Aston Martin will join the rest of the industry in switching to electric vehicles, but the first pure EV is not coming until 2026. Being a small automaker, Aston Martin can be flexible and agile in meeting customer needs and does not have to make big broad pronouncements, CEO and chief technical officer Tobias Moers tells MotorTrend in an interview.
That is not to say the luxury brand is eschewing electrification. The 2024 Aston Martin Valhalla hybrid is on an important platform and is a stepping stone into electrification, Moers says.
Next-Gen Aston Martin Sports Cars Will Be Electric
The first pure EV must wait for the next-generation sports cars in 2026. “It’s very obvious we have to have the next-generation sports cars on a pure EV level. That’s clear,” Moers says.
The timing is a ways off because Moers says the current sports car lineup will get a significant facelift by 2023 and they need a bit of runway to pay for themselves before they are replaced by models on a new electric sports car platform.
Aston Martin DB11 Successor Likely First EV
Which bodystyle is first in line to go pure battery electric? “We have traditionally been two doors so we will have a successor for the DB11 or something like that,” Moers says. The Aston Martin DB11 was the first car launched as part of the automaker’s “second century” plan in 2016 so cadence-wise, its successor would be first up for the pure EV in the lineup.
Moers is excited about EVs. In his previous job as head of Mercedes-AMG, he pushed the performance brand to become electrified, and says he will do the same thing at Aston. “It makes sense. We sell dreams and when you sell dreams, you have to consider the customer’s needs. You don’t need our cars for driving from A to B. It should be an aspirational interpretation of an electric drive in Aston Martin style.”
The CEO is building an EV engineering team to lessen dependence on companies that supply key drivetrain components and batteries, such as Mercedes and Rimac. Moers wants to build in-house competence. “I feel that is important.”
Moers projects that by 2030, at least half of Aston Martin’s portfolio will be fully electric. But as a niche player, he does not have to make grand announcements or outline concrete plans. “We are flexible and can adjust to demand,” he says. Aston will offer plug-in hybrids in markets where it makes sense. And while the V-12 engine’s days are numbered, Aston will continue to offer cars with gas engines as long as possible for enthusiasts. “There are still buyers who want a mid-engine, ICE-driven sports car.”
Mercedes-AMG One Versus Aston Martin Valkyrie
Moers is in the unique position of having a leading hand in bringing two Formula 1 inspired vehicles to market. He led Mercedes-AMG during development of Project One, a hypercar with an F1 engine adopted for the road. At Aston Martin he oversees the launch of the Valkyrie hypercar that will be available as both a coupe and a roadster.
Moers thinks the Mercedes-AMG One will be in the marketplace this year. “I keep my fingers crossed for them.” The Valkyrie coupe just started production this month and the Spider will follow in the second quarter of 2022. Both are sold out.
You cannot compare the two cars, says one of the few people to have driven prototypes of both. They serve a different purpose and provide a different driving and emotional experience even though they offer similar performance levels. The Valkyrie is a Formula 1-style car with active air suspension and aerodynamics. Everything is tiny and wing-optimized, he says. Conversely, Project One is a capable car with a Formula 1 powertrain.
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