The first electric car from legendary British automaker Aston Martin will launch next year. It’s an electric version of the current Rapide four-door called the Rapide E that will be built in extremely limited numbers. The car was announced in 2015 as the RapidE, but judging from specifications released by Aston Martin, it should be worth the four-year wait.
The Rapide E will be powered by two electric motors, both spinning the rear wheels. The motors will produce a combined 602 horsepower and 700 pound-feet of torque. That’s admittedly less than the 800 to 1,000 hp quoted for the 2015 prototype, but it’s more than you can get in a gasoline Rapide.
A 65-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack sits where the standard Rapide’s 5.9-liter V12, transmission, and fuel tank normally reside. Aston is aiming for a range of at least 200 miles on the World Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) used in Europe. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) range figure may be different. Crucially, the Rapide E will be equipped with an 800-volt electrical system, similar to what Porsche is planning for its Taycan, allowing for faster charging at up to 100 kilowatts.
Aston claims the Rapide E will be able to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in under 4.0 seconds, jump from 50 to 70 mph in 1.5 seconds, and reach a top speed of 155 mph. Aston stressed that these figures won’t just be achievable when the battery is fully charged. The automaker claims the Rapide E can handle a full lap of the 12.9-mile Nürburgring without any loss of performance. The Aston may not be able to match the acceleration of a Tesla Model S P100D, but perhaps it will have superior endurance.
Production will be limited to just 155 units, with deliveries scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2019. Aston did not discuss pricing or U.S. availability. The Rapide E will be a trial run of sorts for future Aston electric cars. Aston will solicit feedback from customers to inform development of those higher-volume models. In that sense, the Rapide E will similar to the Mini E, BMW ActiveE, and other early electric cars used by automakers to test the waters with customers before launching full-scale production.
The Rapide E will be built at Aston’s new factory in St. Athan, Wales. Aston plans to follow the Rapide E with a line of electric cars under the Lagonda sub-brand. The first of those models, likely a sedan based on the recent Lagonda Vision concept, is expected to launch in 2021.
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