Aston Martin and Daimler AG have been discussing a product development tie-up that would help the British company redesign its aging performance coupes and give it a platform for a large sedan and SUV.
The German newspaper Handelsblatt reported in August that Aston CEO Ulrich Bez is interested in building Maybachs for Daimler and possibly a rebadged version for Aston. But the German enthusiast publication Auto Motor und Sport has since reported that the Maybach talks have collapsed and that the broader partnership plans also are at risk. So lots of uncertainty surrounds Aston's product plans.
Cygnet: Insiders say the Cygnet minicar should come to the United States in 2012 or 2013, but the company officially says it's just for Europe. The rebadged version of the Toyota iQ -- a vehicle sold in America as a Scion -- initially will be equipped with a 1.3 liter gasoline engine.
An electric-only version of the Cygnet with a 60-mile range is expected in 2013. Toyota will ship assembled iQ units to Aston Martin's Gaydon, England, plant for rebadging and some sheet metal tweaks. The interior will be upgraded, but no mechanical changes are planned. Only current Aston owners can buy one.
Vantage: A redesign of the coupe has been slated for 2014 or 2015. But with the Mercedes partnership in trouble, it may end up closer to a re-engineering of the platform, powertrain and sheet metal.
DB9: The sports car's future hinges on the Mercedes partnership. The Vantage and DB9 share the VH platform developed when Aston was owned by Ford Motor Co. A redesign should happen in 2013 or 2014, with styling cues borrowed from the One-77 limited-edition coupe. Expect Aston to stick with the aluminum spaceframe for another generation before it moves to carbon fiber.
Virage: The gap between the DB9 and DBS was filled this year with a coupe that offers 490 hp -- 20 more than the DB9 -- without the stiff ride of the DBS. A Volante convertible version also is available.
DBS: No major changes are planned.
Rapide: No changes are planned.
One-77: The limited-edition coupe has a carbon-fiber structure and a body of carbon fiber and aluminum. Power comes from a 740-hp, 7.3-liter V-12 engine. Aston Martin says it has almost sold out of the 77 units available.
Lagonda SUV: Another reason for the Daimler tie-up was to use Mercedes' GL platform as the basis for this bizarre concept from the 2009 Geneva auto show. Evidently, the lucrative Middle Eastern market wanted it. For now, the project looks to be going nowhere.
Lagonda sedan: Complaints about the Rapide's small back seat has Aston scrambling to create a sedan that will carry the Lagonda name. Because this car would have borrowed much of its underpinnings from the Maybach and Mercedes S class, the vehicle probably is dead unless Bez can find a new partner.