Aston Martin RapidE to spearhead zero-emissions push
Racing-inspired electric saloon aims to broaden carmaker's appeal outside the luxury GT market
Aston Martin has announced its first all-electric production car, the RapidE, which is set to spearhead the firm's push towards low and zero-emissions vehicles.
It will be a four-door saloon based on the company's hardcore Rapide AMR concept that debuted at this year's Geneva motor show. The RapidE concept premiered in 2015.
According to Car magazine, the base car's front-mounted 6.0-litre 552bhp naturally aspirated V12 engine will be swapped for battery power, while the battery cells will be placed in the centre rather than in front of the driver.
Electric power will be sent to the rear axle, although "work is already rumoured to be underway on a more powerful variant with four individual wheel motors", says the magazine.
Much of the RapidE's design will be derived from the regular Rapide saloon, says AutoExpress, with "some design elements in blue to denote that it's an EV version".
However, design sketches show the electric version will have a sportier edge, with carbon fibre winglets and a large rear diffuser suggesting it will perform well on a racing circuit.
Aston Martin says the RapidE will usher in a new era of low and zero-emissions production vehicles as part of its "Second Century" plan, which aims to broaden the firm's appeal outside the luxury GT market.
Andy Palmer, chief executive, says it "will showcase Aston Martin’s vision, desire and capability to successfully embrace radical change.
"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."
Pricing has yet to be confirmed, but it's high tech powertrain means it will probably enter above the Rapide's £149,500 tag.
Only 155 examples are set to reach production, making it even more exclusive than the company's upcoming Valkyrie hypercar's total run of 175 units.