Andy Palmer, the outspoken boss of British prestige marque Aston Martin, says the next Rapide will offer a heroic electric option – and that Tesla’s latest power upgrade, Ludicrous Mode, “is stupid”.
Speaking with industry journal Automotive News at this week’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California, Palmer promised his company is pulling out all the stops on the next generation of its sleek four-door coupe.
Conventional high-powered petrol engines will continue to be offered, thanks to the company’s supply deal with Mercedes-AMG, but Palmer believes that offering big V12 engines in today’s evolving market also means “you’ve got to do something at the opposite end of the spectrum”.
That means electric power and, for Aston Martin in particular, it means big electric power.
Exact specifications for the new Rapide are still to be locked in, but, according to Automotive News, Palmer has set some specific goals: around 800hp (597kW) in power, all-wheel drive, and a 320-kilometre driving range at least.
It’s not all about output, though. He added that buyers in the ultra-premium segment are no longer looking for power alone: “they start now looking for legacy”.
The popularity of American upstart Tesla Motors may have something to do with that evolution, with its expensive but hugely advanced Model S electric sedan proving popular with buyers and onlookers alike.