Aston Martin RapidE EV-01

The Aston Martin RapidE inches closer to production – the British automaker has announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Chinese technology company LeEco, one that will work towards the creation of a partnership to develop the RapidE electric vehicle concept into a series production model.

The new signing extends the existing collaboration between the two companies. Last month, LeEco and Aston Martin revealed the first results of their partnership at the 2016 CES in Las Vegas, an Aston Martin Rapide S incorporating the latest Letv Internet of the Vehicle (IOV) system.

Now, things are moving up a gear. Aside from the RapidE, which will be the first model ventured by the collaboration, plans are afoot to accelerate development of low-emission vehicle technologies for a range of new electric vehicles that will be introduced during the second half of the decade.

aston martin leeco

The blue-badged RapidE study was developed in collaboration with Williams Advanced Engineering at its facility in Grove, Oxfordshire. Word on the electric car initially surfaced last August, with 800 hp, all-wheel drive and an operating range of 320 km being bandied.

As you’d expect, a key market for the car – which Aston CEO Andy Palmer says will be priced somewhere between the USD$200k (RM835k) to USD$250k (RM1.05 mil) mark – will be China.

The two companies say that they have been advancing the work on production feasibility for the car, including the identification of technology solutions for battery systems and powertrain, and the automaker is aiming to bring the RapidE to market sometime in 2018.