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Aston Martin speeds into its Second Century

Line-up revamp, three new models, plug-in hybrid expected by 2020

Published: April 24, 2015, 7:25 PM
Updated: April 29, 2018, 2:01 PM

Aston Martin Lagonda Taraf

Aston Martin has plans to revise its current line-up and add models, including a new utility vehicle that may be built in the United States, as it sets off on its “Second Century” of performance vehicle production.

In comments made prior to the opening of the 2015 Shanghai Auto Show, new CEO Andy Palmer (formerly with Nissan) said the company plans to revamp its current line-up and add three new models, setting an ambitious timeframe of 2020 for the completion of the project.

“The Second Century plan not only delivers exciting and highly desirable new luxury sports cars in the traditional sense, but also embraces new powertrain technology,” said Palmer, adding that the company is investigating electrification of the coupe-like four-door Rapide that would “undoubtedly be attractive for the China market.”

As with many current plug-in hybrid announcements, Aston Martin may look at taking on a Chinese partner for battery production in a move that would allow it to sell more cars into the restrictive Chinese market.

Aston Martin DBX concept crossover

The three models being referenced includes a production version of the DBX concept crossover introduced at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, though that is still in its infancy and would likely look radically different from the raised coupe design of the concept. Another possibility is a flagship sedan to bear the Lagonda badge. The radical Lagonda sedan last saw the light of day in 1990, but has been recently resurrected with the Lagonda Taraf model for Middle East markets. Having put its widely-hated ancestor behind it, the Lagonda may come out to the rest of the world.

If the sedan takes up production at the existing Graydon facility, then the company may explore building the crossover at a plant outside the UK, with several locations in the U.S. reportedly negotiating production incentives with Aston Martin.

The third model is the source of many rumours, with most hoping it is a new sports car to compete with the likes of the new McLaren 570S.

The plan reportedly kicks off with a replacement for the DB9 in 2016, and is backed by new investment from the British government, which has reportedly committed 6.9 million pounds (about $12.7 million Canadian), and Italian shareholder Investindustrial SpA (a capital fund firm that holds a 37.5 percent interest in Aston Martin).