Aston Martin will not be joining the performance hybrid club currently being championed by the likes of Ferrari, Porsche and McLaren. As evidence, Dr. Ulrich Bez, CEO of Aston Martin, has made some very pointed remarks about the supercar segment's move to hybridization, telling Australia's Drive, "We will not have a hybrid in next year or year after." Instead, the British brand will focus on aerodynamics, engine efficiency and reducing curb weight, all in a bid to boost performance without adding the cost or complexity of hybrid systems. But the strategy extends beyond those simple reasons, with Dr. Bez citing philosophical and practical issues with hybridization.
"I am a purist and I think a sports car should have as low weight as possible. It should be in as minimalistic as it can be and this does not work with hybridization," Bez tells the Australian website. As for his practical oppositions, Bez added, "I think it is great technology, but if you think about the biggest failures in cars these days it is electrical failures. And what we do is make more electrical systems and we believe it will be much better." The outspoken CEO finished by saying, "I think a pure sports car does not need this."
For the future of Aston Martin, Dr. Bez reiterated his support for its twelve-cylinder heritage, saying, "I do believe [the V12] is very dear to us." He adds, "If it comes to a luxury car with emotion, a V12 has something special. This will still be there within the next five to 10 years, but it does not mean it will be six liters - it can be five liters or a smaller one. It will improve with power and fuel consumption."
Dr. Bez's views are interesting, notably because Astons are generally underpowered relative to their competition - the Vanquish has 565 horsepower to the 740-horsepower Ferrari F12 and the Rapide S is outgunned by far more affordable competitors from BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche. Not to be cynical, but we're guessing Bez's position is as much rooted in philosophy as it is in financial reality – Aston isn't exactly flush with cash these days, and developing a hybrid powertrain system sounds significantly costlier than sticking to its knitting. The question is, will the strategy work over the long haul? Have your say in Comments.