The first all-electric Aston Martin has finally been revealed. Based on the existing combustion-engine Aston Martin Rapide, the “Rapide E” officially debuted at the Shanghai Auto Show on Tuesday. Only 155 will be made, and Aston Martin didn’t announce a price for the car.
Equipped with an 800-volt, 65kWh battery, Rapide E will be able to travel over 200 miles on a single charge. Twin motors mounted on the rear axle will generate 450kW and 600 horsepower. The top speed 155 miles per hour. Rapide E will go from 0 to 100 km/h in under four seconds, faster than the standard internal combustion version.
The car will be equipped with a 10-inch digital instrument cluster behind the steering wheel, and an 8-inch display mounted atop the center of the dashboard will handle infotainment duties.
On the outside, the Rapide E resembles the combustion engine car it’s based on, save for some electric blue accents in the headlights and on the brake calipers. Under the hood is different. The battery system has been designed around the space where the combustion version’s V12 engine, gear box, and fuel tank normally go. That cuts down on design and engineering costs, it ultimately limits the number of battery cells that an automaker can fit in the car. Rapide E weighs more than the internal combustion Rapide S.
The Rapide E was presented in 2015, when Aston Martin was going through a big cost-cutting push that resulted in hundreds of layoffs. Then, in 2016, Aston Martin announced it would build the car with Chinese tech conglomerate LeEco, but LeEco quit in 2017 and Aston Martin turned to Formula One engineering house Williams to help bring the car to market (Williams also helped build the batteries for the first-generation electric racecars of Formula E.)
The Rapide E will be built in the village of St. Athan in South Wales. That’s also where Aston Martin plans to build the all-electric vehicles of Lagonda, its recently resurrected sub-brand dedicated to EVs. Aston Martin is calling the facility in St. Athan the company’s “Home of Electrification.”