As part of a new technical partnership between the two brands, stemming from Mercedes’ 20% stake in the British firm, Aston Martin has access to a range of combustion, hybrid and electric powertrains for use in its own cars.
Speaking to investors following the announcement of Aston Martin’s 2020 financial results, boss Tobias Moers said that a final decision hasn’t been taken on which Mercedes platforms and drive units the firm will use. He did, however, add that “everything is a reasonable cost situation”, suggesting that nothing is off-limits.
The Valhalla mid-engined supercar remains on the cards for a launch in the second half of 2023, but Moers said that Aston Martin is “re-assessing” the model and it will now “probably have a different drivetrain” to the 2019 concept.
The Mercedes partnership presents new options for the Ferrari SF90 Stradale rival, so it will now likely go without its Aston Martin-developed hybridised V6. A new version of the concept will be shown to buyers within the next four months.
“We will have the Valhalla with us in the second half of 2023, and it’s going to be an amazing car with breathtaking technology. With the transformational technology agreement with Mercedes-Benz, there are other chances for us regarding combustion engines, but we still have an electrified drivetrain,” said Moers. However, he declined to give more information before customers are informed of the changes.
Customers had already begun placing orders for the Valhalla, but Aston Martin remained tight-lipped on the extent of interest.
Chief financial officer Kenneth Gregor said: “We don’t provide a split of the deposit balance between vehicles, but the deposit balance at the end of the year was £269m and there was a chunk of deposits in there relating to the Valhalla.”
Moers also confirmed that a plug-in hybrid Aston Martin with a “reasonable electric range” is in the works and that a DBX PHEV will arrive by 2024. An additional two upcoming derivatives of the SUV are also inbound, one of which will arrive in Q3 of 2021 and the other in Q2 of 2022.
The new GT 63e 4dr Coupé and S63e will bolster the reserves of their twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 – also used in the standard DBX – with a 134bhp electric motor for a combined output of 700bhp – which represents a 158bhp boost over the non-electrified DBX, in line with Moers’ affirmation that any Mercedes components must “be an excellent fit” with Aston Martin’s performance values.
If that powertrain is carried over to the DBX, it paves the way for a top-rung PHEV variant with around 800bhp, courtesy of an uprated 201bhp electric motor, as used by AMG’s GT 73e and S73e.
Aston Martin plans for 90% of its portfolio to be electrified by 2030, but it currently has no electrically assisted models in its line-up. The first to arrive will be the Valkyrie hypercar, which uses a Cosworth-developed 6.5-litre V12 mated to a Rimac-supplied electric motor for combined outputs of 1160bhp at 10,500rpm and 664lb ft at 6000rpm.
“We’re making good progress. We changed a lot with the new engineering team and our approach to testing, but I’m confident we’ll be at the finish line by the second half of this year,” said Moers.