RE: Production-ready Aston Martin Rapide E revealed

RE: Production-ready Aston Martin Rapide E revealed

Tuesday 16th April

Production-ready Aston Martin Rapide E revealed

All-electric 612hp vision of the future unveiled at the Shanghai show - and you can order one now



Nearly two years since the concept was announced, Aston Martin has chosen this week's Shanghai show as the place to unveil the first example of its only fully-electric production car to date; the Rapide E. Manufacture of the battery-powered saloon will be restricted to just 155 units but, while the firm itself mentions the model in the same breath as other limited-run special editions such as the DB4 GT Continuation and Vanquish Zagato, in reality it represents much, much more than that.

Not only it is the company's first full EV, but also the first product to emerge from its new St Athan production facility, too. From 2021 the factory, dubbed the "home of electrification" by Aston, will also play host to the reborn Lagonda brand, which in its new guise will produce only battery-powered vehicles. Think of this, then, not as an eco-friendly counterpart to the V12-powered Rapide AMR which Matt so enjoyed last month, but rather as a taste of what the luxury car market may very soon become.

With that in mind, the news is not at all bad. Rear-mounted twin-motors - produced for Aston by award-winning British engineering firm Integral Powertrain - deliver 612hp and 700lb ft of torque. For those keeping score at home, that's 9hp and 235lb ft more than the 6.0-litre engine in that AMR could manage, and enough to propel the EV from 0-62mph in just 4.2 seconds, 0.2 seconds faster than its fossil-fuelled predecessor.


Those numbers may not seem particularly mind-bending when viewed through a Ludicrous Mode-coated, Tesla-shaped lens, but Aston's project has been developed in collaboration with Williams Advanced Engineering, and as CEO Andy Palmer has previously stated, the Rapide E is not focussed on outright performance. As he not-so-delicately put it, it's been designed to target "those guys looking for something above Tesla. That customer probably isn't looking for 'Ludicrous mode'... you'll be able to drive the car rapidly all the way around the Nurburgring without it derating or conking out on you."

Of course, because the Rapide was not designed as an EV from the get go, it doesn't benefit from the lower centre of gravity that would have been delivered by a battery pack mounted low in the car. Instead a bespoke lithium-ion architecture occupies the areas where the engine, gearbox and fuel tank were once located, meaning that plenty of more traditional engineering is needed to ensure the ride and handling remain up to scratch. Luckily, a proper limited-slip differential, independent double-wishbone suspension all-round and 400mm six-piston front brakes with 360mm four-pot items at the rear should mean that, while the Rapide E may not be powered like any previous Aston, it'll still drive like one.

And look like one, too, given the new car's resemblance to the old, though there are one or two noteworthy differences. Thanks to the reduced need for cooling, a new honeycomb grille forms part of an optimised front end, while the removal of the exhaust pipe has allowed for the implementation of a redesigned underfloor and full-width rear diffuser. Combined with a new set of 21-inch 'aero' wheels, the changes make for an eight per cent improvement in aerodynamic efficiency over a petrol Rapide. Meanwhile, weight-saving carbon fibre body panels join the standard car's aluminium ones for the first time in an effort to minimise weight gain.


This efficiency drive leaves the Rapide E with a WLTP-rated range of over 200 miles - though it's likely to be the quality, rather than the quantity, of those miles on which the car's success will be judged. An on-board AC charger is capable of recharging the battery in three hours, though thanks to the 800V high-voltage battery system much faster stops are possible with the right set up.

Speaking ahead of the Rapide E's Shanghai debut, Andy Palmer 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."

The new model is available to order now, with prices available on application. However much it costs, though, it'll likely look a bargain for its 155 owners should Aston's 'exciting electric future' become a reality. As the company's first EV, and a truly transitional model from its internal combustion origins to its battery-powered future, the Rapide E could prove a hugely noteworthy milestone in Aston Martin's celebrated history. 2069 Continuation edition, anyone?


 









Author
Discussion

B17NNS

Original Poster:

18,080 posts

187 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
Pure folly. 155 examples. POA. pffft

If you can afford a limited run, if you have to ask the price Aston, I’m pretty sure the price of super is of little concern.

Tesla get a lot of hate, some justified, but they were offering better performance and better range in 2012. That’s how far behind you are.

This is a rehash of an old car with some batteries plonked where a soulful and sonorous ICE once lived. And no doubt some previous gen Mercedes infotainment (along with that godawful squeering wheel).

Aston. You’re going to have to do a hell of a lot better than that. Am doing a disappoint. None of these four door saloons will ever see the Nordschleife either by the way rolleyes

And PH, is it or it is?

Edited by B17NNS on Tuesday 16th April 04:36

RobDickinson

25,423 posts

194 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
For a none EV platform this looks pretty decent, 800v system and I am assuming decent AC charge rate ( 3hrs @ what 22kw? ), 80kwh battery?

I dont think anyone ever buys an Am because its the fastest, because it isnt, but looks great and is quick.

nite_narc

42 posts

126 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
If I could, I would.

Nerdherder

544 posts

37 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
What Rob and Nitenarc say indeed.

As a former phev owner and having several friends with a Tesla I think this is a really desirable car for general use and think that bringing a limited edition to market first makes perfect sense.

P.s; I’m saving up for something else. AM are on a roll!

oilit

671 posts

118 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
I am sorely tempted....

Some of the comments above are valid - would it be better to have had a new custom body rather than shoehorn EV tech into a body designed for ICE - maybe, but I see this as no different to what Mini are doing with their E- Hatch - just at a different end of the market.

I personally think the Rapide has become more elegant with age - and REALLY want one - need to find some cash at the back of the sofa !
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Nerdherder

544 posts

37 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
P.s; Has anyone ever seen a Rapide on the road? Where do these things live?

ess

541 posts

118 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
Nerdherder said:
P.s; Has anyone ever seen a Rapide on the road? Where do these things live?
Wiltshire.
Common as muck.

S

Robert-nszl1

353 posts

28 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
Always thought these were rather awkwardly proportioned, and the dash hasn't aged particularly well. Shoving batteries in the engine bay really isn't the future, let's hope their truly new Lagonda offerings are a bit more inspiring.

loudlashadjuster

3,204 posts

124 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
The article said:
Rear-mounted twin-motors...
The article also said:
...a proper limited-slip differential
Chinny reckon?

C'mon, guys. Copy/pasting from press releases is one thing, but please at least try to cast an eye over what you're publishing. These two details would seem mutually incompatible, and while they might not be, you're not giving us any insight into Aston's claims here. Either query and dismiss, or provide a bit more information/clarification for those of us who care to look past 0-60 times.

Banging out jargon-y buzzwords is fine for pub bore boasting, but this is Pistonheads. You're meant to be better than this.

oilit

671 posts

118 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
ess said:
Wiltshire.
Common as muck.

S
They have only sold 952 in UK up until 2018 q3 according to howmanyleft - so they aren't exactly common when compared to Porsche Panamera which sold 901 in first 3 quarters of 2018 alone.

what is interesting is that only 800 of that 952 appear to be licensed or sorn'd

sgtBerbatov

1,129 posts

21 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
B17NNS said:
Pure folly. 155 examples. POA. pffft

If you can afford a limited run, if you have to ask the price Aston, I’m pretty sure the price of super is of little concern.

Tesla get a lot of hate, some justified, but they were offering better performance and better range in 2012. That’s how far behind you are.

This is a rehash of an old car with some batteries plonked where a soulful and sonorous ICE once lived. And no doubt some previous gen Mercedes infotainment (along with that godawful squeering wheel).

Aston. You’re going to have to do a hell of a lot better than that. Am doing a disappoint. None of these four door saloons will ever see the Nordschleife either by the way rolleyes

And PH, is it or it is?

Edited by B17NNS on Tuesday 16th April 04:36
Difference between Tesla and Aston Martin though is that the windows on an Aston Martin won't freeze shut in the cold weather. Plus the Aston looks so much better, and if you can afford the Aston Martin you aren't going to be driving this as your daily. This is the car to take to the golf club, or to the shops, or to drop off little Benjamin and Isabelle at school in the morning.

IforB

6,225 posts

169 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
Swing and a miss for me.

Whilst it is nice that Aston have taken a step towards electric cars (because they have to) simply bodging a battery pack and electric motors into a car is hardly pushing the boundaries.

It's a bit like VW's offerings. Do you look at the Electric Golf that has all the crap bits of an IC-engined car and all the crap bits of an electric car combined into one deeply disappointing whole, or do you wait for the proper version that has been designed as an electric vehicle from the start?

This Aston is just a headline generator rather than a serious attempt at changing anything, though it might give them some experience if they do decide to do it properly. The problem there being, do Aston have the money to do it properly?

So to summarise, meh.

MX6

4,032 posts

153 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
Interesting development, I like it. I can't help thinking of the Rapide as being quite a dated car though, despite the visual make-over. In my mind it's a DB9 (a design classic surely, but one that dates from 2003) saloon designed to house an NA V12. Making an electric Rapide seems like an attempt to make it more relevant now that EV's and SUV's are becoming more fashionable than big petrol engine saloons. It's good that Aston are moving with the times but I will mourn the passing of the NA V12 engine.

leglessAlex

3,038 posts

81 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
sgtBerbatov said:
.....you aren't going to be driving this as your daily....... or to the shops, or to drop off little Benjamin and Isabelle at school in the morning.
Um, isn't that exactly what a daily is?

I think Andy Palmer shouldn't be attempting to compare this to 'something above' a Tesla. Really? Worse range, slower, with the electric bits shoehorned into a car that was designed for an IC engine? Knowing what Aston interiors look like I doubt it'll be nicer to sit in than the Tesla either.

Sure, it looks better. A lot better. That's what Aston Martin do, after all. But 'something above' a Tesla? Nah m8, you're having a laugh.

RobDickinson

25,423 posts

194 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
Unless you really need the range..

model S or this? I'd prob choose this

Tuna

10,125 posts

224 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
Take a previous generation car and add virtue signalling? Not convinced.

Fire99

9,540 posts

169 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
It's not doing it for me I must admit. First impressions are a car that I would expect Jaguar to produce. Too fussy, appears like it's trying too hard and unnecessarily exclusive for a car that looks more like an electrified 'hot rod'.

Limited performance compared to Tesla sounds like PR crafted excuses for not being able to take on Tesla toe-to-toe (and this is coming from someone who isn't a Tesla fan).

designndrive62

700 posts

97 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
The interior, particularly the vents and switchgear, looks like it would be out of place and old-hat for a mid range car from Kia, let alone an Aston

Edited by designndrive62 on Tuesday 16th April 10:16

indapendentlee

283 posts

39 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
I get the "price doesn't matter to these customers" to an extent but surely there's a point at which it does.

You could have a Model S P100D and a 600LT and a Range Rover Sport for the price of one of these - I know where my dosh would be heading.

Sandpit Steve

136 posts

14 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
indapendentlee said:
I get the "price doesn't matter to these customers" to an extent but surely there's a point at which it does.

You could have a Model S P100D and a 600LT and a Range Rover Sport for the price of one of these - I know where my dosh would be heading.
It’s four hundred grand?? redface

Maybe not then, your three car garage is way more temping!