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Aston Martin, Mercedes up linkage through added ownership stake, strategic cooperation

The Aston Martin DBS Superleggera 007 Edition is just one of the new models the company rolled out this year.

Photo courtesy of Aston Martin

An expanded partnership between Aston Martin Lagonda and Mercedes-Benz will limit the beleaguered British automaker's risk and provide for a more tech-heavy future.

Tobias Moers, Chief Executive Officer of Aston Martin Lagonda, spent more than 25 years in senior roles at Diamler AG, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz AG, prior to assuming the role in August 2020. "Today's expansion of our partnership with Mercedes-Benz AG is a critical step towards achieving our goals for Aston Martin. The capabilities of Mercedes-Benz AG technology will be fundamental to ensure our future products remain competitive and will allow us to invest efficiently in the areas that truly differentiate our products," he said in a statement regarding the news.

Mercedes already has a strategic partnership with Aston Martin. The new agreement allows the German automaker to become a more heavily invested long-term partner, supplier, and shareholder through a number of initiatives. These initiatives will effect everything from product development and technology offerings to fiscal stability.

Mercedes has given Aston Martin new financing. It is comprised of:

  • £125 million in new ordinary shares
  • £259 million equivalent in new second lien notes which mature in 2026 with detachable warrants incorporated representing 5.0% of the fully diluted issued share capital of Aston Martin following the proposed Mercedes-Benz AG share issuances
  • £840 million equivalent of first lien notes, which mature in 2025 and a refinanced revolving credit facility of £87 million maturing in 2025
This financing allows Aston Martin to repay a loan it took out as part of the U.K. Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme. It also allows for working capital and capital expenditures to pay commissions and fees. Mercedes-Benz will then own up to 20 percent of Aston Martin.
In addition to financial stability, the partnership will give Aston Martin access to powertrain architecture for conventional, hybrid, and electric vehicles currently on the market and future-oriented electric/electronic architecture. This will enable profit launches through 2027 and lower the cost and risk occurred when Aston Martin was faced with developing those technologies on its own.

Aston Martin is targeting 10,000 units of sale each year with $2 billion in revenue by 2024-2025, according to the announcement.

J.P. Morgan and Barclays were instrumental in helping put Goethe the agreement.

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New luxury car

BMW sends its V12 engine off in style

BMW will build its final V12 engine this June.

BMW

Most automakers are focused on building EVs and extracting the best fuel economy from gas engines possible, so it’s not surprising to hear that BMW is pulling the plug on one of its biggest and most iconic engines. In June 2022, BMW will build its very last V12 engine for use in a super-limited-production special edition 7 Series model. The ultra-rare cars will carry a starting price of $200,995.

BMW 760i xDrive The last V12 will power a very special (and very expensive) 7 Series car.BMW

Only twelve lucky customers will have the option to nab a V12-powered BMW, which will be called the M760i xDrive. Displacing 6.6 liters, the twin-turbocharged beast produces a massive 601 horsepower. An eight-speed sport automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are standard. BMW says the powertrain is strong enough to push the hefty 7 Series car to 60 mph from a standstill in just 3.6 seconds.

The final-run cars will feature little more than a special “V12” badge at the rear to differentiate them from standard 7 Series models. Inside, the car features a serialized plaque with the car’s production number out of the 12 units planned. The engine itself features a nameplate with “The Final V12.”

Beyond the badges, BMW’s 12-cylinder last-hurrah will come standard with 20-inch M double-spoke wheels, a choice of any available BMW full Merino leather color, M Sport brakes with black or blue calipers, a panoramic LED roof, remote control parking, a Bowers & Wilkins surround-sound system, and adaptive LED headlights.

BMW 760i xDrive Only 12 of the cars will be built, with a starting price of more than $200,000.BMW

Though it hasn’t been BMW’s most popular engine over the years, the V12 has been a part of the automaker’s catalog for 35 years. The first 12-cylinder engine showed up in 1987, producing 295 horsepower in the original 750iL sedan.

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The iX M60 will hit dealers' lots in June 2022.

BMW

BMW's electric vehicle catalog is growing rapidly as the automaker rolls out new electrified cars and SUVs. The latest is the iX M60, a red-hot five-seat SUV with sleek styling and a spectacular list of standard features. BMW announced the new SUV this week, along with pricing and release date details.

The iX M60 is BMW's first performance-oriented electric SUV, though BMW calls it a sports activity vehicle, or SAV. Its powertrain has been massaged to produce up to 610 horsepower and 811 pound-feet of torque. Maximum power delivery is limited to times when the vehicle's launch control is activated, but even the "normal" numbers are impressive: In regular driving situations, the iX puts down 532 horsepower and 749 pound-feet of torque. Acceleration to 60 mph takes 3.6 seconds and the iX M60 can go on to an electronically-limited top speed of 155 mph.

2023 BMW iX M60 Though extremely sporty, BMW doesn't shy away from using loads of luxurious finishes and materials. BMW

The iX brings more than performance, as its charging capabilities are quite strong. Using AC power, the vehicle can charge from 0-100 percent in 10.25 hours on its fastest setting. Using its fastest DC power setting, the iX can charge from 10 to 80% in just 35 minutes.

Two electric motors power the SUV, which provide standard all-wheel drive. Dual-axle air suspension is standard, along with electronically-controlled shock absorbers. BMW says that the air suspension is controlled individually at each wheel, so the vehicle can adjust ride height in several ways to maintain stability and remain level in corners.

2023 BMW iX M60 The vehicle can run from 0-60 mph in under four seconds and features standard AWD.BMW

When it goes on sale in June, 2022, the 2023 BMW iX M60 will have a starting price of $106,095, which includes a $995 destination charge. That's a flagship price tag, but the SUV's got the performance and a flagship-level list of standard features. That six-figure dollar amount buys 21-inch wheels, heated and ventilated front seats, wireless phone charging, AC fast charging, a panoramic sunroof, LED headlights, a Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System, four-zone automatic climate controls, and more.

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