Everyone needs a friend, especially the independents. In fact there is almost no such thing, as every car brand seems to fall under one or other giant Group umbrella.

Every one except Aston Martin. The company has been trudging along with outdated chassis and technology for decades, falling on British hand-made charm and all the associated idiosyncrasies to stay afloat.

In the 21st century however that isn’t going to work. Gaydon needed a friend, and fast, and the perfect match was found in Stuttgart.

Now that Aston Martin and Mercedes-Benz are partnered up (tech for stock), the Brits can look forward to many early Christmases. In every one of those lovely crates arriving from Affalterbach (Mercedes’ performance arm AMG’s home town) there is a new hand-assembled engine or transaxle, and the first car to be on the receiving end of the deal is the latest Gaydon flagship, the Aston Martin DB11.

This V8 engine provides creamy power in any gear, perfect for a GT. The German stuff you’ll find on the inside, with a new satellite navigation unit that just about brings this car bang up to date, even if the system itself is actually one generation behind Mercedes’ latest stuff.

Despite that the DB11 is so maturely engineered you’d expect to see it roll out of one of those Group’s massive, grey factories, instead of little Aston Martin, and that means you can now get the prestige of the badge together with dependable tech. The first truly useable Aston?

Well, for now, before the SUVs start coming.