After the debut of the Aston Martin DBX, many questioned what this meant for the boutique British automaker best known for a perpetual place in James Bond lore. CEO Andy Palmer has left no question that Aston Martin is moving towards electrification, and he dropped further hints at what’s in store in an interview with AutoCar.
“Imagine something like a 4×4, 1000bhp silent Rapide,” Palmer told Autocar. “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.”
Does that mean a 1,000 horsepower Aston Martin is in the works? Not at all. Then again, it very well could be. Building an electric vehicle is a bold move to a brand as storied Aston is, what with its long history of big, powerful engines. In order to quiet critics, any pure electric Aston Martin would have to be overwhelmingly awesome. Like Palmer said, about 1,000 horsepower should do it.
The Aston Martin CEO also says that hybridization is “probably an inevitability”, but he’d rather have a hybrid Aston than something powered by an inline four-cylinder engine. Don’t count V8 and V12 engines out either, as the luxury automaker isn’t about to go all-in with electrification just yet. But if/when it does, it seems like Aston Martin will go big, as opposed to go home. Interestingly enough, Palmer makes no mention of hydrogen, despite Aston Martin testing a hydrogen-powered Rapide recently.
That won’t be easy though, as Aston Martin lacks the R&D budget to develop a dedicated EV platform from the ground-up. That, Palmer explains, means Aston will have to buy its electric drivetrain technology, though Germany’s Daimler took a 5% stake in the company just last yet, opening the door to some Mercedes electrification tech. Perhaps. If Palmer is serious about building a 1,000 horsepower EV, perhaps he should sit down with Mate Rimac instead.
Aston Martin is getting into the electric vehicle game in an exciting way. What other automakers will follow suit?