Aston Martin is heading into Ferrari’s heartland with a new mid-engined supercar due in 2020
Aston Martin’s revival under CEO Andy Palmer is gathering pace with a host of new models planned to follow hot on the heels of the new DB11. A recently revealed new financing agreement has freed up further capital to be ploughed straight back into new models, including a mid-engined Ferrari 488 rival.
Speaking exclusively to Auto Express, Palmer revealed his company’s strategy for seven core new models in seven years, up to 2023 when the DB11 will be replaced by the DB12. “We have one car every year for the next seven years. It starts with our GT cars: DB11, Vantage and Vanquish,” explained Palmer.
“In 2019 we’ll have DBX, then we’ll have, for the sake of argument, let’s call it a [Ferrari] 488 competitor. Then we have Lagonda, which is Lagonda One and Lagonda Two. Each car has a seven-year life, so in 2023 you have DB12.”
While this year’s new Vantage and next year’s Vanquish have been expected and 2019’s DBX has already been spoken about at length, this is the first time Palmer has confirmed that a mid-engined rival for Ferrari’s 488 will arrive in 2020 (previewed in our exclusive image).
“Within our price pillars, we’ll have Vantage, DB11 and Vanquish – then you have nothing up above them,” Palmer told us. “We have a slightly lower average transaction price than Ferrari, so you need something that connects your Valkyrie at £2.5 to £3million with the rest of the group. We have an obvious blind spot where the likes of the 488 sit.”
Asked whether the new car has to be mid-engined, Palmer responded: “It doesn’t, but it’s easier to get the 50:50 weight distribution and that market tends to be defined as mid-engined.”
Palmer also explained how he was using the various new models to inform cars that follow them, using what he describes as a Carry Over, Carry Across process. “What I’ve tried to install in engineering is COCA – Carry Over and Carry Across – so a lot of the development work and technology from the mid-engined car can still lead into the DB12, for example,” he said.
Valkyrie will be used as a forerunner to the mid-engined sports car, with Red Bull F1 designer Adrian Newey also likely to have a hand in the Ferrari rival. “The Valkyrie will definitely produce some of the DNA for the 488 competitor,” said Palmer. “The mid-engined car will be a composite type of vehicle, but feature some of the technology from the [new] Vanquish.”
Sitting outside of the seven core models, along with Valkyrie, will be a DB11 Volante plus an all-electric Rapide, using technology from Faraday Future. However, with rumours circling over the long-term viability of Faraday, Palmer plans to use Aston’s relationship with Williams if necessary to provide the technology. Palmer also hinted that the two Lagonda luxury saloon models would have an electric future, telling us that the Rapide EV would be “doing some of the development work for DBX and Lagonda”.
Aston Martin’s product plan timeline
Do you think Aston Martin can beat the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini at the mid-engined supercar game? Let us know in the comments…