Teaser for Aston Martin RapidE debuting in 2019Enlarge Photo
Aston Martin doesn't have a production electric car just yet, but that will change in 2019 with the RapidE sedan. With the all-electric luxury sedan, Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer hinted his brand could join Formula E following the RapidE's launch.
"We don't have an electric car yet, but we will have in 2019. You can imagine the two coming together. I love Formula E," Palmer said, according to Automotive News Europe (subscription required). If Aston Martin were to commit to Formula E, it would be the third major brand to pledge its support in recent years. Porsche and Mercedes-Benz both recently announced they will join Formula E for the 2019-2020 season, at the expense of other motorsport series. Other brands, such as Ferrari, haven't announced their intent to enter the electric car racing series.
2016/2017 Formula E Hong Kong ePrixEnlarge Photo
Despite Palmer's support, he said Aston Martin would not join while the series' car-swap regulation is in place. Drivers switch cars halfway through a race due to the cars' insufficient electric range. "For me, the use of the two cars reinforces the range anxiety," he said. "That will change, and then it starts to get interesting." Indeed, Formula E will do away with the car-swap element after this coming season. For the 2018-2019 season, teams will enter one car for the entire duration of the race. The cars will also feature longer-range batteries.
Aston Martin's RapidE was originally slated to launch in 2018, but former development partner, LeEco, walked away from the project due to financial woes. Instead, Williams Advanced Engineering signed on to engineer the RapidE's battery-electric powertrain. The sedan may boast 800 horsepower and a 200-mile range. The luxury sedan will likely cost $250,000 and the luxury brand will limit production to 155 units.