When you think of Aston Martin, you probably picture a voluptuous two-door coupe with James Bond sawing away at the wheel being pursued by a phalanx of would-be assassins, your mental scene's soundtrack provided by a wailing twelve-cylinder engine. Us, too.
However, like Bond's onscreen persona, that memorable formula is constantly evolving. First, Aston Martin stretched its well-known coupe shape, added a couple of doors, and the car remains, and now comes word that the British auto maker is planning an electrifying response: an 800-horsepower, battery-powered version of the aforementioned Rapide.sedan was born. Then, in acknowledgment of legislative and environmental pressures, the luxury marque took the unusual step of re-trimming a prosaic Toyota/Scion iQ mini car, calling it the overseas. That ugly duckling failed spectacularly, but the pressures for the UK firm to offer a more eco-friendly
According to Automotive News, Aston CEO Andy Palmer has confirmed company plans to launch a Rapide EV within the next two years. The industry publication quotes Palmer as noting, "If you want to keep making V-12 engines, then you've got to do something at the opposite end of the spectrum."
That's because Aston Martin's current range of V-8 and V-12 luxury cars will have trouble meeting global emissions and fuel economy legislation unless those gas-guzzling models are offset by the introduction of much cleaner offerings. An all-electric Rapide could fit the bill.
The AN report suggests that the Rapide EV will feature all-wheel drive and target a range of 200 miles. What's more, it won't be Aston's only electric model -- a battery-powered version of its forthcoming DBX sports SUV is also in the cards.
When talking about the future model during Sunday'sin Monterey, California, Palmer couldn't resist knocking the E-Rapide's presumptive rival Tesla. "We don't do Ludicrous because Ludicrous speed is stupid," he said, taking a thinly veiled dig at the new Model S P85D's high-performance drive mode.
Palmer went on to say that he'd rather do hot laps at a racetrack instead of short blasts in a hyper-speed mode.
Palmer would also later take to Twitter to issue similar jabs, showing photos of his company's cars alongside statements like, "Insane mode comes as standard -- no button required!" and "Preposterous mode (beyond insane) as standard -- funny no button!"
Pricing for the plug-in Rapide is reportedly likely to fall somewhere between $200,000 and $250,000, roughly overlapping the asking price of the current V-12-powered model. That's substantially more cash than Tesla asks for the(which starts at $105,000 and boasts a longer range of around 250 miles). However, if Palmer's 800-hp estimate is realized, the Silicon Valley super sedan will be down on power unless it receives further upgrades.
Somehow, we don't think Bond will be put off by the E-Rapide's presumptive premium pricing, especially when he can sneak up on the baddies' lairs using whisper-quiet electric power.