Aston Martin Rapide E. Photo by: Aston Martin Lagonda LimitedPHOTO BY Aston Martin Lagonda Limited

Aston Martin Rapide E

Aston Martin Lagonda has revealed the final production-ready iteration of its first all-electric production car, with the spectacular Aston Martin Rapide E. Could this be a game changer?



Following the success of previous special-edition models, including Aston Martin Vulcan, the Vanquish Zagato family and DB4 GT Continuation, Rapide E continues to deliver a superior level of performance, craftmanship and exclusivity, while also propelling Aston Martin into the all-electric realm.
 
The first car to be built at Aston Martin’s state-of-the-art St Athan production facility - the brand’s Home of Electrification - Rapide E represents a pioneering first step towards achieving the company’s wider electrification strategy and the successful fruition of Lagonda - the world’s first zero-emission luxury brand. A special edition with a production run strictly limited to 155 units, Rapide E has been developed in collaboration with Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE).
 
Shown for the first time here in Shanghai today, 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.

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.

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 cutting-edge 800V architecture, the Rapide E will deliver its performance in a consistent and repeatable way as would be expected from a traditional Aston Martin product. This includes the ability to drive a full lap of the Nürburgring with no performance derating of the battery or the motors.

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Author
Mathias Haegglund

Section
Cars

Published
30th of May 2019

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