Aston Martin DBX conceptEnlarge Photo
Aston Martin is the latest automaker to commit to an all-electrified lineup, following the lead of Volvo which said in July that every vehicle in its lineup will have some form of electrification by 2019.
However, for a low-volume manufacturer of exotic sports cars, Aston Martin’s commitment to electrification is much more profound.
Understandably, its time frame isn’t as short as Volvo’s, with CEO Andy Palmer pointing to a mid-2020s date. Aston Martin also plans to make the technology optional rather than standard, unlike Volvo.
“We will be 100 percent hybrid by the middle of the 2020s,” Palmer told Financial Times in a recent interview.
Aston Martin Valkyrie in near-production formEnlarge Photo
Further out, Aston Martin plans to offer an increasing number of pure electric cars. According to Palmer, roughly one quarter of the lineup will have a battery option by the end of the next decade.
Aston Martin’s first hybrid will be the Valkyrie hypercar due out in 2018. A year later, Aston Martin will introduce a pure electric version of its Rapide sedan. These will be limited-edition models, however. Aston Martin’s first regular production hybrid and electric cars will be variants of the DBX SUV entering production in 2019.
Due to toughening emission standards and potential bans on cars powered solely by internal combustion engines, even low-volume exotic marques like Aston Martin are turning to electrification. Rivals Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes-AMG and Porsche are also treading down the electrification path. The good news is that the technology can enhance the driving experience. Electric motors are great for low-end torque, for example.
In other Aston Martin news, the Financial Times reports that Aston Martin’s mid-engine supercar due in 2020 will likely feature a V-6. The automaker’s current models rely on V-8 and V-12 engines, so any V-6 will be an entirely new unit. A V-6 would provide efficiency and packaging benefits over a larger unit. It would also help the car escape punitive taxes in countries where taxation is based on engine size, one of which is China.