Aston Martin To Build Electric Rapide Luxury Car Under Ex-Nissan CEO


2015 Aston Martin Rapide S

2015 Aston Martin Rapide S

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There are certain carmakers you just don't hear discussed very often on Green Car Reports, and Aston Martin is one of them.

The legendary British carmaker may be the favorite of James Bond, but its current lineup of V-8 and V-12 sports cars just isn't very green.

DON'T MISS: All-Electric Aston Martin DBX Crossover Concept: Geneva Surprise

Yet Aston Martin could be about to do something decidedly out of character.

It plans to build an electric version of its Rapide in two to three years, current boss and former Nissan executive vice president Andy Palmer said in a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal (subscription required).

Aston Martin Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S

Aston Martin Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S

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Palmer said the company has already launched an electric-car research project, and is talking with suppliers to partner with.

He said Aston Martin is looking into "some pretty cool technologies coming from Silicon Valley," but noted that had nothing to do with Tesla Motors.

The Rapide is a four-door model based on the two-door DB9, and featuring the latter's streamlined styling in the modern "four-door coupe" idiom.

RELATED: Hydrogen Aston Martin Rapide Completes First Racing Lap, Many More To Follow (Apr 2013)

Normally, it's offered with a 6.0-liter V-12, which returns a dismal 17 mpg combined (14 mpg city, 22 mpg highway) in EPA fuel-economy testing.

Aston previously built a prototype version of the Rapide, with an engine tuned to run on either gasoline or hydrogen. It competed in the 2013 24 Hours of Nüburgring endurance race.

And at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show this past month, the company unveiled an all-electric crossover concept called the DBX.

Aston Martin DBX Concept

Aston Martin DBX Concept

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These moves may be a response to tightening global emissions standards, which are forcing even the most elite carmakers to consider green technologies more seriously.

Aston already tried to combat this issue in an undignified manner with the Cygnet--a re-badged Toyota iQ.

SEE ALSO: Bentley Hybrid Concept: Preview Of 2017 SUV Plug-In Hybrid System (Apr 2014)

A car with the Rapide's rakish good looks and a zero-emission powertrain sounds much more enticing, and would be in keeping with the times.

In a world where Porsche builds a plug-in hybrid supercar and Bentley plans to offer a plug-in hybrid SUV, an electric Aston Martin doesn't actually seem that strange.

[hat tip: Joseph Dubeau]

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