Aston Martin Valhalla Has A Major Change Coming

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Thanks to access to Mercedes technologies.

Aston Martin has been undergoing some significant internal changes lately, the biggest of which was the appointment of ex-Mercedes-AMG CEO Tobias Moers as its new CEO, replacing Dr. Andy Palmer in August. Palmer had been leading the iconic UK automaker towards a product renaissance, most notably with the all-new Aston Martin DBX SUV, which is now on sale. The company's future depends on the success of the DBX, but pinning all of your hopes on a single model also exposes financial and structural weakness; the onset of the coronavirus pandemic sadly proved that for Aston. Palmer was a casualty of this new reality and it's now up to Moers to steer the ship in the right direction, and he's wasted no time in doing so. Already rocking the boat, Automotive News Europe has now learned that Aston intends for every fourth or fifth vehicle sold in 2024 to be electrified.

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That's 20 percent of its total sales. A plug-in version of the DBX, due in 2023, will play a key role. Furthermore, AM intends to make full use of its newly expanded relationship with Mercedes-Benz. Last week, the German automaker increased its stake in AM from 2.3 percent to as much as 20 percent. In turn, AM will gain access to Mercedes' next-generation hybrid and electric powertrains and other vital components and systems.

Among AM's ongoing projects is the Valhalla, a hybrid V6-powered hypercar due next year. However, Moers made clear the project could be terminated in its current form. The Valhalla isn't dead, but the AM-developed engine could be ditched in favor of a Mercedes powertrain instead. "We are still working on that [hybrid drivetrain], but we now have alternatives. It's too early to say," Moers said.

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Following the Valhalla, the new mid-engined Vanquish is back on track and it too will have an electrified powertrain. The first all-electric Aston Martin, also featuring Mercedes technology, isn't due until 2025, at the earliest, despite Palmer's original plan being to launch an EV by 2022 under the revived Lagonda brand.

Originally, Lagonda was going to be all-electric, but not anymore. "Lagonda has a different purpose for the future. Electric-driven cars are supposed to be Aston Martins," Moers added. If all goes according to plan, AM will hopefully increase sales to 10,000 units by 2024. For comparison, last year, it sold only 5,809 vehicles.

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Source Credits: Automotive News Europe

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