Aston Martin isn’t quite ready to officially pull the wraps off its long-anticipated first battery electric vehicle, but it is revealing some details about the Rapide E that’s due in showrooms in the last quarter of 2019.
First of all, the name is now confirmed (concepts had combined the Es into a stylized RapidE), as is the production run of just 155 cars.
“Environmental responsibility and sustainability is a global challenge faced by us all. As a career automotive engineer, I’m proud that the car industry is leading the way in finding long-term solutions and reducing harmful emissions,” said Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer. “I take particular satisfaction working with Williams Advanced Engineering and our other associated technology partners to bring Rapide E to reality. As our first all-electric production model, Rapide E will fast-track our knowledge and help us ensure the character and high-performance capabilities of our future EV models and enhance the unique qualities found in all Aston Martins as we know them today. Rapide E will also serve as a critical step on our path to re-launching Lagonda as the world’s first zero-emission luxury marque.”
The new electric luxury 4-seat 4-door coupe is powered by two rear-mounted electric motors, producing a total of 455 kW (601 hp) and 701 lb-ft of torque and enabling 0-100 km/h runs in the 4.0 second range. Those are better figures than the Rapide AMR’s current 6.0-litre V-12, though the E’s 250 km/h top speed falls 80 km/h short of that of the AMR.
Aston Martin stresses that those acceleration figures are not restricted to times when the battery is fully charged, but rather in repeated, consistent performance regardless of the batteries state of charge, thanks to innovative cooling solutions for the motors and battery.
The 65-kWh lithium ion battery is packaged in the compartments housing the Rapide’s V-12, gearbox and fuel tank. The car’s range is about 325 km and the battery can reportedly be fully charged in just over an hour, using a typical 400V 50kW charger. However, plugging into an 800V with a 100kW charger drops that full charge time to just under 40 minutes, with an 80% charge attainable in about 15 minutes.
Another innovative feature of the Rapide E is a new-design aerodynamic wheel, shod with low-rolling resistance Pirelli P Zero bespoke tire. Combined with the tuning of the chassis and the fitting of a limited slip differential between the two motors, it makes the Rapide E behave in accordance with the performance and handling of the gasoline Rapide.
Aston Martin has begun taking orders for the Rapide E, which will be built at the company’s St. Athan facility in South Wales, with pricing available on application.