200+ Mile All-Electric Aston Martin Rapide Could Hit the Market in Two Years’ Time

Just over a month ago at the Geneva Auto Show, former Nissan executive turned Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer shocked the world by unveiling the Aston Martin DBX Concept car: a one-hundred percent all-electric grand tourer with all-wheel drive and the kind of promised performance and range which would put it in direct competition with the Tesla Model S luxury sedan.

While the bold concept car from James Bond’s favourite automaker certainly turned heads however, the DBX was described as a hint at the direction the luxury marque would be heading in the future, not a near-production vehicle.

An all-electric Aston Martin Rapide could be on the streets in just two years time.

An all-electric Aston Martin Rapide could be on the streets in just two years time.

Yet as the folks over at Autoexpress learned at last week’s New York Auto Show, Aston Martin may be heading towards an all-electric car a little sooner than we’d anticipated.

The news comes from an exclusive interview between Palmer and the British publication in which Palmer described a potential all-electric version of the Rapide luxury sedan which could be ready to hit the roads in two or three years’ time.

Palmer, a known fan of electric vehicles, was at the forefront of Nissan’s push of the LEAF electric car to market. He was also heavily involved in Nissan’s efforts to engage with LEAF owners in hot U.S. states surrounding premature battery ageing at specially-convened Nissan LEAF town hall meetings.

Aston Martin admits its not ready for production, but it indicates a future direction for the company.

The DBX Concept unveiled in Geneva last month was Aston’s first all-electric car.

And it’s that belief in electric vehicles which seems to already be shining through at Aston Martin, where he was joined in October by fellow brit and former Tesla VP of communications and marketing Simon Sproule. Together, they and the rest of the Aston Martin team are finally focused on electric vehicles.

“This project is born out of fun and born out of necessity,” Palmer admitted, referring to the ever-tightening global fuel economy standards that most luxury and high-performance automakers are finding increasingly tough to meet.

“Electric power gives us the performance we want, although you won’t have the V12 noise — you’ll have something that works just as well for a luxury vehicle — silence,” he said. “And you’ll have zero emissions.”

Like the Aston Martin DBX Concept we saw in Geneva, this car would have all-wheel drive but be based on the current Aston Martin Rapide

Like the Aston Martin DBX Concept we saw in Geneva, this car would have all-wheel drive but be based on the current Aston Martin Rapide

Referring to an engineering feasibility study already well underway in the UK into the potential for a plug-in Aston,  Autoexpress says there has already been a full exchange between Aston Martin and its hired engineering specialist concerning computer design data and even mockups of battery placement.

That battery placement — down the spine of the car and under the hood where the V12 sits in a gasoline-powered Rapide — would leave the rear of the car free for luggage and the on-board power electronics. Drive meanwhile, would come from front and rear-mounted electric motors to give it all-wheel drive capability, with a promised range in excess of 200 miles per charge.

In talking specs, Palmer indicated that a four-wheel drive electric Rapide made sense, giving it as much as 1000 brake horsepower (745 kilowatts). That’s substantially more than the range-topping Tesla Model S P85D, although we note the Tesla Model S’s under-floor battery pack does offer a lower-centre of gravity than the proposed battery placement in the rumored Aston Martin Rapide plug-in.

With its gasoline-version well out of the reach of most car buyers, it’s conceivable that a production Aston Martin Rapide with all of the option boxes ticked could easily tip the quarter million dollar mark. For that money, we’re guessing many would-be customers would opt for a Tesla Model S instead.

But in the luxury high-end prestige markets of the super-rich — where the name of the car is as important as what’s under the hood — we’ve no doubt that a suitably-specced all-electric Aston would sell.

All that remains is for Aston Martin to make it.

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  • Ad van der Meer

    I suspect they would need to redesign the Rapide to fit a battery big enough to provide the range and power promissed. The interior is not very spacious as it is.

  • vperl

    275$ car made with smoke. Get the Astn Martin Jet Pak at Christmas

  • vperl

    Second thought, looks real, real easy to laugh out loud.nnnIf any were made, any, the production would be limited . Maybe 20 a year. Only Hollywood types would waste cash on this freak.

  • D. Harrower

    Yet another OEM intending to bring a product to market in 2 or 3 years, hoping to compete with the Tesla of today.nn1000 horsepower might sound impressive, but the 2018 Tesla Model S P150D boasts 1500HP and smokes a Bugatti Veyron. ; )nnThe fact that Aston Martin plans to convert an existing model rather that build one from the ground up is enough to tell me they don’t know what they’re doing.