The Aston Martin Rapide E will be the brand’s first Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) and it will also be the most powerful Rapide model, with twin electric motors producing over 610PS and 950Nm of torque.
Aston Martin is working closely with Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) as its development partner on the strictly limited 155-unit special edition.
Throughout the development process, the engineering team have focused on achieving effective cooling of the batteries and motor to ensure consistent performance, while strict weight targets have been stringently observed using lightweight alloys and carbon composite materials.
The Rapide E will be powered by an 800V battery electrical architecture with 65kWh installed capacity using over 5600 lithium ion 18650 format cylindrical cells. These are mounted in a bespoke battery pack where the original 6.0-litre V12, its gearbox and fuel tank were located. This battery system powers two rear mounted electric motors producing a combined target output of just over 610PS and 950Nm of torque.
The Rapide E’s range target is over 200 miles under the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), while the model is capable of charging at a rate of 185 miles of range per hour using a typical 400V 50kW charger. However, the car’s 800V high-voltage battery system enables faster charging of 310 miles of range per hour, using an 800V outlet delivering 100kW or higher.
Projected top speed for the Rapide E is 155mph, with a sub-4.0 second 0-60mph time and a 50-70mph time of just 1.5 seconds.
The car’s exterior and underbody has also been aerodynamically optimised and complemented with newly-designed aerodynamic wheels. Shod with Pirelli P Zero™, Rapide E’s bespoke tyres aim to deliver a lower rolling-resistance and reduced cavity noise, while still delivering superior dynamic capability. Rapide E aims to achieve higher levels of aerodynamic, frictional loss and cooling performance over the standard Rapide S.
It has also been an objective of the project to retain and enhance the feel, character and delivery of the V12-engined Rapide S. To this end, careful attention will be paid to the development and tuning of both the electric powertrain and the chassis, with particular focus applied to software integration. The rear-wheel drive Rapide E’s twin electric motors will drive through a Limited-Slip Differential, which will be combined with revised spring and damper rates.
Though the Rapide E will be built in low volumes, it is being subjected to Aston Martin’s stringent and exhaustive testing protocols, with the dedicated WAE team working closely alongside Aston Martin personnel to ensure every aspect of the prototype test programme follows the marque’s established procedures. Uniquely, customers will be an extended part of the ongoing Rapide E programme, with their comments and driving experiences providing an invaluable stream of feedback that will help shape and improve future Aston Martin EVs.
In addition to WAE, the Rapide E programme enjoys the support of other technical partners including Hyperbat Limited – a new joint venture company between Williams Advanced Engineering and Unipart Manufacturing Group – as the battery manufacturer, Integral Powertrain for the electric motors, Xtrac for the transmission and the H1PERBAT project consortium with grant funding from the Advanced Propulsion Centre.
The Rapide E will be built at the St. Athan production facility, announced as the future ‘Home of Electrification’ for both the Aston Martin and Lagonda brands. Aston Martin is accepting expressions of interest via its global dealership network, with pricing available on application. Customer deliveries are set for Q4 2019.