Aston Martin plugs into an electric future
Rapide E is the company’s first all-electric production car
Aston Martin Lagonda has revealed the final production-ready iteration of its first all-electric production car, with the Rapide E making its world debut at China’s Auto Shanghai motor show this week.
Rapide E is a pivotal model for the luxury marque. The first car to be built at Aston Martin’s state-of-the-art St Athan production facility — the brand’s Home of Electrification — Rapide E represents a first step towards achieving the company’s wider electrification strategy and the successful fruition of Lagonda as the world’s first zero-emission luxury brand.
A special edition with a production run limited to 155 units, Rapide E has been developed in collaboration with Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE).
The car’s forged aluminium aerodynamic wheels — shod with bespoke low rolling-resistance Pirelli P-Zero tyres — have been designed to give greater efficiency without compromising brake-cooling capability. These and other aerodynamic tweaks help the Rapide E to be 8% more aerodynamic than the previous petrol-engined model.
Inside and out, Rapide E is equipped with materials and technology befitting of the marque’s first electric model.
Analogue displays are replaced by a 10” digital display and swathes of carbon fibre have been deployed throughout.
Extending the experience beyond the car, a dedicated app allows key information from the car to be remotely monitored, including remaining range, battery status and time to charge, as well as allowing navigation destinations to be sent from the app to the car for easy route planning.
The car’s parking spot can also be seen via the app, with walking directions provided to help relocate it in busy locations. Finally, the health and status of Rapide E can also be tracked from the app, providing reminders such as when a key service is due.
Rapide E is powered by an 800V electrical architecture battery — encased in carbon fibre and Kevlar casing — with a 65kWh capacity.
This battery pack lies where the original 6.0l V12, gearbox and fuel tank were located. This battery system powers two rear-mounted electric motors producing a combined target output of just over 448kW and a colossal 950Nm of torque.
Rapide E’s claimed range is more than 320km while its high-power AC on-board charger is capable of recharging the battery in as little as three hours.
Quoted top speed for Rapide E is 250km/h, with a sub-4.0 second 0-100km/h time.
Rapide E also enhances the feel, character and delivery of the V12-engined Rapide AMR, thanks to careful attention paid to the tuning of both the electric powertrain and the chassis across three driving modes — GT, Sport and Sport +.
The rear-wheel-drive Rapide E’s twin electric motors drive through a limited-slip differential, which combined with a revised spring and damper rates, ensures the pure handling characteristics of the petrol-powered Rapide AMR are retained.
Dr Andy Palmer, president and group CEO of Aston Martin Lagonda, commented: “It was so important to me that in embracing EV [electric vehicle] technology we should not let go of those unique qualities that define an Aston Martin. I believe Rapide E embodies that desire and paves the way for a hugely exciting future.”
Rapide E is available to order now, with prices available on application.