With the Rapide E sedan canceled, Aston Martin is fashionably late to the EV party. In a bid to catch up, the British automaker is joining forces with Lucid to gain access to its electric know-how for a new dedicated platform that will be used on a great variety of future models. Aside from sports cars, grand tourers, and SUVs, the folks from Gaydon are also mentioning a hypercar to supersede the Valkyrie. The first EV is due in 2025.
The two automakers have inked a deal for a long-term partnership stipulating Aston Martin will use certain powertrain and battery components for a family of high-performance EVs. The deal is part of a greater effort to make the transition from combustion engines to electric drivetrains. Over the next five years, AM intends to spend over £2 billion ($2.54B) to fund its "Racing. Green." sustainability strategy. All cars will offer an electrified powertrain option by 2026 and the core models will become pure EVs by the end of the decade.
Aston Martin chairman Lawrence Stroll says the engineers will do more than just simply borrow Lucid's technology as the goal is to adapt the technology to the brand's "ultra-luxury, high-performance strategy.” To get an idea of what's coming, we should point out the Air Sapphire has a tri-motor setup with a combined output of over 1,200 horsepower for a 0-60 mph run in less than two seconds and a top speed exceeding 200 mph.
According to Reuters, Lucid is getting a 3.7-percent share in Aston Marin, which will make phased cash payments to Lucid of approximately $232 million. Speaking of shareholders, it was only last month that Chinese automotive giant Geely more than doubled its stake in Aston Martin, reaching 17 percent. Mercedes has also pledged to boost its share to 20 percent by the end of 2023.
Speaking of which, the newly signed deal with Lucid will not put the brakes on Aston Martin's separate agreement with Mercedes. In fact, the same press release issued today mentions the partnership with the German luxury brand will continue, giving AM access to technologies it will use on future combustion-engined cars, but also hybrids and EVs.