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.
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.
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.