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Here's the RapidE, Aston Martin's extravagant electric sedan of the future

Aston Martin

Aston Martin already makes a $200,000 sedan for moneyed families called the Rapide. But this is the RapidE — see the difference? That big "E" at the end there? Get it?

The RapidE looks basically identical to its petrol-powered forbear, but the underpinnings are entirely electric. Aston had teased back at Pebble Beach that it was working on an electric car, and now we're learning more about it: much of the engineering work was performed by Williams (of F1 fame), and it could be ready for production in as little as two years. The vehicle was made possible thanks in part due to an investment from Chinese VC firm ChinaEquity; Aston Martin is in the midst of downsizing, so it seems that a cash infusion was in order to push the boutique automaker into the next generation.

Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer took to Twitter today, noting his admiration for Renovo — a California-based startup working on electric supercars — which is convenient, since Aston makes a supercar or two of its own. It's not clear whether the two companies have had any direct discussions with one another, but it stands to reason that they might want to work together eventually: Renovo has spent much of this year honing its electric drivetrain but doesn't have a body of its own design, while Aston is in the opposite position.

Either way, the Rapide — which debuted in 2010 — will be looking pretty stale by the time an electric model could be on the road in 2017 at the earliest, so it seems unlikely that this exact car would be the one you could buy. Well, someone could buy. Someone with several hundred thousand dollars to spend on a car.