While Aston Martin has plans to produce electric cars under its Lagonda brand, it hasn’t stopped them from rolling out the brand’s first all-electric production car, the 2020 Aston Martin Rapide E, at the Shanghai motor show.
Developed in collaboration with Williams Advanced Engineering, the Rapide E features a pack of 5600 lithium-ion cells, installed in place of the Rapide’s V12 engine, gearbox, and fuel tank. The carbon-fibre-kevlar encased battery pack is said to have a total energy capacity of 65kWh.
Power is dealt through a pair of rear mounted electric motors, which Aston says would be able to deliver a combined “target output” of 449kW and 950Nm of torque – 6kW and 320Nm more than the Rapide AMR.
According to Aston, the Rapide E is able to deliver a sub-4sec 0-60mph (0-97km/h) time and a 50-70mph (80-110km/h) time of just 1.5sec, which is quicker than the Rapide AMR’s 0-100km/h time of 4.4sec. That being said, the Rapide E tops out at 250km/h, far from the AMR’s 330km/h Vmax claim.
When it comes to range, Aston says the Rapide E will have a range of over 320km on the WLTP cycle, and thanks to its 800V electrical architecture, it would be able to fill up its charge in around an hour from a suitable 800V/100kW outlet.
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Compared to Porsche’s upcoming Taycan electric sedan, the Rapide E won’t be able to match its claimed 500km range or sub-3.5sec 0-100km/h time, though the Taycan benefits from being developed from the ground-up on a brand-new platform for electric vehicles.
With the removal of the engine, Aston’s engineers have redesigned the frontal area, redirecting the airflow over the car’s body instead of through it, now that there is no engine to feed or cool.
Likewise, with no exhaust system in the way, engineers redesigned the Rapide E’s underfloor to incorporate a larger rear diffuser. Coupled with the use of forged aluminium aerodynamic wheels, these tweaks give the Rapide E an 8 per cent improvement in aerodynamics over the standard Rapide.
Despite being an electric car, Aston claims that the Rapide E would be able to “enhance the feel, character, and delivery” of the Rapide AMR thanks to the use of a LSD, and revised spring and damper rates.
Aston even assures us that the Rapide E would be able to drive a full lap of the Nürburgring with no decline in performance from the battery or its motors.
Aston Martin plans on building 155 examples of the Rapide E from the company’s St Athan factory where all-electric Lagonda models will originate from.
The Rapide E is available for order in Australia with deliveries set to take place at the end of the year.