Aston Martin Plans Electric Car With 200-Mile Range

Aston Martin Electric - H 2015
Courtesy of Aston Martin

Aston Martin Electric - H 2015

The electric version of the Rapide could become the first direct competitor to the Tesla Model S.

Aston Martin is planning a $200,000 electric version of its Rapide S sports sedan that could become the first direct competitor to the Tesla Model S.

In remarks at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer told the Automotive News that the electric Rapide would have 800 horsepower, all-wheel drive and a range of 200 miles, and arrive by 2017, possibly making it the first direct competitor to Tesla’s Model S. (The Porsche e-hybrid Panamera S, which the Tesla resembles, is available only as a plug-in hybrid, but Porsche is said to be developing a pure-electric derivative of the Panamera, which it is expected to present at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September.)

The plug-in Rapide would likely cost between $200,000 and $250,00, Palmer said, or roughly double the price of the most expensive Model S, the P90D, and be produced in much smaller numbers than the Model S, which has sold 13,700 examples in the U.S. through July.

“Aston Marin has luxury cachet and its existing cars are very old school: heavy and brutal and noisy, so this will be definitely be a reset,” John Voelcker, editor of Green Car Reports, told The Hollywood Reporter. “But Aston Martin is tiny — Aston Martin is smaller than Tesla.”

Aston Martin previously unveiled an electric crossover SUV concept — the DBX — at the 2015 Geneva Auto Show that would compete with Tesla’s Model X, due to arrive in September. Audi also is developing an electric SUV concept that it will unveil at the Frankfurt Auto Show.

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk is scheduled to appear Sept. 9 on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert — Musk previously appeared on The Colbert Report — and there is speculation that, with the Model X launch imminent, Musk might use the occasion to preview or even unwrap the much-delayed SUV.