Aston Martin plots future hybrid models
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.
“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 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.