Yesterday, June 27, Aston Martin confirmed the production of the brand’s first completely electric car. The Aston Martin RapidE is set to enter production in 2019 for a limited production run of 155 cars. Based on the upcoming Rapide AMR concept, Aston Martin’s first all electric RapidE spearheads the English brand’s low and zero-emission strategy first launched by Aston Martin’s CEO Dr. Andy Palmer.
Luxury Car Launch: Aston Martin electric car RapidE will enter production in 2019
Outlined after Palmer’s first 150 days as CEO of Aston Martin, the company’s Second Century Plan was a comprehensive strategy for the ongoing growth and development of the 102-year old British sport car maker, laying mid-term actions in the area of new product development that will drive the growth, a strategy which involved the low and zero-emission car strategy
“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, RapidE will showcase Aston Martin’s vision, desire and capability to successfully embrace radical change, delivering a new breed of car that stays true to our ethos and delights our customers.” – Dr. Andy Palmer, Aston Martin’s president and CEO
Enter Williams Advanced Engineering. If they sound familiar, it’s because Williams Advanced Engineering is the the tech division of the Williams Formula 1 team, supply electric car batteries to Formula E, a contract which they eventually lost when McLaren won the bid last year. The outlook was less than positive until Williams Advanced Engineering received US$125 million capital to build native battery manufacturing facilities in the United Kingdom. This puts Williams Advanced Engineering in good stead to continue on the original RapidE concept.
Now Williams Advanced Engineering will support Aston Martin in producing all electric RapidE by focusing on the complex electronics and mechanical integration. Aston Martin’s new electric RapidE is based on the upcoming Rapide AMR concept. Using the structure of the Rapide AMR, that is to say, the four-door sports car looks and dynamics of the Rapide but eschewing the 6.0 V12 engine replaced by an undisclosed EV powertrain.
It goes without saying that the EV powertrain will imbue Aston Martin’s new all electric RapidE with instantaneous delivery characteristics of an electric car we are all familiar with – The Tesla. Following the same vein of other modern Aston Martins, the RapidE will utilise a bonded aluminium chassis; the VH architecture allows for light yet robust chassis construction which complements the performance characteristics required of a high end Aston Martin especially when the British carmaker has to manage not just total weight but weight distribution accounting for a large EV battery, volume of the luxurious interiors and trunk capacity, in a market already filled with competing EV sports sedans who have at least a 5 year head start.
When the concept RapidE was first unveiled in 2015, Aston Martin’s first electric car was expected to be an all-wheel-drive with a range of over 200 miles and 800+ hp. Official details and technical specs for the Aston Martin RapidE are not yet available and if 2015 information still holds true, than the company’s first electric sports car is expected to retail for $200,000 to $250,000. The RapidE will be a Limited build run of 155 cars with production set for 2019