Gott im Himmel! Are the Germans prepping to buy Aston Martin?

Aston Martin Vanquish Volante

Start thinking of Battle of Britain jokes now. Rumors have been circulating that Daimler-Benz might buy Aston Martin, although neither company has confirmed speculation.

Daimler chairman Dieter Zetsche told Autocar that the German company – which already owns five percent of Aston – isn’t trying to buy the British sports car maker right now, but also said he wouldn’t rule out the possibility of a purchase completely.

He said Daimler was “willing to support its [Aston’s] further development.”

The two companies are already involved in a technical partnership that will see Mercedes’ AMG performance division produce a new V-8 engine for the next Aston Martin Vantage.

While the terms limit cooperation to engines and certain electrical components, there have been hints that the companies want to do more, including develop a Lagonda-badged SUV based on the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class.

While this Anglo-German union might seem a bit ironic to history buffs, it also makes sense for Aston.

It’s getting harder to run a small independent carmaker in today’s world of costly technology, which is why most high-end carmakers have partnered with larger, mainstream brands. Bentley, for example, has flourished under Volkswagen’s ownership, as has Rolls-Royce under BMW’s.

Larger carmakers simply have more money and other resources, which every carmaker needs to remain competitive.

However, just because something makes sense, it doesn’t mean it will happen.

There’s nothing wrong with the cars Aston Martin produces now, or the fact that it produces them without a corporate patron. If it can keep doing that, then more power to it. If not, then a merger with Daimler (or another carmaker) wouldn’t be that bad compared to the prospect of losing one of the greatest names in the car business.

Product Review

Aston’s stunning DB11 V8 Volante proves exotic cars aren't just about lap times

With the DB11 Volante, Aston Martin’s marriage of luxury and performance is perhaps at its best, offering hustle that doesn’t feel rushed and refinement with emotion still intact.
Smart Home

That's a lotta Alexa. Amazon drops smart subs, plugs, even a microwave

Amazon's hardware announcement likely means a whole bunch of new Amazon Alexa gadgets. From a microwave to stereo equipment, here are our guesses on which devices we'll see, which could total as many as eight.

OnePlus 6T may launch soon with in-display fingerprint sensor, dual cameras

According to a recent report, the launch of the OnePlus 6T could be different from any other OnePlus launch in history. How? It could have the backing of a major U.S. carrier. Here's everything we know about the OnePlus 6T.
Social Media

Facebook is paying cash rewards if you find vulnerabilities in third-party apps

As part of efforts to put the Cambridge Analytica scandal and related issues behind it, Facebook said this week it's expanding its bug bounty program to include third-party apps and websites that could potentially misuse its data.

Volkswagen shows us the workaholic side of its modern-day classic van

The Volkswagen I.D. Cargo concept is an electric, connected delivery van based on the I.D. Buzz concept from 2017. It boasts up to 350 miles of range and cool features like solar panels on the roof and a 230-volt outlet for power tools.

It’s not easy being green: California strips HOV rights from clean-air cars

Changes to California's Clean Air Vehicle decal program are raising the ire of early adopters. The decals let LEV and ZEV drivers travel solo in commuter lanes. More than 200,000 drivers will lose the privilege January 1.

Will high-res radar make tomorrow’s cars safer?

Modern cars have sensors designed to make driving safer. The problem? They don’t work well. A combination of radar, lidar, and cameras is a solution, but we aren’t there yet.

BMW’s redesigned Z4 gets two turbocharged engines, long list of tech features

The redesigned BMW Z4 will be available in sDrive30i Roadster and M40i Roadster guises when it goes on sale next year. The more powerful M40i will do zero to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds, according to BMW.

Exclusive: Faulty radars are compromising Nissan’s emergency braking system

Faulty radar modules are causing the automatic emergency braking system in select 2018 Nissan vehicles to turn off. AEB is designed to alert a driver of proximity to the car ahead, and apply the brakes when the driver can't.
Emerging Tech

These flying cars want to take your commute to new heights

The future is closer than you'd think: Companies around the world are working on flying car models, with many successful tests! Here are all the flying cars and taxis currently in development, and how they work!
Smart Home

Here’s how to pre-order everything Amazon announced this week

Amazon announced new devices available in its Echo, Fire TV, and AmazonBasics lineups. Most of the devices aren't available quite yet but if you head over to Amazon, you can pre-order them.

Tesla says dash cam feature using car’s built-in cameras is coming soon

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is promising the next version of Autopilot, which is expected imminently, will include a dash cam feature that uses the car's built-in cameras. It's a feature many Tesla drivers have long been asking for.
Product Review

With the XT4, Cadillac's tech game goes from frustrating to first class

The 2019 Cadillac XT4 is the American luxury brand’s first small SUV, slotting under the XT5. Aimed at younger buyers, the XT4 is intended to be a nurturing product — something to introduce new customers and lead to future Cadillac…

Amazon Alexa can now hitch a ride in any car with Echo Auto

At its massive hardware event, Amazon unveiled Echo Auto, a dashboard-mounted device that adds Alexa to any car. It's one of myriad ways Amazon is trying to integrate Alexa with cars.