About two years ago, Aston Martin unveiled the RapidE concept which took a standard Rapide and swapped the V12 for an electric powertrain. At the time, the company was planning to put this model into production. Today, the company made it official.
Aston Martin announced that the production version of the RapidE would begin rolling off the assembly line in 2019. The model would be based on the Rapide AMR - more extreme version with changes to the chassis and bodywork. Information on the powertrain and range will be announced at a later date. Development work will be carried out by Williams Advanced Engineering - the folks who helped out with the Rapid E Concept. Aston says they will only 155 RapidE models.
But according to Reuters, plans for the RapidE looked very different. Last February, Aston Martin announced a partnership with Chinese conglomerate LeEco (best known for being a key investor into EV startup Faraday Future). The two pledged to launch an all-electric Rapide by 2018 by jointly developing and manufacturing. But LeEco pulled out of the project sometime this year due to major financial issues. This caused Aston Martin to scramble and make some major changes. Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer said the company reduced the number of vehicles it was originally planning (by two-thirds) and will be relying heavily on Williams in the development.
"We've decided to make this car rare, which will obviously tend to push the price higher. Aston Martin now plans to proceed independently, funding further development of RapidE by ourselves," said Palmer.
Source: Reuters, Aston Martin
Press Release is on Page 2
ASTON MARTIN CONFIRMS PRODUCTION OF FIRST ALL-ELECTRIC MODEL
- Aston Martin confirms production of RapidE – the brand’s first all-electric model
- Williams Advanced Engineering confirmed as lead engineering partner
- RapidE will be based on the Rapide AMR
- Limited build run of 155 cars with production set for 2019
27 June 2017, Gaydon: Less than two years after being unveiled as a concept, Aston Martin is today confirming that the all-electric RapidE will enter production in 2019.
Set for a limited production run of 155 cars, RapidE is Aston Martin’s first all-electric model. As such it spearheads development of the brand’s low- and zero-emission vehicle strategy laid out by Aston Martin’s President and CEO, Dr Andy Palmer, in the company’s Second Century Plan.
RapidE sees a continuation of the collaboration with Williams Advanced Engineering who worked on the original RapidE Concept. Based in Grove, Oxfordshire, Williams Advanced Engineering will assist Aston Martin with the complex task of engineering integration.
Based upon the forthcoming Rapide AMR concept, RapidE will deliver four-door sports car looks and dynamics of the Rapide S powered by an all-electric powertrain replacing the six-litre V12 engine. More information will be revealed about the RapidE’s all-electric powertrain in due course. Thhe instantaneous delivery characteristics of electric motors means the RapidE will offer a unique driving experience of a kind not experienced before in an Aston Martin.
Aston Martin President and CEO, Dr Andy Palmer, said of the RapidE: “Having unveiled the RapidE Concept back in October 2015 we reach another milestone with the confirmation that we are now putting the first all-electric Aston Martin into production. RapidE represents a sustainable future in which Aston Martin’s values of seductive style and supreme performance don’t merely co-exist alongside a new zero-emission powertrain, but are enhanced by it. The internal combustion engine has been at the heart of Aston Martin for more than a century, and will continue to be for years to come. RapidE will showcase Aston Martin’s vision, desire and capability to successfully embrace radical change, delivering a new breed of car that stays true to our ethos and delights our customers.”
Paul McNamara, Technical Director at Williams Advanced Engineering said: “Williams Advanced Engineering has always endeavoured to work collaboratively with its customers to meet their sustainability challenges and find energy efficient solutions. For today’s car manufacturers, this is particularly important as legislation demands more energy efficient vehicles. This project with Aston Martin will draw on the extensive battery and EV experience we have accumulated and we are extremely pleased to be supporting this prestigious British company with their future electrification strategy.”