Aston Martin will use Mercedes-Benz powertrain tech as part of an expanded agreement between the two automakers announced last week.
In an interview with Automotive News published Sunday, Aston Martin CEO Tobias Moers explained what this means on the product level: that it will allow the automaker to electrify 20% of its fleet by 2024.
Aston doesn’t currently sell any electrified cars, but Moers said it will add plug-in hybrid and battery-electric models with help from Mercedes. These will include a plug-in hybrid version of the DBX SUV for 2023, and an all-electric model for 2025 or 2026, Moers told Automotive News.
2021 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera 007 Edition
Under the new agreement, Mercedes will increase its stake in Aston from 2.6% to 20%. In exchange, Aston will get access to a greater array of Mercedes components, including internal-combustion, hybrid, and all-electric powertrains, as well as electrical architectures, to be used in all product launches to 2027, Aston said in a press release.
This expands on a previous agreement from 2013, which saw Mercedes supply AMG 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 engines and electrical-architecture components to Aston.
The new agreement could help Mercedes-Benz bankroll development for other performance vehicles built on the company’s premium platform for electric vehicles.
2021 Aston Martin DBX
At the same time, Aston will get much-needed resources to develop electrified powertrains, which will likely be needed to meet stricter emissions standards in Europe and China. Aston is a small, independent automaker, which puts it in a challenging position for development.
Under previous CEO Andy Palmer, who brought significant EV experience from Nissan, Aston attempted to launch an all-electric version of its Rapide sedan.
Dubbed Rapide E, it was a track-focused model due from the brand last year, but it was canceled just months short of deliveries.
2020 Aston Martin Rapide E
That model had been developed with the help of Williams Advanced Engineering, which works with McLaren Applied Technologies and Atieva (now Lucid) to provide batteries for Formula E racing.
That was after Aston pulled the plug on its original development partner for the model—Le Eco, a Chinese tech company with ties to Faraday Future.
If it hadn’t been cancelled, the Rapide E might have beaten the Taycan to market and been the first model with 800-volt charging.