Engine could be derived from today's 5.2-litre V12

Aston Martin is reportedly working on a new inline six-cylinder engine, possibly with hybrid assistance, to replace the twin-turbo Mercedes-AMG V8 it currently uses in some of its products.

A source with close connections to the company has informed Autocar development on the new engine is already underway.

Details about the engine are thin on-the-ground at the moment, but the new straight-six could be based on the company's in-house V12 motor and may make use of technology developed as part of the all-electric Rapide E program.

It's not clear when the engine will make its debut, but it could be used to power the variants of the upcoming DBX, the company's first crossover.

Set to go into production from late 2019, the DBX will initially be available with the AMG's V8 and Aston Martin's V12.

Aston Martin signed an engine supply deal with Mercedes-AMG in 2013, and has been using a version of its 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 in its latest DB11 and Vantage models.

If this report proves to be true, it will see a straight-six engine return to the Aston Martin for the first time since the six-pot DB7 was discontinued in 1999.