Last week at China’s Auto Shanghai motor show, Aston Martin Lagonda revealed the final production-ready iteration of its first all-electric production car, the Rapide E.
The first car to be built at Aston Martin’s St Athan production facility—the brand’s Home of Electrification—Rapide E represents a first step towards achieving the company’s wider electrification strategy and the successful fruition of Lagonda zero-emission luxury brand. A special edition with a production run strictly limited to 155 units, Rapide E was developed in collaboration with Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE).
Rapide E is powered by an 800V electrical architecture battery—encased in carbon fibre and Kevlar casing—with a 65 kWh installed capacity using more than 5600 lithium-ion 18650 format cylindrical cells.
This bespoke battery pack lies where the original 6.0-liter V12, gearbox and fuel tank were located, with the 800V system allowing for more efficient charging and greatly improved thermal characteristics over existing electrical architectures. This battery system powers two rear mounted electric motors producing a combined target output of just over 610PS and 950N·m of torque.
Rapide E’s range is more than 200 miles under the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), while the model is capable of charging at a rate of 1851.2 miles of range per hour using a typical 400V 50kW charger. However, the car’s 800V high-voltage battery system enables faster charging of 3101.2 miles of range per hour, using an 800V outlet delivering 100kW or higher. For destination charging, the car also features an industry-leading high-power AC on-board charger capable of recharging the battery in as little as 3 hours.
Top speed for Rapide E is 155 mph, with a sub-4.0 second 0-60mph time and a 50-70 mph time of just 1.5 seconds. These figures are not restricted to a narrow window of battery charge or climatic conditions; instead, due to the cutting-edge 800V architecture, the Rapide E will deliver its performance in a consistent and repeatable way as would be expected from a traditional Aston Martin product. This includes the ability to drive a full lap of the Nürburgring with no performance derating of the battery or the motors.
Rapide E also enhances the feel, character and delivery of the V12-engined recently acclaimed Rapide AMR, thanks to careful attention paid to the tuning of both the electric powertrain and the chassis across three driving modes—GT, Sport and Sport +—which are selected for both the powertrain and handling. The rear-wheel drive Rapide E’s twin electric motors drive through a Limited-Slip Differential, which combined with a revised spring and damper rates, ensures the pure handling characteristics of the gasoline-powered Rapide AMR are retained.
Aston Martin’s design and engineering teams worked in partnership to extract the optimal aerodynamic performance available from the Rapide’s form. Traditional metal vanes give way to a striking honeycomb front grille. With lower cooling requirements demanded of the EV powertrain, Aston Martin’s aerodynamic engineers have been given the freedom to optimize the aperture of the frontal area, minimizing airflow through the car’s body, improving the car’s aerodynamic efficiency and increasing range as a result.
A re-designed underfloor streamlines airflow from the front splitter right through to Rapide E’s new larger rear diffuser—a feature that is now wholly dedicated to aero efficiency due to the removal of the exhaust system required before.
The model’s forged aluminium aerodynamic wheels have also been re-designed to give greater efficiency, without compromising brake-cooling capability. The sum of these changes gives Rapide E’s aerodynamic package an 8% improvement over the previous internal combustion model.
A 10" digital display replaces analog displays, delivering all key information to the driver while on the move, including the battery’s state of charge, current motor power levels, regenerative performance and a real-time energy consumption meter. Swathes of carbon fibre have been deployed throughout, assisting in delivering the strict weight targets set by Aston Martin’s engineering team from the outset.
Rapide E is available to order now, with prices available on application.