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Aston Martin to take on Tesla with electric supersedan

Aston Martin

 (Aston Martin)

High tech Tesla will soon be facing competition from an unlikely source.

Aston Martin, founded in 1913 and still specializing in handcrafted machines powered by powerful gasoline engines, plans to launch an electric supersedan within two years, company CEO Andy Palmer confirmed to Automotive News.

Palmer says the car will be based on the Rapide, feature all-wheel-drive, and boast an impressive 800 hp, besting Tesla’s “ludicrous” 761 hp P90D. It will have a range of over 200 miles per charge, provided by batteries from either LG or Samsung, instead of Tesla partner Panasonic. Both Korean companies are also working with Audi on its Tesla-fighting Q6 crossover.

The move is partially a regulatory play. Palmer notes that building zero-emissions cars will balance out the V8s and V12s in the scheme of things. Nevertheless, he expects the electric Rapide to be an all-around sports car capable of putting in a few good laps at the track, not just quick sprints.

The price is expected to be in the $250,000 range, about twice what a top of the line Model S goes for, but will come with a much higher level of luxury appointments, if not the sort of autonomous technology Tesla has begun incorporating into its cars.

A prototype of the Aston Martin has already secretly been tested on the road. It will be followed by an electric version of the automaker’s upcoming DBX crossover a few years after launch, pitting Aston Martin’s “swan wing” doors against the Tesla Model X’s “falcon doors” in the high performance family car segment.

A prototype of the Aston Martin has already secretly been tested on the road. It will be followed by an electric version of the automaker’s upcoming DBX crossover a few years after launch, pitting Aston Martin’s “swan wing” doors against the Tesla Model X’s “falcon doors” in the high performance family car segment.

What all of this means for Aston Martin's signature radiator grille, which is unnecessary on an electric car is yet to be seen.

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The car too cool for 007