Just 155 models will be built based on the latest Rapide AMR supercar
Manufacturing is expected to take place at the new factory in St Athans, Wales
Top speed limited to 155mph; 0-62mph will be achieved in under 3 seconds
Each will be made in collaboration with Williams Advanced Engineering
Published: 04:13 EDT, 27 June 2017 | Updated: 05:28 EDT, 27 June 2017
It's famous for its quintessentially British sports cars favoured by a certain Mr Bond, but now Aston Martin has confirmed a high-tech all-electric four-seater to take on US tech star Tesla.
Bosses revealed that they have approved the move to build a new £230,000 zero-emissions plug-in supercar called RapidE, which it is developing in partnership with Williams Advanced Engineering.
The British car maker has promised a range of more than 200 miles on one charge, with an expected 0 to 60mph time of about 3 seconds.
Aston's new electric supercar: These are the concept drawings of what the new Aston Martin RapidE will look like
A limited run of just 155 examples based on the Rapide AMR are to be built ready for launch in two years’ time.
That will make it not quite as exclusive as one of the one-off Aston Martins adapted by Q for fictional British spy James Bond, but will represent a highly desirable limited run.
Expect more cars to follow if the RapidE proves a hit and lures buyers away from Tesla's Model S, which costs £131,800 in its top P100D spec.
The RapidE most likely to be manufactured at Aston's new factory in St Athan, in South Wales, which opened in April this year.
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Top speed will be limited to 155mph – on par with the Rapide AMR – but acceleration will see a sprint to 62mph slashed to around 3 seconds, thanks to an electric power-train set to develop around 800 horse-power – the equivalent to eight Ford Fiestas.
The new RapidE will spearhead a new range of all-electric and petrol-electric hybrid low emissions cars, including a DBX SUV, also built at St Athan in Wales.
The electric and hybrid versions are set to be launched in 2020, following a petrol version in 2019.
An Aston Martin spokesman said: ‘Less than two years after being unveiled as a concept, Aston Martin is today confirming that the all-electric RapidE will enter production in 2019. ‘
‘RapidE is Aston Martin’s first all-electric model. As such it spearheads development of the brand’s low- and zero-emission vehicle strategy.’
The car will be based on the all-new Rapid AMR model, but will have an all-electric powertrain developed by Williams Advanced Engineering
The RapidE will have a limited top speed of 155mph and be able to reach 62mph from a standstill in 3 seconds
Aston Martin's RapidE will go up against Tesla's low-slung four-door Model S
This strategy is a critical element of Aston Martin president and chief executive officer Dr Andy Palmer’s ‘Second Century Plan’ to drive the UK supercar maker back to profitability and challenge the dominance of American brand Tesla in the premium electric car market.
Aston's RapidE will feature full-on sportscar looks and four doors, pitting it against Tesla's Model S. Performance-wise it will be compared to the Model S P100D, for which Tesla quotes a 0 to 60mph time of 2.5 seconds, top speed of 155mph, and range of 381 miles.
As well as the Model S, the RapidE will also go up against Jaguar and the all-new I-Pace electric SUV that's due to go on sale in 2018.
However, with a price close to £250,000, Aston's zero-emissions model is well in excess of the Jaguar's reported £60,000 price tag and the £135,600 asking price of the most expensive Tesla - the Model X P100D.
Aston Martin will go into competition with Tesla and Jaguar in the luxury electric-car market in 2019. The new RapidE will be significantly more expensive than the Tesla Model X (left) and Jagaur I-Pace (right), though
The styling will be very much based on the forthcoming Aston Martin Rapide AMR (Aston Martin Racing) edition
The Rapide AMR is set to be come the fastest four-door car with a top speed of 210mph. It will be powered by the brand’s glorious-sounding 6.0-litre naturally aspirated V12 engine, now putting out a whopping 592bhp
Aston Martin boss Dr Palmer said that the electric RapidE project continues the collaboration with Williams Advanced Engineering who worked on the original RapidE Concept showcased in 2015.
He said the F1 and technology group based in Grove, Oxfordshire ‘will assist Aston Martin with the complex task of engineering integration’.
The new four-door electric sports car is based on the Rapide AMR concept. It promises sports car looks and the dynamics of the Rapide S but with an all-electric powertrain replacing the growling six-litre V12 engine.
Aston Martin said: ‘Instantaneous delivery characteristics of electric motors means the RapidE will offer a unique driving experience of a kind not experienced before in an Aston Martin. ‘
Aston Martin and the engineering division of the Williams F1 team have been working together to develop an electric version of the Rapid for some years. This is the concept it showcased in 2015
Williams Advanced Engineering has been co-developing the electric powertrain. It has been providing the batteries for he Formula E electric race car series for the last three years
Aston Martin boss Dr Andy Palmer said of the RapidE: ‘We reach another milestone with the confirmation that we are now putting the first all-electric Aston Martin into production.
‘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.’
But the move to electric does not spell the end of thundering high-capacity V8 and V12 motors.
He stressed: 'The internal combustion engine has been at the heart of Aston Martin for more than a century, and will continue to be for years to come.
‘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.’
RapidE is set to go on sale in 2019 with a price tag between £200,000 and £250,000
Just 155 examples will be made. Production is expected to take place at the St Athans factory in Wales, which opened in April this year
Paul McNamara, technical director at Williams Advanced Engineering said: ‘We have always endeavored to work collaboratively with its customers to meet their sustainability challenges and find energy efficient solutions.
‘For today’s car manufacturers, this is particularly important as legislation demands more energy efficient vehicles. This project with Aston Martin will draw on the extensive battery and EV experience we have accumulated and we are extremely pleased to be supporting this prestigious British company with their future electrification strategy.’
In May Aston Martin announced it had made a profit of £5.9m before tax in the first three months of this year – compared to a £30million loss suffered in the first quarter of 2016.
It says its turnaround plan is on-track to reverse six years of annual losses after a 75 per cent rise in car sales – boosted by the launch of the DB11 - had doubled revenues to £188million.
It predicted an operating profit of £170million in 2017 and a 30 per cent increase in sales to nearly 4.800 cars.
In February this year, the iconic British car marque announced it was ‘on track’ to be back in profit by the end of next year as it announced record fourth quarter results and full-year earnings that for the first time exceeded £100m.
The luxury performance car firm, which employs 1,470 people, also said it was ‘unaffected by Brexit'.
Source : http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/cars/article-4641014/Aston-Martin-reveals-electric-RapidE-supercar.html