British carmaker Aston Martin has announced that it will produce an all-wheel-drive electric version of the Rapide by 2017, sporting 800-hp and a 200-mile (322km) range.
Aston Martin CEO, Andy Palmer confirmed the company’s plans to produce the electric car when speaking with Automotive News at the recent Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California.
The company has also confirmed an all-electric version of the forthcoming DBX crossover following on from the Rapide.
Aston Martin announced in April that it was considering producing an electric Rapide, but no confirmation was given at the time.
Reasons for the carmaker’s decision appear to be based around offering ‘greener’ options to offset emissions from V-8 and V-12 engines found in other models.
“If you want to keep making V-12 engines, then you’ve got to do something at the opposite end of the spectrum,” Palmer told Automotive News.
The electric Aston Martin Rapide’s 200-mile range is similar to that of the Tesla Model S, although Aston has suggested its offering will cost considerably more.
According to Automotive News, Palmer didn’t give a specific set price for the Rapide, but instead suggested it may be within the range of US$200,000 to $250,000.
“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,” Palmer commented.
The top-of-the-line Tesla S variant – the P90D, comes in at around $142,000, considerably less than Aston’s electric Rapide.
When outlining potential customers for the Rapide, Palmer described them as people wanting something that isn’t just high-tech, but also leaves a legacy.
Palmer noted that Aston Martin plans to source batteries from a dependable supplier, which could be LG or Samsung, but not Panasonic.
Reportedly, Aston Martin is already testing a functional an all-electric Rapide but details were not disclosed.