Skip to main content

Aston Martin to take on Tesla’s “stupid” Ludicrous mode with 800-hp electric Rapide

Aston Martin Rapide S
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Last spring, Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer openly admitted the company was seriously looking into taking on the Tesla Model S with an electric version of the Rapide sedan (pictured). Speaking to trade journal Automotive News, Palmer has confirmed the ambitious project has been given the green light for production.

Designed primarily for the United States and China, the battery-powered Rapide will be Aston Martin’s first-ever regular-production electric vehicle. The project is at the embryonic stage of development so technical details are few and far between, but Palmer hinted the sedan will boast all-wheel drive, 800 horsepower and a 200-mile range thanks to a battery pack sourced from an established supplier such as LG or Samsung.

The battery-powered Rapide will be as fast as it sounds, but Aston Martin isn’t interested in going faster than Tesla’s recently-announced Ludicrous Mode.

“We don’t do Ludicrous because Ludicrous speed is stupid,” said the outspoken executive. He clarified his statement by saying he believes it’s more enjoyable to drive an electric car around a race track such as the Nürburgring than to drive one flat-out in Ludicrous Mode for 500 yards. Equally outspoken Tesla CEO Elon Musk hasn’t replied to the comments yet.

Palmer explained that Aston decided to build an electric Rapide in order to comply with the strict emissions regulations that are scheduled to come into effect across key markets like Europe, China and the United States in the coming years.

“If you want to keep making V-12 engines, then you’ve got to do something at the opposite end of the spectrum,” said the executive.

Other high-end companies including BMW, Mercedes-AMG and even Lamborghini are taking a serious look at EVs and hybrids for similar reasons. Reading in between the lines, the statement also indicates that Aston will stick to the V12 engine in the foreseeable future.

The electric Aston Martin Rapide will go on sale in approximately two years, though the company is already putting a test mule through its paces. It will cost anywhere between $200,000 and $250,000 before government incentives are factored in, and the car maker expects to build less than 1,000 examples annually.

What’s next?

The electric Rapide is just one of several new Aston Martins scheduled to bow before the end of the decade. The company is in the early stages of revamping its entire lineup, a Herculean task that begins with developing a new modular platform. Aston’s first-ever utility vehicle will arrive before the end of the decade, and Palmer hasn’t ruled out launching a limited-edition super sports car billed as a successor to the potent One-77.

Editors' Recommendations

Ronan Glon
Ronan Glon is an American automotive and tech journalist based in southern France. As a long-time contributor to Digital…
Aston Martin’s first SUV will share an engine with its sports car siblings
aston martin dbx engine specifications horsepower torque prototype



Read more
Aston Martin will put its Valkyrie hybrid hypercar to the ultimate test
aston martin valkyrie to race for overall win at 24 hours of le mans in 2021

Aston Martin claims its upcoming Valkyrie hybrid hypercar will set a new performance benchmark, but that's easy to say when your new car is destined to be nothing more than a rich person's plaything. Aston is putting its money where its mouth is, however. The Valkyrie will race at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2021 as Aston aims for its second overall win in the legendary French race.

Aston Martin Vantages currently race at Le Mans, but only in a lower-level class that doesn't allow the British automaker to challenge for outright victory. Aston's only overall win came in 1959 with the DBR1.  The automaker has tried, and failed, numerous times to achieve a repeat victory. Aston believes new rules will give it a decent shot in 2021, which also happens to be the 100th anniversary of the automaker's Le Mans debut.

Read more
Live out your 007 fantasy with this special edition Aston DBS Superleggera
Aston Martin DBS Superleggera 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service'



Read more