• Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
Not even small-volume manufacturers are being exempt from the automotive industry's pursuit of higher efficiency and lower emissions. At present, that means either electric propulsion (whether in part or in whole) or downsizing conventional engines, and for Aston Martin, the future apparently lines in the former.

"I see in our future obviously V12s, V8s and probably battery-electric cars," Aston's CEO Palmer revealed to Autocar. "As time evolves, there's probably an inevitability to hybridisation, simply because, car by car, you can only downsize so much. I'd rather put a hybrid in there than an in-line four-cylinder."

So just how does the company envision implementing electric or hybrid propulsion? "Imagine something like a 4x4, 1,000-bhp silent Rapide. I think 'Power, Beauty, Soul' doesn't say it has to be a gasoline engine. It just needs to be really powerful, really beautiful and set your heart on fire," Palmer explained. "I'd argue that 1,000 bhp on the ground would probably do that for you. So that's the route we could go."

The British automaker demonstrated the DBX concept with an all-wheel-drive electric powertrain at the Geneva Motor Show a few months ago, and is currently in the process of revitalizing and expanding its current product range.

Of course Aston isn't the only high-end niche automaker faced with the decision to either downsize or add hybrid propulsion. Ferrari is taking both approaches, using smaller turbocharged engines in its V8 models and moving towards hybrids with its V12s. Porsche offers an array of plug-in hybrids and is in the process of downsizing and turbocharging its naturally aspirated engines. Pagani switched from a big V12 in the Zonda to a smaller turbo V8 in the Huayra. Bugatti is expected to use electric turbochargers in its Veyron successor. And Lamborghini was recently reported to be considering a turbo five for the Huracán.


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