Currently reading: Aston Martin plots future hybrid models
British firm’s line-up could expand to seven models, some with battery-electric or hybrid power

Aston Martin chief Andy Palmer believes the luxury British car company can expand its range to at least six or seven models, including electric vehicles and hybrids.

Speaking to Autocar at the Nürburgring 24-hour endurance race earlier this month, Palmer would not rule out the possibility of EVs and hybrids in an expanded Aston Martin line-up that would cover all bases, from the highly focused 800bhp Vulcan track car to the versatile DBX crossover concept that has been confirmed for production.

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“I see in our future obviously V12s, V8s and probably battery-electric cars,” said Palmer. “As time evolves, there’s probably an inevitability to hybridisation, simply because, car by car, you can only downsize so much. I’d rather put a hybrid in there than an in-line four-cylinder.”

“Imagine something like a 4x4, 1000bhp silent Aston Martin Rapide. I think ‘Power, Beauty, Soul’ doesn’t say it has to be a gasoline engine. It just needs to be really powerful, really beautiful and set your heart on fire.

“I’d argue that 1000bhp on the ground would probably do that for you. So that’s the route we could go.”

While Palmer confirmed that Aston Martin doesn’t have any immediate plans for a hybrid, he said that producing just 7000 units a year is no longer sustainable.

“It doesn’t work as a business model. It hasn’t worked for Aston Martin, as we have been bankrupt seven times. We didn’t find the solution.

“The DBX and Lagonda are part of that solution, but we can’t afford the multi-billion-dollar bill to engineer all of the active safety-connected car and autonomous car regulatory things that are coming along.

“You either buy them, or you belong to a group that owns them. We don’t want to belong to a group that owns them, so therefore we’ve got to buy them.

“However, having that strategic relationship and the 5% ownership with Daimler gives us access to that technology. It works for Daimler and it works for us.”

The first model of what will mark the beginning of a new era for Aston Martin will be the DB9 replacement, the DB11, which continued its testing schedule at the Nürburgring last week.

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Speedraser 1 June 2015

Yes, but...

No question they have to plan for the future, and it would be nice not to have any more bankruptcies. But... I'd rather see Aston belong to a large and BENEVOLENT manufacturer (as Ford was) and remain exclusive and low volume (even if it means they go further upmarket) than build significantly more cars. Low-volume manufacturers that chase much bigger volumes almost never succeed. AM should, IMO, figure out how to be profitable at low volume, and moving further upmarket may do that. Big volumes require lots of buyers, obviously, and there is risk in that too. Importantly, big volume skewers the desirability and wow-factor of a brand. People don't go "wow" anymore when they see a Porsche, and haven't for a long time, because Porsches of one kind or another are everywhere -- seeing one is a non-event. Seeing a Maserati used to be a big deal, but that is very rapidly changing -- the specialness factor is going away. Bentley -- there are Contis all over the place where I live -- not that big a deal, and they're not considered anywhere near as special as a Rolls. Astons are still a very big deal -- they are seen as truly special, and people get excited when they see one because it's a real event. Go too far beyond 7000 cars per year and you risk losing what made Aston Martin so special that they were able to come back from all those bankruptcies.
Peter Cavellini 1 June 2015


Would be nice if AM didn't see themselves as Jaguar's posher Brother!,i just wish every time i see an Aston or a Jag that i didn't have to look twice.
Bullfinch 1 June 2015


What he says.