With development of Aston Martin’s first all-electric production car – the Rapide E – progressing apace, the luxury British marque has confirmed a raft of technical details for the strictly limited 155-unit special edition.
Working closely with Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) as its development partner, Aston Martin has utilised the hugely successful leader in Electric Vehicle (EV) technology to kickstart a new era for Aston Martin’s powertrain technology and overcome the technical challenges associated with packaging the battery system and motors within the space available.
In addition to WAE, the Rapide E programme enjoys the support of other technical partners including Hyperbat Limited – a new joint venture company between Williams Advanced Engineering and Unipart Manufacturing Group – as the battery manufacturer, Integral Powertrain Technologies for the electric motors, Xtrac for the transmission and the H1PERBAT project consortium with grant funding from the Advanced Propulsion Centre.
Throughout the development process, the engineering team have focused on achieving effective cooling of the batteries and motor to ensure consistent performance, while strict weight targets have been stringently observed using lightweight alloys and carbon composite materials.
Rapide E will be powered by an 800V battery electrical architecture with 65kWh installed capacity using over 5600 lithium ion 18650 format cylindrical cells. These are mounted in a bespoke battery pack where the original 6.0-litre V-12, its gearbox and fuel tank were located. This battery system powers two rear-mounted electric motors producing a combined target output of just over 610PS and a colossal 950Nm of torque.
Rapide E’s range target is over 200 miles under the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), while the model is capable of charging at a rate of 1851,2 miles of range per hour using a typical 400V 50kW charger. However, the car’s 800V high-voltage battery system enables faster charging of 3101,2 miles of range per hour, using an 800V outlet delivering 100kW or higher.
Being an Aston Martin, the Rapide E is being developed with a high-performance objective. Projected top speed for the Rapide E is 155mph, with a sub-4.0sec 0-60mph time and a 50-70mph time of just 1.5sec. These figures are not restricted to a narrow window only when the batteries are fully-charged. Instead the target is for maximum performance on-demand throughout majority of the battery state of charge window, as would be expected from a conventional internal combustion-engined car. This includes the ability to drive a full lap of the Nürburgring with absolutely no derating of the battery and the ability to cope with the daily demands of repeated hard acceleration and braking.
The car’s exterior and underbody has also been aerodynamically optimised and complemented with newly-designed aerodynamic wheels. Shod with Pirelli P-Zero low rolling-resistance tyres featuring noise-cancelling foam, Rapide E aims to achieve higher levels of aerodynamic, frictional losses and cooling performance over the standard Rapide S.
Rapide E will be built at the upcoming St. Athan production facility, announced as the future ‘Home of Electrification’ for both the Aston Martin and Lagonda brands. Aston Martin is accepting expressions of interest via its global dealership network, with pricing available on application.
Customer deliveries are set for Q4 2019.