Aston Martin to take on Tesla
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Aston Martin working on an all-electric four-door Rapide
James Bond could soon be cruising in an electric Aston Martin.
Aston Martin has confirmed it is working on an all-electric version of its four-door Rapide, which is intended to go on sale in two years’ time.
The company is also planning an electric version of its DBX crossover by the end of the decade, to compete with companies such as Tesla, which build performance electric cars.
Aston Martin’s CEO Andy Palmer told Automotive News that an 800 horsepower Rapide EV with a range of 200 miles (322km) is in the pipeline.
The news comes after months of speculation that Aston Martin is working on a more eco-friendly sports car.
It already has a test vehicle on the road, but Palmer did not reveal any more details about the forthcoming motor in the interview at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California.
However, what is definite, is the all-wheel-drive car will be considerably more expensive than Tesla’s Model S, at between $356,000 and $475,000.
Tesla’s top-of-the-range P90D model costs around $213,000 before any incentives.
‘What Tesla clearly shows you is we haven’t hit the ceiling in terms of price,’ Dr Palmer said.
He thinks it would be hard, but not impossible, for the new brand to command premier price tags like Aston Martin does.
But slated Tesla’s ‘Ludicrous mode’ that allows a Model S to go from 0 to 60MPH in 2.8 seconds, as ‘stupid’.
Palmer also shed light on Aston Martin’s move into electric vehicles.
He told the publication that if the company wants to keep making thirsty V-12 engines, it ‘has to do something at the opposite end of the spectrum’ and develop emissions-free models too.
Aston Martin DBX concept car
Aston Martin intends on producing its recently unveiled DBX as an all-electric vehicle by the end of the decade, with a plug-in-hybrid version for the four-door and crossover coupe in 2019.
It’s not known whether the DBX EV will use the same powertrain as the Rapide, or whether a new one will be designed from scratch.
Dr Palmer confirmed, however, that a two-door version could be in the works.
Aston Martin will use its DBX range to boost its appeal in China and Russia, where SUV supercars are popular.
In the future, James Bond may drive a fully-electric car, but Daniel Craig will get behind the wheel of a bespoke DB10 as the super spy in the forthcoming film, 'Spectre'.