The first all-electric Aston Martin is upon us, unveiled today at the Shanghai motor show.
Just 155 examples of the Rapide E will be built, and they’re almost all spoken for. Rather than a full, series production model, it’s a technical test bed for Aston Martin, as the brand looks to push electrification across the range through the 2020s.
There are two electric motors on the rear axle, pumping out 950Nm of torque essentially from standstill. That’s the most torque of any Aston Martin, ever. Top speed is 250km/h and the 100km/h sprint takes less than four seconds.
The battery is a 65kWh lithium-ion unit, integrated into the spine of the car. Range is pegged at over 320km on the WLTP test cycle, and charging will take three hours with the right kind of fast charger.
John Caress, vehicle line director for the RapideE at Aston Martin, explained to CarAdvice how the battery and electric technology were made to work with the Rapide’s underpinnings.
“It’s a huge learning process, and part of what Aston Martin is doing… part of its second century plan is about growing into other sectors,” he said, standing in front of the car in Shanghai.
“Learning about that electrification future is really important. The RapideE is that first pioneering step for us in that journey.”
Apparently, the motor in the RapideE is “very similar to the Valkyrie motor, in our new hypercar”.
Externally, the car looks almost identical to the regular Rapide, albeit with a few special blue details. The wheels are unique, and there’s a blue stripe running from the Aston Martin badge on the bonnet across the roof.
Some of the hungry air intakes have been closed over, too, for a shape that's eight per cent more efficient than before.
Look closely and you’ll also note the blue-tinged carbon-fibre on the mirrors, diffuser and splitter. Sounds chintzy, but looks pretty slick in person. Plus, it wouldn’t be an e-car without at least some blue highlights, right?
The cabin is similar to that of the regular car, but the classic instruments (and backhanded tach) have been replaced with a unique, fully-digital setup. In keeping with the exterior, the black leather seats and dashboard are offset with plenty of electric blue stitching.
Pop the boot (which looks tiny in person, although no capacity is quoted) and there are two tailored duffle bags in, you guessed it, black leather and blue trim. Details, hey?
China is a crucial market for Aston Martin, and it’s more welcoming than most on the electric vehicle front. It’s no surprise, then, the company chose to launch its first foray into the world of electric vehicles in Shanghai.
“China is the biggest EV market. China is very, very important for Aston Martin,” Caress said.
“Luxury, electrification, and the biggest car market, and the biggest luxury growth market as well. Really important,” he continued.
Expect to see electrification spreading through the Aston Martin range from the mid-2020s.