Aston Martin has revealed more technical details for its upcoming fully electric luxury saloon, the Rapide E, ahead of deliveries starting next year.
The limited-run model will be powered by two rear-mounted electric motors combining to produce “over 602bhp”, according to the firm. The method of mounting both motors over the back axle differs from other electric saloons such as the Tesla Model S, which, when in dual-motor configuration, mounts one on each axle to give four-wheel drive.
The torque output is set to be close to 738lb ft (1000Nm), allowing the 50-70mph sprint to be completed in 1.55sec. A 0-60mph target of around four seconds has been set, a similar figure to the Rapide S on which the EV is based, although the true figure is yet to be confirmed. Pricing still has to be announced, too, but a Williams Advanced Engineering source was able to reveal that the car's kerb weight is “almost identical” to that of a regular Rapide.
Aston claims it has engineered the Rapide E for “repeatable performance”, meaning the quoted acceleration figures can be achieved in quick succession without the performance degregation seen in similar EVs. The top speed of 155mph (hence the release of just 155 units globally) can reportedly be maintained continuously for 10 minutes.
The powertrain underneath the Rapide E, engineered by Williams Advanced Engineering and assembled at a new facility in Coventry, uses a cutting-edge 800V electrical architecture. The technology will allow the Rapide E to offer a 350-mile-per-hour charge rate, allowing it to make use of forthcoming 350kWh DC chargers.
Williams Advanced Engineering technical director Paul McNamara on the Rapide E - interview
When did you first get involved?
“We’ve been very active in working with OEMs on battery technology and we did some work with Nissan and Andy Palmer [former Nissan chief planning officer and now Aston CEO] had been involved in that work. When he moved over to Aston Martin, he had a very clear vision of electrification as a route the company needed to go down. He was well aware of our activity and brought us into the company, starting with the very first project electric Rapid with Formula E power. We then came up with the idea of getting an APC grant to get the development done. That journey has been two and a bit years.”
Are you championing British suppliers with the powertrain in the Rapide E?
“We are a small one, but like any automotive manufacturer, we do bring in parts from Europe. [For] this particular battery, because it’s quite low volume, quite specialist, we are leaning quite heavily on the suppliers we use in the UK. At least 90% of everything bar the cells is a UK supply.”