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We hear: Juicy gossip from the CAR grapevine, CAR+ June 2016

Published: 01 May 2016

► The latest motoring-related gossip
► Aston Martin’s upcoming plans
► News from BMW and Alfa Romeo

With the DB11 coupe shaping up nicely, what else has Aston Martin in store using the new aluminium components set? Next year heralds the V8 Vantage successor; both it and DB11 will be available as drop-top Volantes. The lighter, sportier baby Aston will ditch the Ford-built V8 for Mercedes’ 4.0 twin-turbo V8; a six-speed manual will be optional.

Today’s pumped up DB9, the Vanquish, will be replaced by a DBS in 2018. This time it won’t be the ultimate GT but a hardcore sports car, with more than 700bhp.

Aston has announced plans for a 2019 hypercar, co-designed with Red Bull F1 engineer Adrian Newey, teased as the squiggle below. Our sources say r&d will mate a V12 turbo mounted amidships to a battery-powered e-module: expect combined power to top 1000bhp.

Electric power also motivates the 2018 Rapide E and 2019 DBX crossover, which will be offered with all-wheel drive and a V8; a V12 is under consideration. Rounding off the cycle plan are the DBS Volante and next-gen Rapide in 2020.

News from the BMW-Toyota alliance: the proposed Z4 coupe is dead. With Toyota planning only a fixed-head Supra, the soft-top Z4 (above) will be a point of difference, as will the flagship engines. Toyota will use a twin-turbo V6, BMW a 450bhp straight-six in the M version.

What’s this month’s Alfa product plan? We still expect a mid-size crossover in production before year’s end, with the Giulia station wagon and a larger crossover following in 2017 and 2018.Apparently the Giulietta hatch will be replaced, with sales in Europe, the US and China, and a compact estate is on the cards too. Will Alfa update today’s front-drive platform, or use the Giulia’s components set? The decision needs to be taken this summer; rear-drive is said to be the front-runner.

The 5-series-challenger, the Alfetta, is on ice: Turin reckons the crossovers have better prospects. So the final models in the jigsaw are a coupe and spider, competing with the A5 and sporty C-class variants. The bad news is they won’t surface until early in the next decade.

Read more from the June 2016 issue of CAR magazine

By CAR's road test team

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