2016 Geneva Motor Show: Aston Martin’s product plan revealed

Aston Martin DB11

ASTON Martin’s aggressive range overhaul will launch a new car every nine months, with a new Vantage, Vanquish and SUV all green lit for production.

Also confirmed is a 600-750kW all-electric version of the four-door Rapide.

Aston’s expansion started this week, with the Geneva reveal of its new DB11 coupe, which sits at the head of a very busy schedule.

“This is the first car of our transformation,” Aston’s boss Andy Palmer told Wheels in Geneva. “And from here we more or less launch a new derivative every nine months.  It’s a completely different cadence to the past where you had to wait many years for new models.”

Next up is a replacement for the Vantage, which will use a cut-down version of the DB11’s all-new chassis and introduce a new 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 built by Mercedes-Benz’s go-fast division, AMG.

“Then we’ll do the Vanquish and the DBX SUV (pictured, below),” said Palmer.

Dbx -concept _04

Vanquish is tipped to launch in 2018 and will essentially be a harder, faster version of the DB11. That means an even more powerful execution of the DB11’s new 400kW/700Nm 5.2-litre twin-turbo V12.

DBX will arrive in 2019, with Aston’s first SUV pitched to attract more female buyers and expected to use an electric drivetrain. Aston used last year’s Geneva show to reveal the DBX’s styling in concept car form.

“We’re trying to cover all the bases,” said Palmer. “As opposed to being in a very niche part of the business, which is subject to the turbulence and the ups and downs of a volatile market, if we cover all markets and basically all the bases then you’re less susceptible to that kind of turbulence.

“This is not a pipe dream. The plan is approved, the money’s in the bank and now we’re in a process of rolling the cars out. So it’s not about selling a dream, we’ve got everything we need to do those cars.”

Palmer confirmed that Aston would reignite the Lagonda nameplate after the DBX’s launch, and reaffirmed his commitment to the four-door Rapide.

“The Rapide’s future is electric,” he said. “It’s an important car, especially in China for us. But obviously, ultimately Rapide buyers will tend to transfer to the DBX. But it’s a great car still, so it’s our intention that it will become the platform for our electric future.”

Aston inked a deal with Chinese company LeEco last week to jointly develop the British brand’s first electric vehicle, the RapidE.

“We haven’t revealed any performance figures yet, but it’s pure electric and because we’re using the current architecture, there will be batteries in the engine bay and in the transmission tunnel,” said Palmer. “We have a concept that we’ve done with Williams Engineering and we’ve proven that we can get good weight distribution and good power that we’re looking for.

“We’re not looking for the ultimate power out of that car, though we are working on a concept car that will demonstrate the equivalency of 800-1000hp (600-750kW) just to demonstrate what can be done. So Rapide does have a future, yes.”

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