Aston Martin is not letting the negative response to its controversially-styled Lagonda concept from 2009 discourage it from pressing on with development of an SUV. As the 2009 concept was, the production model will have a Mercedes-Benz-based chassis, and could possibly get Mercedes gasoline and even diesel engines in some models, although the topline engine is expected to be Aston's own 6.0-liter V-12, according to a report from Autocar.

But Aston boss Ulrich Bez told Autocar in a separate article that smaller-than-expected engines are not totally off the table for the exclusive brand. "Four or even three cylinders are possible. If the spirit of the times demands six cylinders, then it has to be looked at." But Bez stressed that downsized engines would not come at the expense of tarnishing the exclusivity and desirability of the Aston Martin brand.

In the specific context of the SUV, anything smaller than a six-cylinder is unlikely, considering its competitors. The potential engines for Bentley's SUV include a possible six-cylinder hybrid, as well as a diesel.

SUV models have often become luxury brands' best-selling models, and for niche automakers seeking higher volumes, especially in emerging markets, SUVs are an easy way to raise sales totals.

Source: Autocar 1, 2