With the help of Mercedes technology and its own infusion of capital Billionaire Lawrence Stroll wants to turn Aston Martin into a British Ferrari.
Photo: Planet F1, Aston Martin, Răzvan Măgureanu
It seems that turbulent times are behind for Aston Martin. Last April, billionaire Lawrence Stroll completed the acquisition of 25% of Aston Martin following a total investment of £ 500 million. At the same time, in October 2020, Mercedes increased its stake in Aston Martin from 5 to 20%. This was not achieved through an infusion of capital but through the provision of much-needed technology to British brand. The high-tech investment from mercedes is calculated at 286 million pounds.
Another strategic investor is a consortium led by Toto Wolff, head of the Mercedes F1 team. Wolff specified that his involvement in this consortium is in private quality, having no connection with the Mercedes or Aston Martin F1 teams.
Lawrence Stroll, who built his fortune by investing in luxury brands Tommy Hilfiger and Michael Kors, has taken over as executive chairman and wants Aston Martin to become “the strongest profile of any luxury automotive brand”.
How does Stroll want to revitalize the Aston Martin brand?
Returning in Formula 1
First of all by returning to F1. Aston Martin unveiled its new F1 car at the begining of March after a break of more than 60 years. Aston Martin’s last experience in F1 was an unfortunate one in 1959 and 1960. Stroll is convinced that F1 is an ideal place to turn Aston Martin into a sports and commercial brand that rivals Ferrari.
In an interview with the BBC, Stroll said:
“Ferrari has a great business model, and there are a great deal of similarities. But Aston Martin has a British, iconic 108-year history. If I’m not mistaken, about 50 years longer than Ferrari! F1, for a luxury performance automotive company, is the greatest platform in the world.”
Stroll does not want Aston Martin to play only a decorative role in F1 and that is why he hired Sebastian Vettel, four-time world champion. The second pilot will be Stroll’s own son, Lance Stroll.
Stroll’s first task since his installation as chairman was to bring Aston Martin back to profit by full-filling the preorders for the DBX SUV which is around 2500. Like other manufacturers, Aston Martin was affected by the coronavirus crisis that overlapped with the company’s financial crisis. Therefore, Stroll’s first objective was to restart production in the new Welsh plant dedicated to DBX production.
Aston Martin’s new boss, Tobias Moers, who comes from Mercedes-AMG wants to strengthen the technological partnership with Mercedes.
An Aston Martin DBX Plug-In Hybrid using GLE/GLS technology is scheduled for 2022/2023.
And the range of sports cars will be expanded and optimized. In addition to the V8 Vantage and DB11, which uses both the 4-liter AMG twin-turbo V8 engine from Mercedes, Aston Martin will launch three more models:
– Valkyirie hypercar
– Valhalla supercar
– New Vanquish with mid engine as a rival for Ferrari F8 Tributo and McLaren 720S
Valkyrie will have a 6.5 liter aspirated v12 engine and 1000 HP assisted by a 160 HP electric motor developed by Rimac and Integral Powertrain. The total power of 1160 HP will be transmitted to the rear axle through a 7-speed automatic transmission. 150 street units and 25 AMR Pro racing version will be built. The 3 million USD Valkyrie was delayed until mid of this year.
Aston Martin Valhalla is based on the AM-RB003 concept and will have a 3-liter V6 turbo engine combined with a hybrid system. Aston Martin wants to build about 500 units at a price of 1.3 million USD. The launch will take place in 2022.
Aston Martin Vanquish is an old name but the future model will have nothing to do with current models. It will be a mid-engine car rival for the Ferrari F8 Tributo and McLaren 720S.It will be equipped with the same 3-liter V6 turbo hybrid from Valhalla, but with slightly lower power, around 700 HP. The estimated price is $ 300,000.