Aston Martin CEO Dr. Andy Palmer reportedly said that the planned model will be based on the existing Rapide S and boast as much as 1,000 horsepower when it arrives on the road in around 2 years. The existing Rapide S sells for around $200,000, and the all-electric car is expected to carry a much higher price tag, perhaps approaching $300,000. The most expensive Tesla Model S, the P85D, currently sells for around $120,000.
Aston Martin to diversify its range of vehicles
Tesla has so far had the luxury electric sedan market almost to itself, bar a few failed attempts. The most well-known potential rival was a hybrid car manufactured by Fisker, which unfortunately went bankrupt a few years ago. Aston Martin looks set to provide a real rival for Tesla in the high-end electric vehicle market.
Aston Martin has been working on alternative technologies for a while, and unveiled an all-electric crossover coupe known as the DBX at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. It is thought that the company’s interest in electric cars stems from increasingly strict fuel economy standards. It appears that the company prefers to focus on electric vehicles rather than small-displacement turbo engines increasingly used by its competitors.
Changing landscape of high-end electric vehicle market
The current Aston Martin range features sedans, coupes and convertibles powered by naturally aspirated V8 and V12 engines. The Rapide was launched in 2010, before being given a minor facelift in 2013. The 550-horsepower, 6.0-liter V12 engine fitted in the non-electric Rapide S propels the car to 60 mph in only 4.7 seconds, but fuel economy is strikingly bad. The car does just 13 mpg in urban areas and 19 mpg on the highway.
Various traditional manufacturers have developed and launched high-performance electric cars in the wake of Tesla’s spectacular arrival on the automotive landscape, but so far their success has not matched that of the Model S. The Audi R8 e-tron, an electric supercar, was introduced at Geneva this year, joining the electric version of Mercedes-Benz’ SLS in the high-end electric car market.
Tesla reacted positively to rumors that Apple is working on an electric vehicle, but company officials have not yet commented on the news of future competition from Aston Martin.