Wednesday, 26 June, 2019

First look at Aston Martin's production-ready Rapide E

Aston Martin Rapide E super-luxe EV will be maddeningly rare Aston Martin Rapide E Features Fast Charging And Will Be Capped At 155 Units
Russell Knight | 17 April, 2019, 20:27

Almost two years since the concept was announced, Aston Martin has chosen this week's Shanghai show as the place to unveil the first example of its only fully-electric production vehicle to date; the Rapide E. Manufacture of the battery-powered saloon will be restricted to just 155 units but, while the firm itself mentions the model in the same breath as other limited-run special editions such as the DB4 GT Continuation and Vanquish Zagato, in reality it represents much, much more than that.

The Rapide E is powered by twin rear mounted electric motors which produce a combined power output of 610PS and a monstrous 950Nm of torque sent straight to the rear wheels.

Aston Martin is launching a full electric vehicle, in the same vague sort of way that Aston makes any cars at all.

Just 155 Rapide Es will be built, and prices are on application.

This electric super-sedan's path to production hasn't exactly been smooth, since Aston Martin originally revealed the concept in 2015, so kudos to Aston Martin for keeping its flagship electric model (mostly) on time.

The delay of perhaps a year carries a backstory. The Rapide E-or RapidE, as it was known as a concept-was to be co-developed by LeEco, a Chinese company that had started to develop its own electric cars but was up until then known as "the Netflix of China".

In June 2017 Aston announced that it would instead partner with Williams Advanced Engineering-the company that works with McLaren Applied Technologies and Lucid (otherwise called Atieva) to provide batteries for Formula E racing.

In terms of looks, there's no mistaking this for a Rapide. No matter, with an 800-volt system, the battery pack can plug into a 100kw charger and charge at a rate of 310 miles of range per hour, which, theoretically, means it fully charge from fully depleted in about 40 minutes. An AC onboard charger can give the battery a full charge in just three hours.

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Production of the Aston Martin Rapide E will be capped at 155 units worldwide.

Under the bonnet, in place of Aston's huge honking 6.0-liter V-12 from Mercedes-AMG, sits an 800V electrical battery shrouded in carbon fiber and Kevlar.

The Rapide E weighs 2,140 kg (4,718 pounds), which is 150 kg heavier than the Rapide AMR. The top speed of the Rapide E stands at 250 kmph.

In terms of performance, Aston Martin quotes a 0-60 miles per hour (96 km/h) time of less than 4 seconds and a 50-70 miles per hour time of 1.5 seconds.

Range is definitely not the emphasis here.

This efficiency drive leaves the Rapide E with a WLTP-rated range of over 200 miles - though it's likely to be the quality, rather than the quantity, of those miles on which the car's success will be judged.

The layout seems entirely for track performance, not all-weather street driving. Rear-wheel drive is standard here, including a mechanical limited-slip differential. A three-stage adaptive damping system and three-stage stability control system offer flexibility to the driver.

No local pricing has been set at this stage for the circa-450kW high-performance electrified Rapide, but Aston Martin Lagonda Asia-Pacific president Patrik Nilsson recently told GoAuto that the company had received expressions of interest on all of the British sports-luxury brand's forthcoming new models - including Rapide E.

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