Gaydon, Warwickshire - Aston Martin’s pure electric RapidE sedan concept has been green-lighted for production. Sort of.
Just 155 examples of the iconic sports-car maker’s first electric car will be built, starting from 2019, in collaboration with Williams Advanced Engineering, the workshop division of Frank Williams’ F1 team, which helped with the development of the RapidE concept, first revealed in October 2015 at Lancaster House in London.
At that time Aston Martin boss Andy Palmer mentioned two possible production specifications - a 400kW rear-wheel drive version with a 320km range, and an alternative, all-wheel drive format with between 585kW and 735kW, and an unspecified but even longer range.
Nobody is saying which, if either, of the two planned powertrains will find its way into the 155 customer cars but it is obvious that, in order to have any standing at all with the people who are willing to spend the equivalent of R3.3 million on a luxury sports sedan, it will have to equal or better the performance and dynamics of the current 405kW V12 petrol Rapide.
All Palmer would say about the expected performance of the production RapidE was that the instantaneous power delivery common to all electric vehicles would provide “a unique driving experience”.
Palmer did say the styling of the customer cars would be based on that of the Rapide AMR concept, which we saw at the Geneva motor show in March 2017 - check out the video below for a reminder.