Breaking Cover: Aston Martin

Graham Courtney looks into what Aston Martin has in store for the discerning motorist…

These are hectic times at Aston Martin, but they are arguably some of the most exciting in their history.

Within the next five years there will be an Aston Martin SUV, an all-electric Aston Martin Rapide and the return of the Lagonda name on what promises to be one of the world’s most luxurious all-terrain cars.

Oh, and those are the models we know about because Aston Martin has trickled out a few basic details. There’ll be some surprises along the way.

You can also expect developments of their current range of Vantage, DB11, DBS Superleggera and Rapide.

The Rapide E is Aston Martin’s first all-electric car. It’s on sale now. Only 155 examples will be built…a figure which is also the top speed of the car, at 155mph.

This Rapide may be all-electric but it’s still an Aston Martin, which means the engineers have enhanced and built on the feel, character and delivery of the V12 6.0 litre Rapide AMR. To ensure this, meticulous attention has been paid to the development and tuning of both the electric powertrain and the chassis, which has three driving modes, to give an agile, controlled and beautifully balanced drive.

The Rapide E is the most powerful version of the Rapide, at just over 600bhp. Power goes via two electric motors, one on each rear wheel. 0-60mph takes under four seconds and the 50-70mph time is dispensed with in a staggering 1.5 seconds. A full charge of the battery will see you go beyond a range of 200 miles.

The Rapide E will begin full production at the end of this year at Aston Martin’s new St Athan plant in Wales. This is the also the place where Aston Martin is getting ready to begin full-scale production of their DBX SUV, which is scheduled to be unveiled in late autumn. Sales will begin early next year.

Aston Martin has been really clever by slowly revealing what the DBX looks like… sort of. As you can see in the photos, this is a heavily disguised car. However, you can spot that it is clearly an SUV – another first for the company – but that it is still very much an Aston Martin.

Look closely and you’ll spot that there are no door handles.

The one thing we didn’t know was what was under the bonnet. Well, we had a clue recently when the DBX appeared at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. There was more interest in what the car sounded like, which would give a clue to the power plant.

Aston Martin knew the game would be up so they released details to say that the first models will use their twin turbo V8 4.0 litre engine. It’s the same block as you find in the Vantage and DB11. So, that’s for starters, but you can just about guarantee that a V12 flying machine will be in the pipeline.

No confirmation of prices as yet, but you can expect something aligned with competitor products, so £130,000-£150,000 for the entry level model.

Don’t be surprised if the DBX SUV becomes the most successful and most popular model in the Aston Martin range.

And finally, get ready for the return of a piece of history. The name Lagonda is to make a comeback.

Once again, this will be a car to roll off the production line at St Athan. The pictures you can see here are a concept of what Aston Martin has called an all-terrain vehicle. What that means, thanks to the Lagonda badge, is that this will be a 4×4 that oozes luxury and technology.

Aston Martin say the car will be “built around near-future technologies such as its advanced battery electric drivetrain. The Lagonda All-Terrain Concept is an ultrastylish, supremely luxurious, fully electric, emission-free vehicle that can transport its occupants to remote and spectacular locations”. So now you know. Further details are sketchy but we do know that Lagonda aims to be the world’s first zero-emission luxury brand.