Aston Martin CEO, Andy Palmer, confirmed in August that the company is planning to launch an all-electric, all-wheel drive Aston Martin Rapide. The company has unveiled a concept version of the same, with name ‘Aston Martin RapidE’, outside Lancaster House in London.
The Aston Martin RapidE has been developed by Williams Advanced Engineering at its facility in Grove, Oxfordshire in the UK, with assistance from ChinaEquity, a Chinese investment partner.
Speaking to Autocar, Mr. Palmer revealed that the Aston Martin RapidE will be available in two sub-variants, a standard ~550 bhp one and a high performance ~800-1000 bhp one. The former will have rear-wheel drive layout, while the latter will feature all-wheel drive layout. Naturally, the high performance RapidE will have shorter range, of about 200 miles (322 km). The driving range is not bad considering the power output, but will be achievable only with “reasonable driving.”
The all-wheel drive RapidE will have four electric motors, one dedicated to each wheel. “We’re going to need the traction of all four wheels to deal with the torque,” said Mr. Palmer. He added that this sub-variant will be developed after the standard RapidE is launched, which would happen in around two years’ time.
The Aston Martin RapidE concept’s styling is similar to the Rapide S in most aspects although it does get some distinctive exterior graphics and the blue ‘RapidE’ badging. Under the hood, as per the report by the British publication, the naturally aspirated V12 petrol engine has been replaced by Williams Advanced Engineering-developed power electronics. Below the electric powertrain setup, a battery pack is mounted along the chassis.
The Aston Martin RapidE won’t exactly rival the Tesla Model S, and that would be for two reasons. Firstly, it’ll be an Aston Martin – priced at least around thrice the Tesla Model S that starts at £55,380 for the base 70D model or twice if the £80,280-costing P85D range-topping model is considered. Secondly, it’ll see limited production unlike the Tesla Model S. If it is well accepted by dealers and customers, the British luxury automaker will put it into production but will keep it limited to only about 400 units annually, using the Gaydon facility where the standard Rapide is built.
Aston Martin RapidE concept – Image Gallery
[Source 1: Aston Martin]
[Source 2: Autocar]