Aston Martin Lagonda revealed the final production-ready iteration of its first all-electric production car, the Rapide E, which has now made its world debut at China’s Auto Shanghai motor show.
Courtesy of Aston Martin
The Rapide E was unveiled by Aston Martin Executive Vice President & Chief Creative Officer, Marek Reichman. The vehicle is a pivotal model for the luxury market while also propelling Aston Martin into the electric vehicle sector. It is the first car to be built at Aston Martin’s state-of-the-art St Athan production facility and marks the company’s first step towards achieving its wider electrification strategy. Rapide E has been developed in collaboration with Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) and will be available in a special edition run strictly limited to 155 units.
Aston Martin’s design and engineering teams have worked in partnership to achieve an optimal aerodynamic performance while the lower cooling requirements demanded of the EV powertrain have enabled the company’s engineers to optimise the aperture of the frontal area, minimising airflow through the car’s body, improving the car’s aerodynamic efficiency and increasing range as a result.
A 10 inch digital display delivers key information to the driver while on the move, including the battery’s state of charge, current motor power levels, regenerative performance and a real-time energy consumption meter. A dedicated app allows key information from the car to be remotely monitored. The dashboard displays 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 re-locate 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 installed capacity using over 5600 lithium-ion 18650 format cylindrical cells. This bespoke battery pack lies where the original 6.0-litre V12, gearbox and fuel tank were located, with the 800V system allowing for more efficient charging and greatly improved thermal characteristics over existing electrical architectures. This battery system powers two rear mounted electric motors producing a combined target output of just over 610PS and a colossal 950Nm of torque.
Rapide E’s range is over 200 miles under the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), while the model is capable of charging at a rate of 1851,2 miles of range per hour using a typical 400V 50kW charger. However, the car’s 800V high-voltage battery system enables faster charging of 3101,2 miles of range per hour, using an 800V outlet delivering 100kW or higher. For destination charging, the car also features an industry-leading high-power AC on-board charger capable of recharging the battery in as little as 3 hours.
Top speed for Rapide E is 155mph, with a sub-4.0 second 0-60mph time and a 50-70mph time of just 1.5 seconds. These figures are not restricted to a narrow window of battery charge or climatic conditions, instead, thanks to the 800V architecture, the Rapide E will deliver its performance in a consistent and repeatable way.
“Unveiling the Rapide E will be a huge moment for Aston Martin” said Dr Andy Palmer, President and Group CEO, Aston Martin Lagonda. “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.”