Aston Martin confirms specs for Rapide E electric sedan coming in 2019

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Aston Martin on Wednesday revealed the first specs for its Rapide E electric sport sedan due for delivery in late 2019.

The car is being developed in partnership with Williams Advanced Engineering, the Williams Formula 1 team’s technology offshoot, and since development isn’t complete some of the specs may change before the start of production.

What we know right now is that the Rapide E will feature a pair of electric motors at the rear axle delivering a combined output of more than 601 horsepower and 700 pound-feet of instantaneous torque. And the range should come in at around 200 miles.

Teaser for Aston Martin Rapide E due in 2019

Teaser for Aston Martin Rapide E due in 2019

Its battery will have a 65-kilowatt-hour capacity and comprise more than 5,600 individual 18650 format lithium-ion cylindrical cells. These will be arranged in a bespoke battery pack filling up the space where the gas-powered Rapide’s V-12, transmission and fuel tank normally sit. Crucially, the Rapide E will feature an 800-volt electrical system meaning it will be able to utilize ultra-fast charging. We’re talking around an 80 percent charge in as little as 15 minutes.

Throughout the development process, the engineering team have focused on achieving effective cooling of the batteries and motors to ensure consistent performance, while strict weight targets have been realized using lightweight alloys and carbon composite materials. Ride and handling have also been crucial. To this end, careful attention has been paid to both the powertrain and chassis. For example, the Rapide E’s twin electric motors will drive through a limited-slip differential, which combined with revised spring and damper rates should ensure dynamic qualities on par with the V-12-powered Rapide.

Initial performance estimates include a 0-60 mph time of under 4.0 seconds and a governed top speed of 155 mph. Impressively, the car should also have enough passing thrust to power from 50 to 70 mph in just 1.5 seconds. Aston Martin is keen to stress that these figures won’t be restricted to a narrow window only when the batteries are fully-charged. The car is being developed so it can handle a full lap of the Nürburgring without emptying the battery. Aston Martin also wants the car to be capable of repeated hard acceleration and braking.

Aston Martin Rapid-E concept

Aston Martin Rapid-E concept

Previewed in concept form in 2015, the Rapide E will be built in a limited run of just 155 units at Aston Martin’s new plant under construction in St Athan, Wales. Aston Martin on Monday said the site will become the electrification hub for the automaker.

The Rapide E isn’t destined to be a permanent fixture in the automaker’s lineup since the whole Rapide line is due to be discontinued after the 155-car run. It isn’t clear yet if the car will even be offered in the United States. Rather, the Rapide E serves as a proof of concept as Aston Martin prepares the launch of new electric cars under the revived Lagonda brand. The first modern Lagonda is expected to be an electric SUV due in 2021.

“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,” Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer said. “Rapide E will also serve as a critical step on our path to relaunching Lagonda as the world’s first zero-emission luxury marque.”

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