Aston Martin is charging up and preparing to take on Tesla. The British automaker of choice for James Bond plans to build an 800 horsepower all-electric version of the Rapide. The automaker is clear in its intention to compete with Tesla and says it will roll out its electric car in two years.
The news comes from the shores of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance that took place this past weekend. In an interview with Automotive News, Aston Martin CEO, Andy Palmer, confirmed the plan for an all-electric Rapide and got right to the point in describing it and its competition.
“What Tesla clearly shows you is we haven’t hit the ceiling in terms of price. But I think it’s hard, though not impossible, for them as a relatively new brand to keep pushing up and to go into that super premier area,” says Palmer.
Aston Martin is a well established iconic brand in the position to combine its rich history to the modern technology of all-electric driving. The interest in creating an all-electric vehicle is partly founded on wanting to offer a more rounded variety of options as well as offer an eco friendly balance to its current high fuel usage powerful sporty vehicles.
“If you want to keep making V-12 engines, then you’ve got to do something at the opposite end of the spectrum,” says Palmer.
Palmer declined to note exact powertrain options, but did hint that it will have all-wheel drive, 800 horsepower, and a 200 mile range. He does note though that there is one thing that the classic automaker will be leaving to Tesla: Ludicrous mode.
“We don’t do Ludicrous because Ludicrous speed is stupid. I think that the fact that you could drive a few laps of a decent race course or race it around the Nordschleife is much more interesting than doing 500 meters in Ludicrous mode,” confirms Palmer.
Production is set to begin within the next two years and a test car is already on the road. The batteries will likely come from one of the established makers like LG or Samsung. Production numbers are set to be in the hundreds and none of the parts will be shared with Mercedes.
Palmer declined to note exact pricing, but he let on that it will likely range from $200,000 to $250,000, which would make it comparable to the price of a gasoline powered Rapide.
The Rapide will be the first Martin to go electric, but it won’t be the last. Next on the list is the DBX crossover, which is expected to hit the market overseas by 2019.