Aston Martin Lagonda has revealed the final production-ready iteration of its first all-electric production car - with the Rapide E. The car makes its world debut at the 2019 Auto Shanghai motor show. The Rapide E is the first car to be built at Aston Martin's state-of-the-art St Athan production facility. This is the production plant which will be home to the company's electrification strategy. A special edition with a production run strictly limited to 155 units, the Rapide E has been developed in collaboration with Williams Advanced Engineering .
Aston Martin's design and engineering teams have worked in partnership to extract the optimal aerodynamic performance available from the Rapide's elegant form. Traditional metal vanes give way to a striking honeycomb front grille. With lower cooling requirements demanded of the EV powertrain, Aston Martin's aerodynamic engineers have been given the freedom to optimize 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 re-designed underfloor streamlines airflow from the front splitter right the way through to Rapide E's new larger rear diffuser - a feature that is now wholly dedicated to aero efficiency due to the removal of the exhaust system required before. The model's forged aluminium aerodynamic wheels - shod with bespoke low rolling-resistance Pirelli P-Zero tyres - have also been re-designed to give greater efficiency, without compromising brake cooling capability. The sum of these changes gives Rapide E's aerodynamic package an 8% improvement over the previous internal combustion model.
A re-designed underfloor streamlines airflow from the front splitter right the way through to Rapide E's new larger rear diffuser
Inside and out, Rapide E comes equipped with a 10-inch digital display which gives the user all the key information needed including the battery's state of charge, current motor power levels, regenerative performance and a real-time energy consumption meter. Swathes of carbon fibre have been deployed throughout, assisting in delivering the strict weight targets set by Aston Martin's engineering team from the outset.
A dedicated app allows key information from the car to be remotely monitored. It 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.
The 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 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 602 bhp and a colossal 950Nm of torque.
The Rapide E comes with a range of over 322 km under the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), while the car also features an industry-leading high-power AC on-board charger capable of recharging the battery in as little as 3 hours. The top speed of the Rapide E stands at 250 kmph. 0-96 kmph is done in just under 4 seconds.
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."