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    • By William Maley
      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



      http://youtu.be/uPHWfahHRi8

      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.”
    • By William Maley
      Aston Martin is readying their own electric vehicle. Speaking with Automotive News at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, Aston CEO Andy Palmer revealed that the British sports car maker will be launching an all-electric version of its four-door Rapide in the next two years.
       
      The emphasis on electric cars for Aston Martin is being driven by two key factors; emissions and competition from the Tesla Model S.
       
      “If you want to keep making V-12 engines, then you’ve got to do something at the opposite end of the spectrum,” said Palmer.
       
      This is important in markets in China where emission standards are becoming stricter for V8 and V12 engines.
       
      Also, Aston Martin is going on the offensive. Palmer points to the Tesla Model S and says there is an opportunity for a sexy and powerful electric car to sit above the P90 D, Tesla's most powerful model.
       
      “What Tesla clearly shows you is we haven’t hit the ceiling in terms of price. But I think it’s hard, though not impossible, for them as a relatively new brand to keep pushing up and to go into that super premier area,” said Palmer.
       
      Palmer did give some details of what he hopes for the electric Rapide: 800 horsepower, all-wheel drive, a range of 200 Miles, and a pricetag around $200,000 to $250,000.
       
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
    • By William Maley
      Aston Martin has an interesting plan when it comes time to replace the somewhat old Rapide. Car and Driver spoke with Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer who said they have two new models that will take the place of the Rapide; a new crossover and a sport sedan wearing the Lagonda nameplate.
      “However, we have a [further] business plan, and within that there’s three legs to the strategy. First is replacing the entire sports-car range; second is the DBX, and that appeals to a different set of audiences; and the third is the sports sedan, which will carry that beautiful badge,” (Lagonda label pin on his coat) said Palmer.
      First off is a production version of the DBX concept shown at the Geneva Motor Show. Whereas the concept looked like a V8/V12 Vantage with an increase in ride height and electric powertrain, the production model will go with a five-door style and come powered with either a gas and plug-in hybrid powertrain.
      As for the new sport sedan wearing the Lagonda name, this isn't the current sedan known as the Lagonda Taraf that will be sold in Middle East and a few other markets. Instead it will be an all new model.
      Source: Car and Driver
    • By William Maley
      Over the course of his long and fictitious career in espionage, secret agent James Bond has driven a wide variety of vehicles. But he is synonymous with Aston Martin. In many of the films, Bond can be seen driving in a DB5, V8 Vantage, DB7, and most recently, the DBS. But the next James Bond film will feature a new Aston Martin.
      Called the DB10, the vehicle will star along side Daniel Craig in the upcoming Spectre. Aston Martin didn't release any technical details about the vehicle, but did go into some detail about the design which breaks away somewhat from the current design language that has been a part of the company for awhile. Working with EON Productions – the studio responsible for the Bond films – Aston Martin's design team led by Marek Reichman created a new shape that is similar in size to the current V8 Vantage.
      "In the same year that we celebrate our 50-year relationship with 007, it seems doubly fitting that today we unveiled this wonderful new sports car created especially for James Bond. To be partnering once again with EON Productions is great news for this company and for everyone around the world that loves to see Bond at the wheel of an Aston Martin. I'm incredibly proud of everyone in the team at Gaydon who have brought this special project from concept to reality," said Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer.
      Aston Martin will be building ten of these special models. You'll be able to see the DB10 in action when Spectre releases next November.
      Source: Aston Martin
      Press Release is on Page 2
      Built for Bond: Aston Martin debuts unique car for Spectre
      - Aston Martin DB10 created specifically for new Bond film
      - Partnership with EON Productions spans 50 years of cinema history- Demonstrates the breadth of Aston Martin's bespoke capabilities
      4 December 2014, Gaydon: Aston Martin together with EON Productions, the producers of the James Bond film franchise, unveiled Bond's stunning new car, the Aston Martin DB10, on the 007 stage at Pinewood Studios.
      The luxury British sports car brand is delighted to confirm that James Bond will once again drive an Aston Martin in Spectre. On this occasion, it will be a model developed specifically for the film and built in-house by the brand's design and engineering teams.
      Led by Aston Martin Chief Creative Officer, Marek Reichman, the design team worked closely with the film's director, Sam Mendes, to create the ultimate car for the world's most famous spy.
      Celebrating the great British brand's half century with Bond, which started with the iconic DB5, the DB10 gives a glimpse to the future design direction for the next generation of Aston Martins.
      Dr Andy Palmer, CEO of Aston Martin, said: "In the same year that we celebrate our 50-year relationship with 007, it seems doubly fitting that today we unveiled this wonderful new sports car created especially for James Bond.
      "To be partnering once again with EON Productions is great news for this company and for everyone around the world that loves to see Bond at the wheel of an Aston Martin.
      "I'm incredibly proud of everyone in the team at Gaydon who have brought this special project from concept to reality."
      Production will be strictly limited to 10 of the bespoke sports cars, developed and built by the designers, engineers and highly skilled craftspeople at Aston Martin's Gaydon headquarters.
      Spectre is due for general release on 6 November 2015.
    • By William Maley
      Aston Martin could lose a big market in the U.S. if federal regulators don’t exempt the brand from an upcoming safety rule.
      The rule in question deals with new side-impact crash regulations that require vehicles to better withstand the impact from running into a pole or tree. This rule has been phased in over the past few years, but low-volume manufacturers like Aston Martin have been given an exemption runs out this month. Convertibles built by low-volume manufacturers don't lose their exemption till next September.
      According to Reuters, Aston Martin reached out to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in March asking for exemptions up until 2017 for the DB9 and Vantage. These happen to be the oldest models in Aston Martin's lineup. Aston Martin explained that with money tight during the recent recession, they weren't able to redesign the DB9 and Vantage to meet the upcoming standards. The lack of the exemption would cause "substantial economic hardship" to Aston Martin, including the possible closure of dealers in the U.S.
      A spokesperson for NHTSA told Reuters that a decision hasn't been made at this time.
      "The agency has been in contact with Aston Martin regarding their exemption request and is awaiting additional information from their dealers," the spokesperson said.
      Source: Reuters
      William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
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