Aston Wants An All-electric Rapide With 800 HP By 2017
The sad truth about current electric car technology is that really great electric cars are very expensive, and will continue to be for some time, barring some sort of miracle. Tesla is as successful a company as it is because it accepted this limitation and simply built luxury cars, at least to start with. Other luxury brands are now starting to wonder whether they’re losing out on some of the market, and Aston Martin made the announcement at Pebble Beach that there would be an all-electric version of the 2014 - 2105 Aston Martin Rapide S starting production in 2017.
This may look like an attempt to compete directly with the 2015 Tesla Model S, but the Rapide EV will cost about the same as the gasoline-powered version of the car, which starts at $205,000. So it will be noticeably pricier than the Tesla Model S, as it tops out at $142,000, with Aston saying that the Rapide could get up to $250,000 with various options. Aston won’t skimp on the performance either, and you can expect 800 horsepower being sent to all four wheels, as well as a 200-mile range. Aston will also follow this up with an electric version of the 2015 Aston Martin DBX crossover concept.
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Why it matters
Even if Aston Martin is looking to take sales away from Tesla, it is basically impossible to talk about an electric luxury car without comparing it to the Model S. Aston CEO Andy Palmer talked about Tesla a bit at Pebble Beach, and he could not have been more clear, saying “We don’t do Ludicrous because Ludicrous speed is stupid.” Then went on to say “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.” This is a reference to the fact that the Model S famously can’t complete a single lap of the Nurburgring before the electric nannies put it into limp mode. A fact that has caused a lot of enthusiasts to dismiss the Model S as a one-trick pony, fast only in a straight line, and Aston doesn’t want to end up being thought of in the same way.
It’s not yet known whether the electric DBX will share a drivetrain with the Rapide, but we also don’t know too many specifics about the Rapide’s drivetrain. We do know that the batteries will likely come from either LG or Samsung, but not Panasonic. We also know that none of the components will be shared with Mercedes-Benz, even though Mercedes owns 5 percent of Aston and is working with the British firm on engine development. The DBX is still a long way off though. It will debut in 2019 as a plug-in hybrid, then a gasoline version will come later and only after that will there be an all-electric version.
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Source: Automotive News