It seems that the RapidE is happening after all. Aston Martin and Chinese technology firm LeEco (formerly known as Letv) have signed an MoU that will see both companies working side by side to produce the electric sedan by 2018. LeEco is also working with Faraday Future, which introduced the stunning FFZERO1 concept earlier this year.
The new signing builds on the existing collaboration between the two companies. Earlier this year, LeEco and Aston Martin the latest Letv Internet of the Vehicle (IOV) system in a Rapide S. Next, both companies will focus on the development of low-emission technologies for a range of new electric vehicles that will be introduced during the second half of the decade.
Introduced for the first time in October 2015, the RapidE concept was a result of a tie-up with Williams Advanced Engineering. Although official specs were never divulged, rumours surrounding the industry suggest a total system output of between 800 and 1,000 horsepower and a range of 320 km.
With the Chinese market being the main target, production of the electric sedan could be limited to a few hundred units a year at prices between US$200,000 and US$250,00 each.
17 February 2016, Frankfurt, Germany: Leading global technology company LeEco and luxury sports car brand Aston Martin today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) towards the creation of a partnership that will develop a production version of the Aston Martin RapidE electric vehicle concept. It is anticipated that the partnership will see the two companies working together in developing and manufacturing RapidE, with potential for adding a range of next-generation connected electric vehicles on behalf of Aston Martin, LeEco and Faraday Future.
This new signing extends the existing collaboration between the two companies. In January 2016, LeEco and Aston Martin revealed the first results of their partnership – an Aston Martin Rapide S incorporating the latest Letv Internet of the Vehicle (IOV) system. The second area of the partnership – the development of low-emission vehicle technologies – has been accelerated as they have developed their respective plans for launching a range of new electric vehicles during the second half of the decade.
The first model developed by this partnership will be the Aston Martin RapidE. The Aston Martin RapidE concept was created to explore how the company can take an existing production vehicle and create an all-electric sports sedan. Since the creation of this concept vehicle, Aston Martin and Letv have been advancing the work on production feasibility including the identification of technology solutions for battery systems and powertrain. Both companies are now focused on bringing the RapidE to market in 2018 utilising the best technologies from the companies’ portfolios.
Commenting on the signing of the MOU, Mr. Ding Lei, co-founder and global vice chairman of SEE Plan, said, “Signing of this MOU ushers a new phase of the collaborations between Aston Martin and LeEco. LeEco’s SEE Plan is dedicated to build electric, smart, connected and socialized cars. We have been targeting the highest standard in the auto industry in terms of design, R&D and manufacturing of our electric cars. We hope that, by strengthening collaborations with Aston Martin, our future models will provide premium qualities and delicate arts and crafts as good as those of Aston Martin.”
Aston Martin CEO, Dr Andy Palmer, said: “Aston Martin are dedicated to developing a range of cars with low emission technologies. We have been encouraged by the project speed and technical depth shown by Letv in the development of the RapidE concept towards full production. Bringing the RapidE to market by 2018 is an important milestone for both companies. “