16.4.2019Aston Martin Rapide E released at Shanghai
Aston Martin has unveiled its first all-electric model - the Rapide E - at the Shanghai Motor Show, with production of the four-door saloon limited to 155 units.
Fitted with twin electric motors, producing a combined 450 kW (612 hp) and 950 Nm of torque, the new Rapide E is set to be built at Aston Martin's new St Athans facility in Wales, and has been developed in partnership with Williams Advanced Engineering - one of the world leaders in electric powertrains.
A 65 kWh battery powers the two electric motors, which drive the rear wheels, with the battery pack sitting in the space where an engine, transmission, and fuel tank normally would.
The range is quoted at 'over 200 miles' according to Aston Martin's press release, and it looks likely that it will only be a little over that milestone considering the specifications. That figure is based on the WLTP tests though, which we've found to be fairly accurate and a realistic target figure for drivers.
Considering the likes of Jaguar's I-Pace and Audi e-tron have 90 kWh and 95 kWh batteries respectively, and ranges of a little under 300 miles and around 240 miles, the quoted 200 mile range does seem optimistic.
However, the Rapide E is around 400 kg lighter than the e-tron and a similar weight to the I-Pace, so a range of around 215 miles would represent a fair calculation based on comparisons, and match Aston Martin's claims.
What is confirmed are the charging specifications. An 800V system will allow drivers to charge at high speeds, with rapid charging at 100 kW able to recharge the Rapide E in around 35-40 minutes. Aston Martin quotes 310 miles per minute, and also quotes a fast charging time of 'as little as three hours', from which we can work out that a 22 kW on-board AC charger will be fitted.
Performance figures are typically Aston Martin, with a sub-4.0 second 0-60mph time, and 50-70mph completed in just 1.5 seconds. The Gaydon-based firm promises that the performance will be repeatable and delivered consistently - a little dig at Tesla's Ludicrous mode - with the ability to drive a full lap of the Nurburgring with no reduced performance from the battery or motors.
Aerodynamics for the ageing Rapide saloon have been tweaked and reduced drag by around 8%, with active flaps behind the grille, a smooth under floor, and new wheels helping achieve those claims.
Speaking ahead of Rapide E's Shanghai debut, Dr Andy Palmer, President and Group CEO, Aston Martin Lagonda, said: "Unveiling the Rapide E will be a huge moment for Aston Martin. As our first all-electric production car, it is a truly historic step. One that signals Aston Martin is prepared for the huge challenge of an environmentally responsible and sustainable future.
"As a car company we cannot afford to passively allow that future to come to us; we have to actively chase it. Only by doing this can we learn and prepare, but also preserve those things we love as drivers and car enthusiasts. That's why it was so important to me that in embracing EV 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."
Pricing is available on application, and order books for the Rapide E are open now.