Electric and 4WD 1000bhp Aston Martin Rapide"/> Electric and 4WD 1000bhp Aston Martin Rapide - Carzreviewz

Electric and 4WD 1000bhp Aston Martin Rapide

Electric and 4WD 1000bhp Aston Martin Rapide

 

Aston Martin RapidE Concept front view

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An all electric version of the Aston Martin Rapide has been revealed, with insiders hinting that in its most extreme form it could be developed with four-wheel drive and up to 1000bhp. The Aston Martin RapidE, which is set to go on sale in around two years’ time, has been developed by Williams Advanced Engineering in Grove with assistance from ChinaEquity, a Shanghai-based investment partner. The car is being targeted first at the Chinese market as a way of meeting pressing fleet average CO2 regulations, although Aston Martin eventually intends to offer the car for sale around the world.

 

The Aston Martin RapidE was unveiled at an event staged as part of a UK China creative summit to coincide with the UK visit of Chinese president Xi Jinping. Unveiling the car, Aston CEO Andy Palmer revealed that the car would potentially be available in two versions, the first of which will be a reardrive model with two electric motors and a similar power output to the 550bhp petrol engined Astoin Martin Rapide. It should have what Palmer describes as a “reasonably driven” range of about 200 miles.

 

However, the headline grabber will be a shorter-range, super-performance version with an electric motor driving each of its four wheels and a total of 800 to 1000bhp. “We’re going to need the traction of all four wheels to deal with the torque,” said Palmer, who added that this second project will be developed after the first, more modest version of the electric Aston Martin Rapide is launched.

 

Palmer revealed that in Track mode the car will be capable of lapping the Nürburgring circuit “very quickly indeed”, although he declined to specify a target time and cautioned that the car’s range will obviously be significantly reduced when driven hard. The four-motor set-up should allow the Aston Martin RapidE the latest in traction keeping torque vectoring and regenerative braking systems, all of which will help its Nürburgring performance. The RapidE’s styling mirrors that of the existing V12- powered Rapide S, apart from some special exterior graphics and distinctive blue ‘RapidE’ badging. However, under the bonnet, the V12 is replaced by Williams-developed power electronics, while a battery pack is mounted along the car’s central backbone.

 

Prices for the new battery saloon are expected to start at around £200,000, up from around £150,000 for the standard Rapide, although the top-spec version will be more expensive. If the car is well accepted by dealers and customers, Aston’s plan is to build about 400 cars a year using the existing Aston Martin Rapide facilities at Gaydon. “We are aiming to sell around 100 RapidEs a year in China and are pretty sure there will be a demand for cars in those numbers,” said Palmer. “We see luxury electric vehicles as an intrinsic part of our future product portfolio.” Palmer believes Tesla’s experience of selling around 35,000 battery-powered cars worldwide at roughly £100,000 each makes his plan of selling 400 more upmarket models appear realistic.

 

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