As it stands, Aston Martin will be banned from selling gasoline-burning cars in its home country in 2030. California lawmakers want to push internal combustion technology off the scene by 2035, but Aston Martin's chief executive doesn't think that pistons, valves, and fuel injectors will completely disappear even as bans come into effect.
"By 2030, 5% of business will still always be ICE. I never see it going down to zero," predicted Lawrence Stroll, Aston Martin's chairman, during the Financial Times Future of the Car summit. He added that there is "always going to be enthusiasts" who will request a powerful gasoline-fueled engine, and who will be able to pay for it.
If it's not delayed, loosened, or reversed, the United Kingdom's blanket ban on internal combustion engines will mean that any new gasoline-powered Aston Martin sold within the nation's borders will not be street-legal starting in 2030. Owners will presumably be allowed to drive them on private property, like race tracks, and companies like Porsche are ramping up their efforts to present synthetic fuels as a viable alternative to premium unleaded. Across the pond, no such ban has been announced by our federal government -- at least not yet.
Aston Martin plans to keep investing in gasoline-powered engines in the coming years; if the technology is getting regulated into extinction, it's going out with a bang. Stroll announced that some of the company's future models will continue using engines built by Mercedes-AMG, but they'll be tuned in-house.
"Our current AMG engines are just that: AMG engines in an Aston. With this new deal, we will have bespoke AMG engines for Aston with different outputs, torque characteristics, etc. They'll still be AMG components, but they'll be bespoke-manufactured in Germany," he announced. As it stands, the only engine the carmaker gets from its German investor and partner is a twin-turbocharged, 4.0-liter V8, which powers a wide range of models.
Its portfolio also includes a V12 it designed in-house, and a new 3.0-liter V6 is under development. Engines aren't the only bits with a "made in Germany" tag that future Aston Martin models will receive, however. Stroll confirmed that AMG's upcoming plug-in hybrid technology will permeate the British firm's range, and he revealed that the first electric Aston Martin will use drivetrain components (like motors and batteries) from AMG.
As we reported earlier in 2020, executives rebooted their electrification strategy after Daimler announced plans to increase its stake in Aston Martin to 20% by 2023. The first electric Aston Martin will make its debut in 2025 or 2026, and it will not resurrect the Lagonda nameplate as a green-focused sub-brand after all.
"It should be back to Aston, so we changed it back to Aston. When we go electric, brand will become critical," he said. "Aston Martin is known historically for making the most beautiful cars," he added.