A couple months back, we reported that Aston Martin is working on electric version of the Rapide to deal with stricter emission standards and increased competition from the Tesla Model S. Today, we get our first glimpse at what that might look like.
The RapidE concept may look like your standard Rapide on the outside - aside from the somewhat goofy graphics. But underneath is where a new electric powertrain developed with Williams Advanced Engineering. Now technical details on the RapidE concept are non-existent. But Autocar was able to gleam some powertrain information on a possible production model from CEO Andy Palmer. The first model will produce around 550 horsepower - a similar number to the current Rapide - and have an overall range of 200 Miles. The second model will be super-performance version with an electric motor on each wheel. Total output is expected to be around 800 to 1000 horsepower.
Along with the debut of the RapidE concept, Aston Martin announced a new deal with Chinese investment firm ChinaEquity to explore the possibility of putting the RapidE concept into production. If its given the green light, we could be seeing a production model in about two years time.
“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," said Palmer in a statement.
Source: Aston Martin, Autocar
Press Release is on Page 2
Aston Martin Unveils Electric Concept Rapide During State Visit
- World debut of Aston Martin full electric RapidE concept
- Chinese investors engaged in study towards first all-electric Aston Martin
- Aston Martin and ChinaEquity to explore concept’s production potential
21 October 2015, Gaydon: Aston Martin is today showcasing a fully electric concept of its Rapide S four-door sports saloon outside Lancaster House in London – the venue for a meeting between Their Royal Highnesses Prince William, Duke of Cambridge; Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and President of The People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping.
The new RapidE concept has been developed in collaboration with Williams Advanced Engineering at its facility in Grove, Oxfordshire. It is on display today in support of a creative summit organised by the British government’s successful GREAT campaign to showcase the best of what the UK has to offer and encourage people to visit, do business, invest and study in this country.
Aston Martin CEO, Dr Andy Palmer, said: “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.”
During the Lancaster House event, Aston Martin and Chinese investment group, ChinaEquity, announced an agreement to explore the development of a production version of the RapidE concept. If successful, the new luxury sports car would be constructed at Aston Martin’s global HQ in Gaydon, Warwickshire, and could be brought to market in around two years.
On the signing of this agreement, Chairman Chaoyong Wang of ChinaEquity said, "We are delighted that Aston Martin not only provides a high performance driving experience to customers, but also show’s their social responsibility by showcasing a new generation of electric car with zero emissions. We are excited to participate in the development of the RapidE and to make a contribution to Sino-British clean energy and green environmental strategy. We feel confident that there are significant opportunities for electric cars in China and the world."
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Rt Hon Oliver Letwin MP who has supported the development of the project said: “Aston Martin is an iconic British brand, and I welcome their agreement today with ChinaEquity. It is a great example of British and Chinese businesses working together to develop links and bring benefits to the UK economy. It also demonstrates how a collaboration between the UK and China can develop the innovative low emission solutions needed to tackle the pressing global issue of air quality.”