Rather than develop a stand-alone model for its first all-electric as Porsche did with the Taycan, Aston Martin says the Rapide E — as its name suggests — is an electric version of the Rapide sport sedan, which normally gets its motivation from a big V12.
This time, Aston has replaced the Rapide’s gas engine, transmission and fuel tank with 5,600 lithium ion battery cells, which the British automaker says can store 65 kWh worth of electricity. That is enough to lend this big sedan a 0-100 km/h acceleration time of less than 4.0 seconds, a top speed of 250 km/h and a driving range in excess of 320 km.
And through the use of an 800-volt charging system, Aston claims the Rapide E can accumulate a full charge in well under an hour when connected to a charger suited to deliver at least 100 kw of juice.
The Rapide E may trade its traditional powertrain for electricity, but Aston said one of its development goals was to create a car that drove as much as possible like a V12-powered Rapide (pictured below). That means the software that controls the two rear-mounted electric motors was programmed to replicate the V12’s power delivery, while a limited slip differential and revised suspension tuning aim to ensure sharp handling and grippy roadholding.
While Aston was evidently keen to create a truly high-performance EV, it doesn’t have world-beating on its mind in terms of sales: it will make just 155 examples of the Rapide E in an initial production run, with the first cars being scheduled for delivery to their owners (at an as-yet undetermined price) in the fourth quarter of 2019.