Big changes are on the horizon for Aston Martin. Speaking at the Shanghai Motor Show, CEO Andy Palmer outlined plans to replace every car in Aston Martin’s current lineup within the next five years, which means replacements for the DB9, Vantage and Rapide by 2020. In addition, Aston could add up to three new models in the same time frame.

This “Second Century plan,” as Palmer calls it, will combine traditional Aston Martin values with new means of propulsion and new vehicle types. “The Second Century plan not only delivers exciting and highly desirable new luxury sports cars in the traditional sense, but also embraces new powertrain technology,” said Palmer, “I have challenged not only convention but also my team to investigate an electric version of the Rapide, a product which will undoubtedly be attractive for the China market.”

Continue reading to learn more about Aston Martin’s future plans.

Why it matters

The first new Astons we’re likely to see will be replacements for the DB9 and Vantage, which we’ve already seen testing at the Nürburgring. Both will be built on either an updated sixth-generation version of Aston’s VH architecture, or an all-new, yet-to-be-revealed platform. Hints at future styling can be seen in the DB10 concept and the track-only Vulcan.

Mercedes-AMG will supply power for the next Vantage in the form of the twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8 from the AMG GT and C63. The DB9 replacement will continue to soldier on with Aston’s 5.9-liter V-12, which began life in the late 1990s as two fused-together Ford V-6s. The new ZF eight-speed transmission is expected for both cars as well, but Palmer also reaffirmed Aston’s commitment to manual transmissions for years to come.

Palmer and Aston see the Rapide’s replacement as a pivotal car for sedan-happy China. Expect it to debut with the same drivetrain used in the DB9 replacement, and later (possibly as a different model) with the full-electric, all-wheel-drive drivetrain mentioned by Palmer, making it a sort of high-end alternative to the Tesla Model S.

One of the three new models in Aston’s five-year plan will likely be a production version of the DBX Concept, which made its Chinese debut at the Shanghai Motor Show. The all-electric, crossover grand touring car is also aimed squarely at the Chinese market and will use the same drivetrain as the electric Rapide. Another new model could be the long-awaited Lagonda SUV, which would keep the Lagonda name active after the Lagonda Taraf has finished its production run of 200 cars.

Lastly, Palmer mentioned some interesting new partnerships with Chinese companies Hanergy and LeTV. Hanergy is a renewable energy company that’s considered to be a leader in thin-film solar panels. This suggests that Aston Martin could be looking at ways to integrate solar power into its upcoming electric vehicles. LeTV, meanwhile, is a telecommunications and consumer electronics giant in China, which could be functioning as a consultant on connectivity, software and user interfaces for future Astons.

Aston Martin DB11

2017 Aston Martin DB11 Exterior Spyshots
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Read our full review here.

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