Aston Martin Rapide E fully electric grand tourer debuts

Aston Martin has used the Auto Shanghai 2019 event to unveil its all-new, production-ready Rapide E. This is Aston Martin’s first fully electric series-production car.

Obviously it is based on the Rapide, however, almost everything under the skin is bespoke for the electric version. There are some clues built into the exterior design though, such as the front grille which incorporates a unique honeycomb-style arrangement compared with the regular metal slats.

There’s also a redesigned underbody to help with aerodynamics, streaming air straight through from the front splitter to the new, larger diffuser element at the back. Obviously being an electric vehicle there is no exhaust system which would otherwise tangle the airflow. A set of forged aluminium wheels with unique low rolling resistance Pirelli P-Zero tyres complete the look.

So, what about that powertrain? Well, it starts with an 800-volt electric system which is housed within a carbon fibre and Kevlar module. The lithium-ion battery system offers a capacity of 65kWh, and is installed under the bonnet where the traditional V12 sits in the regular Rapide. Some of the battery system is also placed where the gearbox and fuel tank usually sit.

From there, the energy is sent to two electric motors at the rear axle, providing rear-wheel drive. These combine to offer an output of just over 449kW (610PS) and 950Nm. What does this mean? Acceleration across the 0-60mph sprint (97km/h) takes under 4.0 seconds, with a top speed of 250km/h. All of that power is put to good use via a limited-slip differential.

As for the range, a full battery offers over 200 miles (322km) on the WLTP cycle. It’s then able to recharge at up to 100kW or more, at a rate of 310 miles (500km) of range per hour of charge. Using a 50kW charger this drops to 185 miles (298km) of range per hour of charge. Buyers will also be able to use a high-powered AC on-board setup capable of recharging in around three hours.

Aston Martin is planning to offer just 155 units of the Rapide E to the market, with all examples to be produced at the company’s new St Athan facility in Wales – this is where the upcoming DBX SUV will be manufactured as well. Orders are being taken now, with prices available on application.

Brett is the editor and founder of PerformanceDrive. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. After initially working as a mechanic, Brett earned a degree in journalism and entered media as an editorial assistant at Top Gear Australia magazine. He then worked at CarAdvice.com.au. His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.