Monday, April 22, 2019

Aston Martin Shows Off All-Electric Future with Rapide E (w/ Video)


Aston Martin has revealed the final production-ready iteration of its first all-electric production car, with the Rapide E making its world debut at China’s Auto Shanghai.

Unveiled by Aston Martin Executive Vice President & Chief Creative Officer, Marek Reichman, the Rapide E is a pivotal model for the luxury marque. Following the success of previous special-edition models, including Aston Martin Vulcan, the Vanquish Zagato family and DB4 GT Continuation, the Rapide E continues to deliver a superior level of performance, craftmanship and exclusivity, while also propelling Aston Martin into the all-electric realm.

The first car to be built at Aston Martin’s state-of-the-art St Athan production facility, the brand’s Home of Electrification, the Rapide E represents a pioneering first step towards achieving the company’s wider electrification strategy and the successful fruition of Lagonda: the world’s first zero-emission luxury brand. A special edition with a production run strictly limited to 155 units, it has been developed in collaboration with Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE).



Shown for the first time here in Shanghai, Aston Martin’s design and engineering teams have worked in partnership to extract the optimal aerodynamic performance available from the Rapide’s elegant form. Traditional metal vanes give way to a striking honeycomb front grille. With lower cooling requirements demanded of the EV powertrain, Aston Martin’s aerodynamic engineers have been given the freedom to optimize the aperture of the frontal area, minimizing airflow through the car’s body, improving the car’s aerodynamic efficiency and increasing range as a result.

A re-designed underfloor streamlines airflow from the front splitter right the way through to its new larger rear diffuser, a feature that is now wholly dedicated to aero efficiency due to the removal of the exhaust system required before. The model’s forged aluminum aerodynamic wheels, shod with bespoke low rolling-resistance Pirelli P-Zero tires have also been re-designed to give greater efficiency, without compromising brake cooling capability. The sum of these changes gives the Rapide E’s aerodynamic package an 8 percent improvement over the previous internal combustion model.

Inside and out, the Rapide E is equipped with the materials and technology befitting of the marque’s first EV model. Gone are the analogue displays of the past. A 10-inch digital display now sits in their place, delivering all key information to the driver while on the move, including the battery’s state of charge, current motor power levels, regenerative performance and a real-time energy consumption meter. Swathes of carbon fiber have been deployed throughout, assisting in delivering the strict weight targets set by Aston Martin’s engineering team from the outset.


Extending the experience beyond the car, a dedicated app allows key information from the car to be remotely monitored. This powerful dashboard displays remaining range, battery status, and time to charge, as well as allowing navigation destinations to be sent from the app to the car for easy route planning. The car’s parking spot can also be seen via the app, with walking directions provided to help re-locate it in busy locations. Finally, the car’s health and status can also be tracked from the app, providing reminders such as when a key service is due.

Throughout the development process, the combined AML/WAE engineering team first focused their efforts on finding packaging solutions for the battery system and motors within the Rapide’s architecture before working to achieve effective cooling of the batteries and motors.

The Rapide E is powered by an 800-volt electrical architecture battery, encased in carbon fiber and Kevlar casing with a 65kWh installed capacity. This bespoke battery pack lies where the original 6.0-litre V12, gearbox and fuel tank were located, with the 800-volt system allowing for more efficient charging and greatly improved thermal characteristics over existing electrical architectures. This battery system powers two rear mounted electric motors producing a combined target output of just over 610 horsepower and a colossal 950 Nm of torque.



Top speed is 250 km/h, with a sub-4.0 second 0-60 km/h time and a 80-120 km/h time of just 1.5 seconds. These figures are not restricted to a narrow window of battery charge or climatic conditions, instead, thanks to the cutting-edge architecture, it will deliver its performance in a consistent and repeatable way as would be expected from a traditional Aston Martin product. This includes the ability to drive a full lap of the Nürburgring with no performance derating of the battery or the motors.

The Rapide E’s range is over 200 miles (321 kilometers) under the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP).

The Rapide E also enhances the feel, character and delivery of the V12-engined recently acclaimed Rapide AMR, thanks to careful attention paid to the tuning of both the electric powertrain and the chassis across three driving modes. The rear-wheel drive Rapide E’s twin electric motors drive through a Limited-Slip Differential, which combined with a revised spring and damper rates, ensures the pure handling characteristics of the petrol-powered Rapide AMR are retained.

The Rapide E is available to order now, with prices available on application.

No comments:

Post a Comment