Aston Martin will revamp and expand its lineup as part of a five-year plan laid out by the company’s new executives. If it succeeds, the strategy will position Aston for growth as an independent automaker with a more stable future in its second century.
Aston will replace all of the cars in its current lineup and add a fourth sports car to its stable. It currently has three: the DB9, Vanquish and Vantage. The unnamed sports car will be joined by a production version of the DBX concept – an all-wheel-drive electric car that treads near crossover territory – that was revealed at the Geneva Motor Show. Aston’s electric strategy also includes a potential electric-powered Rapide. Eventually, Aston plans to build a new four-door Lagonda.
Though Aston will diversify its portfolio and the range could expand to seven vehicles, it will limit production to around 7,000 units annually, said Aston Martin marketing and communications director Simon Sproule, who described the company’s strategy in an interview with Autoblog. CEO Andy Palmer, who joined Aston last year from Infiniti, has also spoken recently about remaking the company for the future.
EVs are a major part of Aston’s future, Sproule stressed, because they allow the automaker to “balance” its portfolio. Aston is studying the feasibility of an electric Rapide and is working with an undisclosed engineering firm. It’s likely to use a plug-in setup and would cost $200,000 to $250,000 or more. It could use either a rear-wheel or all-wheel-drive configuration.”It’s a study, but we’re serious about it,” Sproule said. He added for emphasis: “If not this, there will be an electric Aston Martin in the future.”
Aston has taken note of what Tesla has done with the brisk-driving Model S and decided that’s the dynamic it wants for some of its own cars. Even though EVs don’t emit the same sonorous note as a V12 – they’re better than the alternative, Sproule said.
“The sound of silence is much more preferable than the sound of a four-cylinder whining away under the hood of an Aston Martin,” he said.
Speaking of V12s, they’re not going away. Aston will continue to make its own V12 engine, but will source its V8 from Mercedes-AMG (whose parent, Daimler, owns a small stake in Aston).
While the V12 is sure to please the faithful, Aston admits EVs and the crossover-like DBX will rankle many. Sproule argues those are the moves that will keep Aston relevant.
“We’ve got to do a few of the things the purists won’t like, but if we don’t – it [Aston] will be this museum piece.”