Aston Martin has confirmed plans to build a hybrid supercar code-named “003.”
It’s the third high-performance, mid-engine car the private equity- and Kuwaiti-owned company will have built in recent years, following the $2.6 million Aston Martin Valkyrie and Valkyrie AMR Pro (called “001” and “002,” respectively) that debuted in 2017.
The announcement comes as the brand plans to go public in a $6.7 billion initial public offering later this year in London. It fits into what Andy Palmer, president and group chief executive of Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd., previously said about plans to more than double the number of cars the company will sell over the next decade.
Until recently, Aston Martin had lost money for years. But last year’s revenue increased by half, thanks to new models such as the DB11, and the company reported £87 million ($116 million) of pretax profit, plus positive free cash flow, in May.
It’s putting those profits heavily into developing progressive cars such as the 003: According to Bloomberg reports, Aston Martin spent £224 million, or one-quarter of sales, on research and development last year.
Information on the latest British beast remains scant, though company executives have promised a road-legal vehicle built around “a lightweight structure” and powered by a turbocharged hybrid
engine. They say the car will be fully homologated and available in all markets, in both left- and right-hand driver setups—important because the emphasis will be on livable daily driving, rather than track-only use, as with the Valkyrie models. It’ll even have room for a small amount of luggage.
“It was vital to us that Valkyrie would create a legacy,” Palmer said. “The Project 003 … is our next step into a dynamic and exacting arena.”
Representatives declined to describe the car’s likely performance, including top speeds and whether its hybrid technology would funnel through Aston’s electric-only Lagonda brand. A sketch shows preliminary body styling slightly squared at the edges and rounded through the middle.
A spokeswoman would not rule out the possibility of an open-top roadster version appearing eventually.
The 003 will come to market in late 2021. The first production vehicles will be seen during the second half of 2019—“not necessarily at an auto show,” the spokeswoman said. Only 500 of the coupes will be sold worldwide.