Site of Aston Martin plant in St Athan, Wales
Aston Martin is in the final phase of converting a former military hanger in St Athan, Wales into a second plant to join the existing plant in Gaydon, England.
Gaydon will remain the home of Aston Martin sports cars while St Athan will be where Aston Martin builds its SUV and planned Lagonda cars.
St Athan will also be an electric car hub for the Brit automaker, which makes sense as the Lagonda brand was revived earlier this year as an EV-only brand. The first modern Lagonda will be an electric SUV due in 2021, but the St Athan plant will be pumping out electric cars before then.
Aston Martin confirmed Tuesday that the limited run of electric Rapide sedans it’s planning will also be produced at the Welsh site. The electric Rapide was previewed in 2015 by the Rapid-E concept and will go by the name Rapide E in production guise. Just 155 examples will be built starting in 2019.
“Aston Martin sees itself as a future leader in the development of zero emission technologies, and I am delighted that St Athan will be our home of electrification for both the Aston Martin and Lagonda brands,” Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer said.
Aston Martin’s SUV, which is tipped to be called a Varekai, will start production in St Athan in late 2019. Although it was originally envisaged that the SUV would have an electric option, Aston Martin will now stick with conventional powertrains and possibly a hybrid option to prevent any internal rivalry with Lagonda’s electric SUV. Eventually though we could see Aston Martin’s SUV also offer electric power.
As for the upcoming Rapide E, all Aston Martin will say about the car is that it will offer the levels of performance expected of an Aston Martin. The automaker has previously hinted at an 800-horsepower output and 200-mile range. What we can confirm is that the Rapide E will feature an 800-volt battery, meaning the possibility of ultra-fast charge times.