Ever since Andy Palmer replaced Ulrich Bez as CEO of Aston Martin Lagonda, an SUV, a full-size sedan, and a mid-engine supercar have been featured on his wish list. The question everyone asked was this: How could Aston Martin fund such projects, and where would the bits and pieces come from?
Well, according to the Gaydon pipeline, the Brits will once again team up with their technology partner Mercedes. The Aston Martin SUV due in 2018 is said to be twinned with the next-generation of the U.S.-built Mercedes-Benz GLE. A different exterior, a classier interior, and a 525-hp 4.0-liter V-8 courtesy of AMG are said to make the still nameless crossover look and drive like an Aston.
The replacement for the gorgeous Lagonda Taraf sedan is reportedly a version of the upcoming Mercedes EQ-S. That’s right — Lagonda is going fully electric, the four-door Bentley and Rolls-Royce rival adopting the architecture and componentry of the spacious zero-emission Benz flagship that will be positioned between E- and S-Class. The last Taraf was an extremely limited model priced around $1 million that was not sold in the U.S. It remains to be seen if the next model will be offered here and if it will be priced closer to top tier Rolls and Bentley offerings.
Meanwhile, former R&D chief Ian Minnards, the man who oversaw the Aston Martin DB11, has left the company and moved on to Dyson’s electric car project. His replacement is Max Szwaj, formerly with Ferrari, which makes him the ideal person to spearhead the development of the much-rumored mid-engine Aston Martin supercar. Whispers say the car will be powered by a twin-turbo V-6 good for 600 hp with an on-demand 136-hp electric motor driving the front wheels.