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Aston Martin and Mercedes-Benz’s parent company finalize partnership

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Mercedes-Benz’s parent company and Aston Martin have formally agreed on a technical partnership, the two automakers announced Thursday.

The agreement between Aston and Daimler formalizes a letter of intent the pair signed in July. The pairing will yield a crop of V-8 engines for Aston that are loosely based on Mercedes’ architecture. These new powerplants probably won’t be available until the next generation of Aston Martin sports cars begin rolling out in 2016.

“This strategic collaboration for Aston Martin will, in our next generation of luxury sports cars, offer our customers increased performance and efficiency whilst retaining the unique character and style of Aston Martin,” Aston said in a statement.

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In addition to the line of high-performance engines, the partnership will give Aston access to electronic components such as navigation systems, and enable the automakers to “investigate additional areas of cooperation in the future,” Aston said. In exchange for these contributions, Daimler will get as much as 5% equity in Aston and a non-voting seat on its board.

Daimler joins key shareholders Adeem Investment and Investindustrial in ownership of the privately held British brand.

The announcement comes at the end of a centenary year for Aston, as the company first started building cars in 1914. Its current lineup includes four models; three coupes and convertibles ranging from $121,000 to $311,000, and the Rapide S four-door coupe. You can read a more in-depth look at Aston’s cars and its history here.

With the next step in Aston’s evolution due no earlier than 2016, the brand maintains that it will be sticking to the kind of products the company has staked its reputation on. That means no SUVs in the foreseeable future.

“It’s important to know that our core is sports cars,” Julian Jenkins, president of Aston Martin of the Americas, said in a recent interview. “That’s our focus, and that’s what you’ll continue to see.”

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