Skip to main content

Aston Martin Peers Into the EV Future

The road ahead is looking very good for the British automaker

2024 Aston Martin DB12 Volante profile top down
  • Aston Martin's director of vehicle performance Simon Newton says the DB12 represents "a huge uptick in performance for its sports cars."
  • Plans to move to EVs may include sound augmentation.
  • Hydrogen and other alternative fuels aren't off the table.

Aston Martin revealed the convertible version of its newest sports car, the 2024 DB12 Volante, on August 14 during Monterey Car Week. The coupe and the convertible version were engineered at the same time, and Aston Martin aimed to ensure there were no compromises on the droptop's vehicle dynamics, refinement or comfort. Which is quite challenging when you're cutting a hole in the roof.

Driven by a 671-horsepower, Mercedes-AMG-sourced twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8, the DB12 Volante is the apple of the brand’s eye, especially for Simon Newton, Aston Martin’s director of vehicle performance.

Search EV tax credits and rebates in your area
See Electric Vehicle Rebates

Am I Ready for an EV?

  • EV ownership works best if you can charge at home (240V outlet) This typically means a 240V home installation, or other places your car is parked for several hours each day. Don't expect a regular household outlet (120V) to suffice.
  • Adding a home charging system is estimated to cost $1,616 in
    This is an estimate for your area. Using your address and the answers you provide, Treehouse can provide a more accurate price.
  • Edmunds is partnering with Treehouse, an independent provider of home EV installation services. Learn more Edmunds customers receive a 10% installation discount and 4% smart charger discount. Discount excludes permit, hosted inspection, and load management devices. Valid for 30 days.
Need to install a charger at home?
2024 Aston Martin DB12 Volante top down

“This is the first example of this huge uptick in performance for our sports cars,” Newton said in an interview with Edmunds. “This is really a statement piece of what's to come.”

Comparisons to its predecessor, the DB11, are flying. Most DB11s were equipped with a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8, while the coupe was uniquely available with the 5.2-liter V12 shared with the DBS. Its DB12 successor is Mercedes V8-only, but Newton says the calibration, throttle mapping and tuning are uniquely Aston Martin. And while the chassis is based on the DB11’s, there are significant improvements.

“Globally, it's about eight percent stiffer,” Newton says. “That's really the starting point for everything, especially handling and steering. We put a lot of reengineering into the back of the car and the front of the car to give it better torsional stiffness, but also local stiffness where the suspension and the steering attaches to the car.”

2024 Aston Martin DB12 Coupe front three-quarters

As the British automaker moves into the battery electric realm, Newton has plans to retain the performance, usability and refinement for which its vehicles are known.

“It's not just about pure longitudinal performance,” he says. “We need to make sure it has soul and is engaging, and that its dynamics are in line with what we're building into these cars. There are a lot of software and mechanical options with battery electric powertrains to modify the dynamics of the cars.”

Newton points out EVs can offer variable torque for every wheel. As you might imagine, that can change the behavior of the car considerably. The challenge, he says, is to make it natural and authentic while taking advantage of the EV benefits. And without making it feel false or distorted or in any way nonlinear for the driver.

2024 Aston Martin DBX front three-quarters

“I think [Aston Martin fans] are looking for our interpretation of new technologies,” Newton says. “They're looking for this combination of driving dynamics and performance and how it's going to translate into the new world of unconventional powertrains.”

Speaking of unconventional powertrains, when asked if Aston Martin was considering hydrogen or synthetic fuels, Newton says, “We’re looking at a variety of stuff.”

What we do know is that the British brand is shoring up its hybrid technology. Newton points to the nearly 1,000-horsepower Valhalla supercar with a hybrid powertrain and an estimated six-figure (nearly seven) price tag as the level-setter, with more to come.

Aston Martin Valhalla profile

“We're investigating [the Valhalla powertrain] for all our platforms,” he says. “It's a performance augmenter as well as having benefits for emissions.”

How will Aston Martin keep its signature engine sound? Newton doesn’t reveal any secrets, saying only that the brand is pursuing ongoing research for sound augmentation.

“I think it's still very much a work in progress as to what exactly suits our brand best, but there's certainly a lot of work going on at the moment in Gaydon in that area,” he says.

There's also Aston Martin's new connection with EV builder Lucid, which is sure to bear beautiful offspring. With an updated infotainment system (finally!) and new models rolling out of the UK at an impressive clip, Aston Martin’s future is looking bright.

Edmunds says

Aston Martin is looking and sounding more authentically positive than it has in a long time, and if recent models are any indication, things are looking up.

Try this quiz!

Is an EV right for me?

Do you need to tow or haul heavy items often?