Aston Martin has confirmed that its new electric Rapide E sports sedan will boast a 602-horsepower output and a “target range” of over 200 miles (322 kilometers) on a single charge.
Just 155 examples of the eco-friendly four-door will be built at the company’s new St Athan plant in southern Wales, with the first of those vehicles arriving with customers in the final quarter of next year.
Working with Williams Advanced Engineering, Aston Martin says it has been able to "overcome technical challenges" associated with packaging the electric motors and the battery system in the space available.
The battery – an 800V system rated at 65 kWh – is located under the Rapide’s long hood, replacing the original 6-liter V12 engine, and sends its power to two electric motors. Together, these will take the car to a projected top speed of 155 mph (250 kph), while Aston Martin says it is targeting a "sub-four-second" 0-60 mph (0-96 kph) time.
The British brand has stressed that these parameters will not only be achievable when the batteries are full, but throughout “the majority of the battery state charge window, as you would expect from a conventional car."
According to a statement from the company, this means the car would be able to drive a full lap of the Nürburgring with "absolutely no derating of the battery."
When the Rapide E’s battery does run low, Aston Martin is promising a charging rate of 185 miles (298 km) of range per hour from a "typical" 400V 50kW charger. However, using an 800V outlet with a delivery of 100 kWh or higher, the brand says faster charging of 310 miles (499 km) of range per hour is possible.
As well as changing the car’s powertrain, Aston Martin will also modify the Rapide E’s bodywork. The exterior and underbody are "aerodynamically optimized," while newly designed aerodynamic wheels have also been fitted.
But Aston Martin also says, with the Rapide E, it has retained and even enhanced the feel, character and delivery of the V12-powered Rapide S.
It says "careful attention" will be paid to the development of the chassis and powertrain, with the twin motors sending their power to the rear via a limited-slip differential. This, the company says, works in tandem with the revised suspension settings to ensure the “pure” handling characteristics of the Rapide S.
Speaking of the Rapide E program, Andy Palmer, CEO of Aston Martin, said: “Environmental responsibility and sustainability is a global challenge faced by us all. As a career automotive engineer, I’m proud that the car industry is leading the way in finding long-term solutions and reducing harmful emissions. As Aston Martin’s CEO, I take particular satisfaction working with Williams Advanced Engineering and our other associated technology partners to bring Rapide E to reality.
"As our first all-electric production model, Rapide E will fast-track our knowledge and help us ensure the character and high-performance capabilities of our future EV models and enhance the unique qualities found in all Aston Martins as we know them today. Rapide E will also serve as a critical step on our path to re-launching Lagonda as the world’s first zero-emission luxury marque."
Source: Aston Martin
Gallery: 2019 Aston Martin RapidE
- Rapide E to be Aston Martin’s first Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)
- Product name confirmed as ‘Rapide E’
- Aston Martin developing Rapide E with Williams Advanced Engineering
- Production run of 155 units
- Twin electric motors to produce over 610PS and 950Nm of torque creating most powerful Rapide model
- Features innovative 800V battery system; DC/DC converter facilitates fast charging, even on 400V network
- Cars will be built in dedicated facility at Aston Martin’s St. Athan site
- First customer deliveries scheduled for Q4 2019
12 September 2018, Millbrook, England: With development of Aston Martin’s first all-electric production car – the Rapide E – progressing apace, the luxury British marque has today confirmed a raft of technical details for the strictly limited 155-unit special edition.
Working closely with Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) as its development partner, Aston Martin has utilised the hugely successful leader in Electric Vehicle (EV) technology to kickstart a new era for Aston Martin’s powertrain technology and overcome the technical challenges associated with packaging the battery system and motors within the space available.
Throughout the development process, the engineering team have focused on achieving effective cooling of the batteries and motor to ensure consistent performance, while strict weight targets have been stringently observed using lightweight alloys and carbon composite materials.
Rapide E will be powered by an 800V battery electrical architecture with 65kWh installed capacity using over 5600 lithium ion 18650 format cylindrical cells. These are mounted in a bespoke battery pack where the original 6.0-litre V12, its gearbox and fuel tank were located. This battery system powers two rear mounted electric motors producing a combined target output of just over 610PS and a colossal 950Nm of torque.
Rapide E’s range target is over 200 miles under the Worldwide Harmonised 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.
Being an Aston Martin, the Rapide E is being developed with a high-performance objective. Projected top speed for the Rapide E is 155mph, with a sub-4.0sec 0-60mph time and a 50-70mph time of just 1.5sec. It’s important to stress 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. This includes the ability to drive a full lap of the Nürburgring with absolutely no derating of the battery and the ability to cope with the daily demands of repeated hard acceleration and braking.
The car’s exterior and underbody has also been aerodynamically optimised and complemented with newly-designed aerodynamic wheels. Shod with Pirelli P-Zero low rolling-resistance tyres featuring noise-cancelling foam, Rapide E aims to achieve higher levels of aerodynamic, frictional losses and cooling performance over the standard Rapide S.
It has also been an objective of the project to retain and enhance the feel, character and delivery of the V12-engined Rapide S. To this end, careful attention will be paid to the development and tuning of both the electric powertrain and the chassis, with particular focus applied to software integration. The rear-wheel drive Rapide E’s twin electric motors will drive through a Limited-Slip Differential, which combined with revised spring and damper rates ensures the pure handling characteristics for which the petrol-powered Rapide S is already renowned.
Though the Rapide E will be built in low volumes, it is being subjected to Aston Martin’s stringent and exhaustive testing protocols, with the dedicated WAE team working closely alongside Aston Martin personnel to ensure every aspect of the prototype test programme follows the marque’s established procedures. Uniquely, customers will be an extended part of the ongoing Rapide E programme, with their comments and driving experiences providing an invaluable stream of feedback that will help shape and improve future Aston Martin EVs.
In addition to WAE, the Rapide E programme enjoys the support of other technical partners including Hyperbat Limited – a new joint venture company between Williams Advanced Engineering and Unipart Manufacturing Group – as the battery manufacturer, Integral Powertrain Technologies for the electric motors, Xtrac for the transmission and the H1PERBAT project consortium with grant funding from the Advanced Propulsion Centre.
Speaking of the Rapide E programme, Andy Palmer, CEO Aston Martin, commented: “Environmental responsibility and sustainability is a global challenge faced by us all. As a career automotive engineer, I’m proud that the car industry is leading the way in finding long-term solutions and reducing harmful emissions. As Aston Martin’s CEO, I take particular satisfaction working with Williams Advanced Engineering and our other associated technology partners to bring Rapide E to reality. As our first all-electric production model, Rapide E will fast-track our knowledge and help us ensure the character and high-performance capabilities of our future EV models and enhance the unique qualities found in all Aston Martins as we know them today. Rapide E will also serve as a critical step on our path to re-launching Lagonda as the world’s first zero-emission luxury marque”.
Rapide E will be built at the upcoming St. Athan production facility, announced as the future ‘Home of Electrification’ for both the Aston Martin and Lagonda brands. Aston Martin is accepting expressions of interest via its global dealership network, with pricing available on application.
Customer deliveries are set for Q4 2019.