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Aston Martin's Rapide Transit

by Lou Ann HammondAugust 30, 2019
Aston Martin debuted its production-ready Rapide E at the Shanghai Auto Show, put on a demonstration ahead of the Formula E Monaco ePrix, and showed it at Fully Charged Live in the UK. This exotic electric is on its way.

Aston Martin Lagonda's production-ready Rapide E, the marque’s first all-electric production car, is on its way to market. The first car built at Aston Martin’s state-of-the-art St Athan production facility – the brand’s Home of Electrification – Rapide E represents a pioneering first step towards achieving the company’s more comprehensive electrification strategy and the successful fruition of Lagonda, the world’s first zero-emission luxury brand.

Inside and out, Rapide E is equipped with the materials and technology befitting of the marque’s first EV model. Gone are the analog displays of the past. A 10-inch digital display now sits in their place, delivering all essential information to the driver including the battery’s state of charge, current motor power levels, regenerative performance, and a real-time energy consumption meter. Swathes of carbon fiber have been deployed throughout, assisting in delivering the strict weight targets set by Aston Martin’s engineering team.

A redesigned underfloor streamlines airflow from the front splitter all the way through to Rapide E’s new more massive rear diffuser, a feature now wholly dedicated to aero efficiency due to the removal of the exhaust system required in the past. The model’s forged aluminum aerodynamic wheels, which are shod with low rolling-resistance Pirelli P-Zero tires, have also been redesigned to provide further efficiency without compromising brake cooling capability. The sum of these changes gives Rapide E’s aerodynamic package an 8 percent improvement over the previous internal combustion model.

An 800-volt electrical architecture battery powers Rapide E – encased in a carbon fiber and Kevlar casing – with a 65 kWh capacity using over 5600 lithium-ion cylindrical cells. This bespoke battery pack lies where the gas model’s 6.0-liter V-12, gearbox, and fuel tank were located. This battery system powers two rear-mounted electric motors producing a combined target output of just over 600 horsepower and a colossal 700 lb-ft torque. Top speed for Rapide E is 155 mph with a 0-60 mph time of under 4 seconds.

A special edition with a production run strictly limited to 155 units, Rapide E has been developed in collaboration with Williams Advanced Engineering.

Lou Ann Hammond is CEO and editor-in-chief at