Aston Martin just released a few tantalizing details about its forthcoming, ultra-exclusive battery-electric sports car, a first for the famed British marque. This will be a very quick, very expensive, very beautiful car, so buckle up.
The official name has been changed from “RapidE” to the more awkward-to-pronounce “Rapide E” — presumably to differentiate it from Aston Martin’s $200,000 Rapide S luxury sedan that’s been in production since 2010. The automaker will only make 155 vehicles, or about a third of its original plan before the departure of struggling Chinese electronics manufacturer LeEco as an investor on the project last year.
The company offered a raft of technical details to wet the whistle of those eager to get their hands on what is sure to be a very fast, ridiculously expensive electric sports car. The Rapide E will be powered by an 800-volt battery system with 65kWh capacity, using over 5,600 lithium-ion 18650 format cylindrical cells. It will have a range of “over 200 miles” with a charging rate of 185 miles per hour using a typical 400V 50kW charger. And if you’re using a 100kW or higher fast-charger, the Rapide E can absorb 310 miles of range per hour.
The battery pack, which will be located in place of the original 6-liter V12 engine, gearbox, and fuel tank, will provide power to two rear-mounted motors producing a combined target output of just over 610PS and 950Nm of torque.
The Rapide E has a projected top speed of 155 mph, with a sub-4-second 0–60 mph time and a 50–70 mph time of just 1.5 seconds. But Aston Martin cautions that these figures are “not restricted to a narrow window only when the batteries are fully-charged. Instead the target is for maximum performance on-demand throughout majority of the battery state of charge window, as would be expected from a conventional internal combustion-engined car.”
The luxury automaker is working with Williams Advanced Engineering, a company that used to design and assemble batteries for Formula E cars, as its development partner. Production will take place at the soon-to-built St. Athan production facility in South Wales, which has been dubbed the future “Home of Electrification” for both the Aston Martin and Lagonda brands. First deliveries are expected in the fourth quarter of 2019.