Aston Martin gears up to build electric cars at new Wales factory

Aston Martin Lagonda Vision concept

Aston Martin’s new factory in St. Athan, Wales, will become a hub for electric cars, the automaker said in a statement. The factory will build Aston’s first electric car, as well as future luxury electric cars under the Lagonda sub-brand.

The first electric car to roll out of St. Athan will be an electric version of the Rapide four-door. The car was previously referred to as the “RapidE,” but Aston now says the official name will be “Rapide E.” Aston hasn’t released final specifications, but a prototype unveiled in 2015 was said to have between 800 and 1,000 horsepower, and a range of 200 miles. When production starts in 2019, the car will likely be built in limited numbers as a warmup to larger-scale electric-car production.

The Rapide E will be followed in 2021 by the first electric car produced under the Lagonda sub-brand. Lagonda started out as an independent automaker in 1904, and was purchased by Aston Martin savior David Brown in 1947, with Brown merging the two brands. The Lagonda name has since been used sporadically on luxury sedans, most recently in 2014 on the Lagonda Taraf.

At the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, Aston unveiled the Lagonda Vision concept, a futuristic-looking electric limousine, and announced plans to revive the Lagonda name for a line of electric cars. The first Lagonda production model is expected to be a sedan like the Vision concept, followed by an SUV and coupe.

Not everything built at St. Athan will be electric. The factory, which sits on a former British Royal Air Force base, will also build Aston’s first SUV. Aston previewed this model with the DBX concept at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. While the DBX had an electric powertrain, the production SUV is expected to use internal-combustion power. The Bentley Bentayga, Rolls-Royce Cullinan, and Lamborghini Urus have shown that there is no shortage of interest in high-end SUVs.

SUV production will start alongside the electric Rapide E in 2019. Aston moved into the St. Athan facility last year, celebrating with a donut session involving $83.4 million worth of cars. The automaker said it is still in the process of converting three large hangars into an assembly line ahead of the start of production.

Cars

Nissan IMs concept teases a future long-range, autonomous electric car

Debuting at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Nissan IMs is an electric car with a 380-mile range, autonomous-driving capability, and a backseat designed for being chauffeured. Too bad it's just a concept car.
Cars

Infiniti previews its leap into one of the hottest industry segments

Infiniti will unveil the QX Inspiration concept at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The design study is an electric crossover shaped by Infiniti's newest design language that may point to a future production model.
Cars

Some of Volkswagen’s electric models will wear a ‘Made in the USA’ label

Confirming earlier rumors, Volkswagen has announced it will build electric cars in its Chattanooga, Tennessee, factory. The facility currently produces the Passat and the Atlas. Production will start in 2023, Digital Trends can reveal.
Cars

Cadillac is finally ready to take on Tesla with its own electric car

At the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, Cadillac announced plans for its first electric car. The unnamed model will be a crossover, based on a new platform to be shared with other General Motors brands.
Cars

Muscle cars, trucks, and EVs roared into the subdued 2019 Detroit Auto Show

The 2019 Detroit Auto Show was the quietest edition of the event in recent memory, but that doesn't mean nothing significant happened inside the Cobo Center. Here are the new cars and concepts we saw at the show.
Cars

Big tech, bigger grille: BMW updates its 7 Series flagship for 2020

The BMW 7 Series will enter the 2020 model year with a host of updates inside, outside, and under the sheet metal. The new-look nose with a jumbo grille hides updated engines, while passengers benefit from smart tech features.
Emerging Tech

Ford’s sweaty robot bottom can simulate 10 years of seat use in mere days

Ford has developed 'Robutt,' a sweaty robot bottom that's designed to simulate the effects of having a pair of human buttocks sitting on its car seats for thousands of hours. Check it out.
Cars

In McLaren’s 600LT Spider, the engine is the only sound system you’ll need

The McLaren 600LT Spider is the inevitable convertible version of the 600LT coupe, itself a lighter, more powerful version of the McLaren 570S. The 600LT Spider boasts a 592-horsepower, twin-turbo V8, and a loud exhaust system to hear it…
Cars

Robomart’s self-driving grocery store is like Amazon Go on wheels

Robomart's driverless vehicle is like an Amazon Go store on wheels, with sensors tracking what you grab from the shelves. If you don't want to shop online or visit the grocery store yourself, Robomart will bring the store to you.
News

Ford has a plan to future-proof the hot-selling F-150 pickup truck

Worried about the threat of rising gas prices, Ford will add the F-150 to its growing portfolio of electrified vehicles. It is currently developing a hybrid F-150, and it will release an electric version of the next-generation truck.
Cars

Ford’s Mustang-inspired electric crossover will spawn a Lincoln luxury version

Lincoln will get its own version of parent Ford's first mass-market, long-range electric vehicle. While Ford's version will have styling inspired by the Mustang, Lincoln will take a more traditional approach.
Home Theater

Spotify adds simplified Car View mode for Android users

What was once just a test is now a reality: Spotify is rolling out a new, simplified in-car user interface for all Android users called Car View, which automatically engages when the app detects a car Bluetooth connection.
Cars

Boutique carmaker Karma Automotive, legendary design firm Pininfarina team up

Karma Automotive is partnering with legendary Italian design firm Pininfarina on future luxury cars. The first product of that partnership will appear later this year, Karma said, without offering other details.
Cars

Sibling rivalry: 2019 BMW Z4 takes on the 2020 Toyota Supra

BMW and Toyota forged an unlikely partnership when they set out to build a sports car platform together. Here, we examine the similarities and differences between the 2019 Z4 and the 2020 Supra.