When it comes to high performance, ultra-expensive electric sedans, Tesla Motors has pretty much had the market to itself with the Model S. The EV starts at $75,000 and creeps up to $105,000 and beyond with the frighteningly fast P85D.
However, Tesla is about to have some stiff competition from an unlikely source: Aston Martin. If anyone can produce a vehicle that’s as good looking as a Model S, it’s Aston Martin. But rather than produce an all-new platform that was built from the ground up for electric duty, Aston Martin will repurpose the underpinnings of the existing Rapide luxury sedan — a vehicle that dates back to 2010 (its VH chassis, however, dates back to the 2004 DB9).
Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer confirmed that the electric Rapide will arrive within two years and that it will come packing 800hp. For those keeping score, the Tesla Model S P85D is officially rated at 691hp and 687 ft-lbs of peak torque. However, independent testing has shown that Tesla is full of it — the P85D is actually throwing down 864 ft-lbs of peak torque at the wheels.
Aston Martin Rapide
As for pricing, Palmer indicated the the vehicle would be priced somewhere between $200,000 to $250,000, placing it well above even the most expensive P85D. “What Tesla clearly shows you is we haven’t hit the ceiling in terms of price,” said Palmer. “But I think it’s hard, though not impossible, for them as a relatively new brand to keep pushing up and to go into that super premier area.”
If we’ve learned anything over the years when it comes to Tesla, it’s to never underestimate eccentric CEO Elon Musk.
Palmer also didn’t mince words with regards to Tesla’s geek-infused terminology used to describe its ultra-high performance modes on the Model S. Tesla kicked off the “go fast” festivities with Insane Mode last year, and upped the ante with Ludicrous Mode in July. Tesla later confirmed that the next generation Roadster would go Maximum Plaid when it arrives before the end of the decade.
“We don’t do Ludicrous because Ludicrous speed is stupid,” chided Palmer. “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.”
If an all-electric Rapide isn’t enough to impress Aston Martin fans, Palmer also indicated that there will be an EV version of its recently announced DBX all-wheel-drive crossover coupe. But I will just say, if Palmer thinks that “Ludicrous Mode” is stupid, the DBX…