As carmakers the world over battle with ever-tightening emissions regulations, they've been forced to drop cylinders, downsize, turbocharge and hybridise.
One manufacturer subject to a lot of speculation of late regarding its future engine direction is Aston Martin, which has been tipped to start offering six-cylinder engines in its cars once again.
Yes – again. While Aston of late is known for its singing V12s and brutal V8s, once upon a time it offered straight sixes in its models. In fact, its most famous model of all, the DB5 (below), came with a six-pot motor.
However, much to delight of many, Aston Martin has confirmed that its V8s and V12s – sourced from Mercedes and Cosworth for its latest models – will be staying, despite a hint from Aston Martin engineering boss Matt Becker at the recent Geneva motor show, seemingly predicting a return for six-cylinder engines.
'I fear [the 6-cylinder rumours] may have come out of one of my answers [to a journalist’s question] at Geneva,' Becker said in an interview with Australian website Motoring. 'I was speaking in more general terms that we might have to one day look at downsizing engines.'
So while a return to six-cylinder engines for the iconic British brand hasn't been ruled out completely, rest assured they won't be coming back for quite some time.
The last production model Aston Martin offered with a straight-six was the DB7, which was produced between 1994 and 2004. A V12 version of the DB7 – the DB7 Vantage – was introduced in 1999. It proved so popular right from the off that by the middle of that year, production of the original six-cylinder DB7 had stopped completely in favour of its Ford-engined brother.