Aston Martin plans to sell only electric or hybrid cars within four years, phasing out vehicles that rely solely on the internal combustion engine.
Lawrence Stroll, chair of the luxury carmaker, said the group was “on a journey” and moving “at the pace our customers” want with plans to launch plug-in hybrid models in two years and full electric models by the middle of the decade.
“By 2026 we will be fully electrified,” he told the Financial Times, although customers will still have the option of a combustion engine in its hybrid cars. Unlike rivals such as Bentley, which plans to sell only battery cars by 2030, he has not set a specific date to switch.
Like many brands synonymous with high-performance cars, Aston needs to decarbonise while trying to cater to customers that still want the visceral experience of engine-powered cars.
“I can’t tell you that 100 per cent of Aston Martin customers want an electric vehicle,” Stroll said.
“People still want the smell, the noise [of combustion engine cars]. We’re gradually going to get to full EV, but we will continue offering both [electric and hybrids].
“There will still be an electrification component, but if someone wants an internal combustion engine in 2028, that will happen.”
Part of Stroll’s strategy includes expanding the brand’s line-up from sports cars and its recent DBX sport utility vehicle into Ferrari-rivalling mid-engine supercars.
He added: “By 2025 or 2026, even though we will have every model electrified, front engine, mid-engine, SUV, we will still continue to offer for sale, as long as there’s customer demand, hybrid versions.”
However, the carmaker still has significant models planned that feature combustion engines.
Stroll was speaking while unveiling a more powerful version of its DBX SUV that it hopes will win back customers who switched to Lamborghini’s rival Urus model.
The DBX 707 is powered by a new V8 engine designed by Aston engineers and built by AMG, the brand’s technical partner.
The 707-horsepower car is the first model in the Aston stable to be developed by the team brought in by Stroll since he led the £540mn bailout of the company two years ago, as he tries to stamp his mark on a luxury brand that has struggled to perform financially.
Last month Stroll was forced to defend Tobias Moers, chief executive, after reports he was seeking a replacement following a profits warning and high executive turnover.
The company has been trying to restore its financial fortunes since a 2018 stock market listing failed to raise any fresh cash for the company, which unlike Volkswagen’s Bentley and Lamborghini brands, is not owned by a larger mainstream carmaker.
The new DBX variant would help annual SUV sales rise to about 4,000 from 3,000 currently, Stroll predicted, even accounting for cannibalisation between the two models.