Aston Martin's limited-edition RapidE coming in 2019by Ronan Glon
Aston Martin changed its electric car strategy after LeEco backed out of the project.
Aston Martin has reaffirmed its commitment to building an electric, high-performance sedan. However, it will be rarer and much more expensive than initially planned.
The model will be based on the Rapide AMR concept, which hasn't been fully introduced yet. Named RapidE, it will ditch the donor car's 5.9-liter V12 engine and receive a powerful battery-electric drivetrain. Full technical specifications will be announced in the coming weeks.
The RapidE is being developed jointly by Aston Martin and Williams Advanced Engineering. Chinese tech giant LeEco was , but the cash-strapped company -- which is also bankrolling Faraday Future -- unexpectedly pulled out of the deal, according to Reuters.
Without LeEco's promised backing, Aston was forced to change course and make the RapidE a limited-edition model instead of a series-produced car. The new direction delayed the project by about a year.
"We've decided to make this car rare, which will obviously tend to push the price higher. Aston Martin now plans to proceed independently, funding further development of RapidE by ourselves," Aston boss Andy Palmer told .
Consequently, the RapidE will cost 200,000 British pounds, a sum that converts to approximately $255,000. Starting next month, interested buyers will be able to send the brand a 10-percent deposit to reserve their car.
Act fast if you want one, because just 155 examples of the RapidE will be built starting in 2019. At a quarter of a million dollars a piece, the RapidE is priced well above even the most expensive variant of the Tesla S. In an interesting twist of fate, its main rival is now , a high-end electric sedan whose scheduled launch date seemingly varies between "eventually" and "say what?"