Rapide E is first electric Aston Martin
The first all-electric Aston Martin has finally been revealed at the Shanghai Motorshow. The Rapide E is based on the existing combustion-engined Aston Martin Rapide sedan. Only 155 will be made, and Aston Martin didn’t announce a price for the car yet.
Powered by an 800-volt, 65kWh battery, Aston Martin estimates the Rapide E will be able to travel “over 200 miles” (more than 320 km WLTP) on a single charge. Twin motors mounted in the rear will generate 450kW (or 610 horsepower) and can get the car up to a top speed of 250 kph.
That will happen fairly quickly, too: Aston Martin says the Rapide E will go from 0 to 100 kph in under four seconds. When plugged into a high-speed charger, the car’s battery can be recharged at a rate of 500 km per hour.
Converted petrol car
On the outside, the Rapide E mostly resembles the combustion engine car it’s based on, save for some electric blue accents in the headlights and on the brake calipers. Under the hood is where things are most different.
The battery system has been designed around the space where the combustion version’s V12 engine, gear box, and fuel tank normally go. While that cuts down on design and engineering costs, it ultimately limits the number of battery cells that can be used.
In the end, the Rapide E weighs 2.165 kg, which is about 180 kg more than the internal combustion Rapide S.
The Rapide E was already announced in 2015. To get the project off the ground, the small British manufacturer looked for funding from Chinese financiers. In 2016 Aston Martin announced it would build the car with Chinese tech conglomerate LeEco. The company was founded by Jia Yueting, who also founded (and now runs) struggling EV startup Faraday Future.
Aston Martin’s first electric car was supposed to hit the road in 2018 and be made in higher volumes than the current 155. But LeEco pulled out of the deal because it had financial problems.
Aston Martin then asked Formula One engineering house Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) to help bring the car to market. It also narrowed the scope to just 155 vehicles. The same WAE that helped to build the batteries for the first-generation electric race-cars of Formula E.
The Rapide E will be built in the village of St. Athan in South Wales. That’s where Aston Martin plans to build also the all-electric vehicles of Lagonda, its recently resurrected sub-brand dedicated to EV’s. That’s why it is calling the state-of-the-art facility “Home of Electrification”.