Following Aston Martin’s announcement of its ‘centre for electrification’ in sunny Wales, it’s now unveiled details of its first fully electric car – the Rapide E.
It’s an Aston, though, so high-performance is still the aim of the game. Its rear wheels will be powered by a 800V battery architecture with a 65kWh installed capacity, mounted where the original 6.0-litre V12 and fuel tank were located. Total outputs are 602bhp and 950Nm, the former on par with a V12 DB11, the latter bettering the manic DBS Superleggera. Being electrically powered, though, the Rapide E’s performance doesn’t outstrip either, with a limited 250kph top speed and 0-97kph in around four seconds.
But Aston is keen to show off its specially developed battery structure, created alongside Williams Advanced Engineering. The team have focused on achieving constant cooling of the batteries and motor to allow for consistent performance, meaning the Rapide E has the ability to lap the full Nürburgring Nordschleife without battery – and performance – depleting.
They want to make sure the car can deliver its maximum performance in the same way as a “conventional internal combustion-engined car”. It’s also got rapid-charging ability that - with the right place to plug in - will see it charge at a rate of 500km per hour of charging. When the target range on full batteries is around 322 kilometres, that makes for a quick coffee stop at services.
In terms of the design, the Rapide E has some extra aerodynamic tricks, previewed by its specially designed wheels. Shame we’re not being shown much else of it, though. Beneath it all, there’ll be Pirelli P Zero tyres and a limited-slip differential to ensure all that instant torque is used wisely. Or unwisely, should you wish, given it’s rear-driven.
Andy Palmer, CEO of Aston Martin, said: “Environmental responsibility and sustainability is a global challenge faced by us all. As a career automotive engineer, I’m proud that the car industry is leading the way in finding long-term solutions and reducing harmful emissions.
“As our first all-electric production model, the Rapide E will fast-track our knowledge and help us ensure the character and high-performance capabilities of our future EV models and enhance the unique qualities found in all Aston Martins as we know them today.”
Strictly limited to 155 units, the electric Aston will be delivered in late 2019, with prices available on application only. Tempted to, um, apply?