Update - A new report out of the US confirms LeEco is no longer part of the RapidE project, hence why the EV will be a limited-edition model. See article for details
British sports luxury marque Aston Martin has confirmed production of its upcoming RapidE EV will commence in 2019 on social media this week.
Posting a single image of an artist's sketch on its Instagram, the company says the RapidE will be limited to just 155 units, and will be Aston Martin's first all-electric model.
This latest development comes almost two years after the original 2015 RapidE concept (below) was revealed, which was co-developed with Williams Engineering.
While Aston Martin never revealed power or torque figures for the concept, the company's CEO, Andy Palmer, said in 2015 that he wanted to build an electric car with around 600kW of power and 320 kilometres of range on a single charge - hinting at the RapidE's power and range targets at the time.
Considering the rapid (pardon the pun) developments other automakers have made in the last two years in terms of EV driving range, it's possible the final production version could aim a little higher when it arrives in 2019, potentially towards the 450-500km mark to better compete with the likes of the Tesla Model S.
While recent reports have indicated the RapidE will be produced with the help of Chinese electric start-up LeEco - both companies signed a memorandum of understanding at the beginning of 2017 - Reuters revealed this week that LeEco pulled out of the partnership.
Above: Aston Martin DBX teaser
According to the US publication, the split has forced Aston Martin to make the RapidE a limited-edition model due to the withdrawal of the Chinese conglomerate, and will begin taking 10 per cent down payments for the upcoming EV next month, which is said to be priced from just under 200,000 pounds ($355,444). By comparison, the V12 petrol Rapide S currently starts at 150,000 pounds ($251,583).
Here in Australia, the Rapide S starts at $382,110 before on-road costs, meaning the RapidE could start around $500,000 or higher should the limited-run model be available Down Under.
Earlier this year the company's boss confirmed the current V12-powered Rapide sedan will be replaced by the EV version, though the model's flagship roe in the company's line-up will be replaced by either the upcoming DBX crossover or one of two planned Lagonda high-end luxury vehicles.
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