While Aston Martin has long been known for its fast and fuel-thirsty luxury vehicles, a pair of recent partnerships hint at the British badge’s increasing interest in alternative fuels. In May, Aston Martin made racing history by entering the first hydrogen-powered car in an FIA-sanctioned event at the 24 Hours of Nürburgring. The result of a collaboration with powertrain specialist Alset Global, the Aston Martin Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S was also the first car to complete emission-free laps in an international race—at times at speeds of up to 160 mph. Fitted with the same 6.0-liter V12 as the base model Rapide, the four-door sports car can run on pure gaseous hydrogen, standard gasoline, or a combination of both. Although it has already proven itself road-worthy after this grueling event, a production version of the Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide is at least another five years away.
Aston Martin is also throwing its hat into the hybrid ring with a high-powered, high-profile partnership with Bosch Engineering. Using the platform of the DB9 coupe, the plug-in hybrid concept boasts 230 more horsepower than the standard gas-powered version and 193 more pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels through a 6.0-liter V12, while the rear wheels are powered by an electric motor, making this the first all-wheel drive Aston Martin, as well. The interior, as expected, is appropriately tricked out with Bosch electronics. While no plans for a commercial release have been announced yet, this unique collaboration, as well as the one that spawned the Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S, nonetheless marks an exciting new direction for the automaker.