Aston Martin Unveils Working Electric RapidE Prototype
Earlier this week, we reported that Aston Martin’s CEO Andy Palmer confirmed an all-electric Rapide, and that it would likely arrive sometime in 2017. Given that timeframe, a prototype wouldn’t likely be seen until later next year. Flash-forward just a few days, and Aston Martin unveiled a complete and working prototype called the RapidE. The working prototype debuted at the Lancaster House in London, where the Chinese President is currently meeting with the Royal family. Williams Advanced Engineering, the same group responsible for the Jaguar C-X75 concept, tuning Nismo’s top spec road cars, and Formula 1 and Formula E development, built the RapidE concept. RELATED: See More Photos of the new RapidE Electric Concept
Additionally, Aston Martin announced that it had formed a partnership with the Chinese investment group, ChinaEquity to see whether the concept had production merits. This likely means that ChinaEquity is investing quite a substantial sum of money into the RapidE’s development.
Speaking at the unveiling, Palmer stated, “We see luxury electric vehicles as an intrinsic part of our future product portfolio and welcome ChinaEquity into the next phase of study for the project development. The exciting RapidE concept tangibly demonstrates the capability and ambition of Aston Martin towards developing low-and zero-emission sports cars.”
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In the earlier report, the new electric Aston Martin was said to get a 1,000 horsepower power unit. We reached out to Palmer and asked him whether this prototype is that version. Palmer stated, “the higher horsepower version is in the concept development phase and will come later than the standard RWD version that was showcased.” This means that there could be multiple electric variants, similar to the tier system Tesla uses.
While this marks a major step for Aston Martin into the production of electric vehicles, don’t think that the venerable V12 or V8 motors are going anywhere any time soon. Aston Martin has recently partnered with Mercedes AMG to deliver the company’s next set of internal combustion engines, which will likely debut within the next year.
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