Aston Martin CEO – “I See In Our Future Obviously V12s, V8s and Probably Battery-Electric Cars”

2 years ago by Mark Kane 12

Aston Martin DBX

Aston Martin DBX

Q by Aston Martin: 'One of Seven

Q by Aston Martin: ‘One of Seven

Aston Martin chief executive officer, Andy Palmer, was interviewed by Autocar and, as always is the case when Palmer talks, he threw out some interesting thoughts.

The British company doesn’t want to do too much engine downsizing. Instead, Aston would rather go with electric and hybrid drivetrains, along V12s, V8s.

“I see in our future obviously V12s, V8s and probably battery-electric cars. 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 4×4, 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.

4×4, 1000bhp, silent and beauty? Sounds interesting. We already know that Aston Martin intends to introduce the electric DBX. Electric Rapide could be second around 2018.

The 102-year old luxury sports car manufacturer must however watch out on the business side of things. Producing only 7,000 cars annually “is no longer sustainable“. Production volume must go up and the model line-up will be expanded.

“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.”

Source: Autocar

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12 responses to "Aston Martin CEO – “I See In Our Future Obviously V12s, V8s and Probably Battery-Electric Cars”"

  1. Scott Franco, the greedy republican says:

    The problem is that hybrids gain efficiency for a bit by recovering braking energy and normalizing the engine to wheels coupling, but then the “savings” in gas turns into a shell game where the car makers make ridiculous claims about mileage by preloading the car with power (charging before driving) a la the claims made for the volt.

    Carrying the extra weight of a dual drive train (gas/electric) is going to nullify much of those efficiency gains. A more efficient diesel engine can get similar gains without needing to resort to dual drive systems.

    This is why hybrids are ultimately a dead end.

    1. kdawg says:

      But why wouldn’t you put a small battery & regen braking on that “efficient diesel engine” and make it even more efficient? You think that small amount of weight will actually cause more inefficiency than the gains?

      1. Scramjett says:

        I don’t think that you would gain that much in efficiency. At least, not enough to make the extra cost and complexity worthwhile.

      2. Scott Franco, the greedy republican says:

        Many have talked about it. That wasn’t really the point. The point is that a common technology, diesel (that has been around more than 100 years and originally ran on peanut oil, and deliver the same results as an expensive hybrid for less.

    2. Bill says:

      Use a 4 unit system which would weighs less than 40 lb and put out about 4000 watts to charge battery without stopping to extend distance. It’s called airinductionchargingandstoragesystem if they ever build a 2 battery system never have to stop, switch from one battery to the other battery just charged.

    3. Scramjett says:

      I find myself agreeing with you on hybridization. However, I suspect Andy Palmer may be referring to plug-in hybrids, not necessarily “regular” hybrids.

  2. Robb Stark says:

    It not only mileage but cost and emissions.

    In order for a diesel engine and diesel fuel to run as cleanly as a gasoline-electric hybrid makes the diesel vehicle cost prohibitive.

    In European countries with high diesel penetration you have subsidized diesel fuel.

    Might as well subsidize BEVs and public fast chargers instead.

    1. Kev says:

      Another US-based myth….In Europe diesel is absolutely not subsidised. For example, in the UK it is around 8% more expensive. Indeed, as the use of diesel became more common, the tax on it has risen to offset the loss of government revenue from gasoline.

      1. Boris says:

        So why is diesel less expensive than regular “petrol/gasoline” in most European countries. Because it’s taxed less than gas. If this wasn’t the case, diesel wouldn’t be cheaper than gas in Austria, France, Germany, Czech Rep, Slovakia, etc etc…

        1. Scramjett says:

          Hmmm, interesting different perspectives here. Looks like some European countries tax diesel more than others with the net effect being that many European countries have diesel cheaper than gas/petrol while others are more expensive.

          In any case, I think Kev’s original point that diesel is not subsidized stands given that it is still taxed in Europe, albeit to varying degrees.

  3. Anon says:

    Palmer is a conservative oil wallowing gear head. 😛

    Probably EVs? Aston will if they want to stay in business. Duh.

    1. Khai L. says:

      I think you should get to know the man, before you criticize him.

      He’s probably just couching his words for the investors, since he’s the guy who birthed the Leaf, when he was VP @ Nissan. It should be very interesting what he does with Aston Martin.