Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd., the 102 year-old British manufacturer of sports cars best known for their long term affiliation with the James Bond movie franchise, is looking towards a green future by seeking to enter the electric segment.
The UK-based automaker, among the last surviving luxury marquees that have no major automotive group behind them, is now developing a battery-powered variant of the Rapide sedan that could reach dealerships as early as the beginning of 2018. Afterwards the company would also offer a green version of the DBX crossover, the first utility model in the maker’s lineup, according to chief executive officer Andy Palmer. If that sounds like déjà-vu it’s because it its – the Aston Martin could become competitors for the youngest and smallest publicly traded US automaker, Tesla Motors – which already has the Model S sedan and Model X crossover on offer. “We’re talking about an electric Aston Martin with between 800 and 1,000 horsepower — imagine having all that torque on demand,” commented Palme, a 35-year industry veteran that says the new models would stick to the “power, beauty and soul” credo of the company.
The strategy could be key to the small brand’s survival as regulators around the world impose stricter emissions rules. “We’re a V-12 engine company,” adds the top executive, adding they would not envision a future where they would downsize like many rivals. Instead, electric cars have seen costs dropping fast in recent years and could become a highly profitable niche soon.