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Aston Martin RapidE charges up for production

Rapid charger: First revealed almost two years ago in London, Aston Martin will finally bring its first all-electric vehicle to market as it begins building the RapidE in 2019.

Only 155 examples of Aston Martin’s all-electric RapidE sedan to be built from 2019

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Aston Martin logo27 Jun 2017

By TUNG NGUYEN

ASTON Martin has been forced to cut production plans for its first-ever electric vehicle (EV), the RapidE, to just 155 units commencing from 2019 after a deal with Chinese financier LeEco fell apart, according to a report from Reuters.

Speaking to the news outlet, Aston Martin president and CEO Andy Palmer said the brand will now fund development of the all-electric sedan itself and will market the RapidE as an ultra-exclusive model with an expensive pricetag to match.

UK versions of Aston Martin’s v12-powered Rapide start at around £150,000 ($A251,331) and early reports are indicating the RapidE will carry a circa-£200,000 pricetag ($A335,108) with the British brand taking deposits of 10 per cent for the new model from next month.

The current Australian-spec four-door Aston Martin range opens at $382,500 before on-roads for the 410kW/620Nm 6.0-litre V12-powered Rapid S, meaning, if the all-electric sedan were to arrive locally, it will likely wear a heftier pricetag.

This would place the RapidE considerably further upstream when compared with the most expensive Tesla Model S P100D flagship priced at $210,950, which can accelerate from zero to 100km/h in 2.7 seconds and features a driving range of around 613km.

Although exact powertrain figures and driving range are yet to be disclosed, batteries for Aston’s all-electric four-door will be sourced from a new production facility spearheaded by Williams Advanced Engineering – who helped build the RapidE Concept from 2015 – and, according to Aston Martin, will also assist “with the complex task of engineering integration”.

However, if the RapidE specifications are any indication, the production model will likely sport an all-wheel-drive layout and target around 745kW of power with a driving range of about 322km.

The production version of the RapidE is also set to be based on the bespoke Rapide AMR concept revealed at this year’s Geneva motor show, which Aston Martin claim is the world’s fastest four door and is capable of hitting a top speed of 338km/h.

In a release confirming production of the RapidE, Mr Palmer reassured internal combustion fans that Aston Martin will continue development of traditional engines in tandem with new powertrains.

“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,” he said.

“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.” As previously reported, Aston Martin is pushing ahead with plans to nearly triple its annual sales with a new DBX SUV model, mid-engined sportscar, replacements for the Vantage and Vanquish, as well as two new luxury sedans dubbed Langonda.

The Rapide nameplate will morph into its all-electric offering with petrol-powered versions expected to be discontinued to make way for the aforementioned Lagondas, while Aston’s EV technology is also expected to proliferate across its model line-up.

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