At the recent Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Aston Martin CEO, Andy Palmer, gave a very clear indication of where Aston Martin is headed.
And surprisingly, they’ve aimed straight for the heart of Tesla. Palmer hinted that within two years Aston Martin will have an 800hp (596kw) electric version of its Rapide four-door available.
So far, the closest competitor lies in Tesla’s Model S, with the high-output P90D capable of 568kW, and if equipped with the optional Ludicrous Mode able to sprint to 100km/h in 3.0 seconds.
Palmer explained that the switch to electric performance doesn’t spell the end of Aston Martin’s mammoth V12s, but rather will allow the British company to continue to offer them:
“If you want to keep making V12 engines, then you’ve got to do something at the opposite end of the spectrum,” Palmer said in an interview with Automotive News.
Price-wise the electric Rapide should sit between US$200,000-250,000, with the current Rapide S priced around US$208,000 that won’t spell a major repositioning for the new variant.
Comparatively, in Australia a Tesla P90D eqipped with Ludicrous Moode starts from $165,600, where as a V12 Rapide S kicks off from $378,500.
If powertrain alone doesn’t distinguish the difference, expect Aston Martin to push the virtues of it’s bespoke handcrafted interiors, high-tech construction, and range of personalisation options.
Palmer's suggestion of a 200 mile range (322km) does fall short of Tesla’s highest 494km estimate however.
Batteries are to be supplied by an established supplier such as Samsung or LG, however Palmer scuppered the idea of using Tesla’s supplier, Panasonic.
Palmer also discredited Tesla’s Ludicrous Mode, saying “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.”
While the concept was powered by individual in-wheel electric motors and featured a two door body, the production version is likely to feature a more family friendly five-door layout. Palmer also suggested that a two-door was still under consideration.
It remains to be seen if the electric DBX will share its drivetrain components with the Rapide or not.