CEO Andy Palmer shooting straight from the hip.
Aston Martin’s CEO Andy Palmer recently sat down with The Drive for some real talk. We say "real talk" because the head honcho of the British luxury performance brand didn’t hold much back. His honest comments on SUVs and autonomous tech provide a good look at what the future of Aston Martin will hold. On the subject of SUVs, Palmer first stated that it’s likely all Aston Martin owners already own a Range Rover. Okay, so why not just make what the people want?
”But our DNA doesn’t allow us to go there. There is no beauty in there. You cannot make a beautiful SUV, it’s impossible. Because the raison d’être of an SUV is basically maximizing versatility, maximizing space, which means you make a box. And boxes aren’t beautiful.” Of course Aston Martin showed the DBX crossover concept (headed for production) earlier this year, but Palmer was quick to point out the differences between it and traditional SUVs. “It has to have reasonable versatility, and it has to have reasonable luggage space. But do you really need to be able to climb the side of the Matterhorn? No. Do you really need to be able to load the dogs and three weeks of luggage? No.”
So SUVs are out but the DBX is in. What about autonomous tech? Palmer doesn’t hate it entirely but wants to leave driving to the driver. “There’s stuff in there that I would say, we’re going to choose to be the laggard. You know, lane control! Jesus! That’s why you have a driver.” He also mentioned that a “drift mode” button would be cool. (Perhaps he can talk to the guys behind the Focus RS about that?) Finally, he mentioned that the US would see a few Lagonda Taraf sedans, but that they would need to be imported by their owners. No SUVs, limited autonomous tech and million dollar sedans coming stateside, that's what we call an awesome interview.