above the five per cent share it already owns to make the plan financially viable.

“The alternative scenario is somebody else snatching up Aston, and with it our engines and probably our SUV,” the unnamed source says.

As previously reported, Mercedes-Benz agreed to supply new V8 engines and electronic architecture components to Aston Martin in exchange for the five per cent stake back in July, three months before insiders from both companies hinted that the pair could further their partnership to include sharing platforms.




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