In February 2016, Aston Martin announced that it would work with Chinese tech company LeEco on the RapidE, an electric version of the Rapide four-door sports sedan. LeEco, facing a cash crunch, has pulled out of the project, but Aston Martin Chief Executive Andy Palmer told Reuters that his company will still produce the EV.
The plan seems to be to make the RapidE a bit more exclusive. Aston Martin will build only 155 units, a third of the original plan. The launch date has been pushed back to 2019.
“We’ve decided to make this car rare, which will obviously tend to push the price higher,” Palmer said. “Aston Martin now plans to proceed independently, funding further development of RapidE by ourselves.”
Aston will start taking orders for the RapidE next month. Prices start at around 200,000 pounds ($255,000), 50,000 pounds more than the existing V12 Rapide.
Battery packs for the RapidE will come from a new production facility built by a consortium led by Williams Advanced Engineering, which supplies power packs to the Formula E electric car racing series, and also built the RapidE prototype that was unveiled in 2015.
Aston’s further EV plans include an electric version of the DBX crossover it plans to launch in 2019.
“The RapidE project was always about learning in readiness for the DBX derivative,” Palmer said. “We can do that through a limited series.”