Aston Martin’s first electric car is on the horizon. On Tuesday, the British luxury marque confirmed the Rapide E name, based on the Rapide luxury sedan, and shared production specifications ahead of its launch next year.
The company has worked closely alongside Williams Advanced Engineering for the project to perfect the electric powertrain’s packaging in the Rapide E. Both companies worked to meet target weight figures and achieve effective cooling solutions for the powertrain through the use of lightweight alloys and carbon-composite materials.
Thus, the Rapide E will feature a 65-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack where the 6.0-liter V-12 engine, transmission, and fuel tank once resided. The battery pack powers two rear-mounted electric motors to make 601 horsepower and 700 pound-feet of torque. Performance remained at the engineering forefront and the Rapide E will reach 60 mph in under four seconds before climbing to a top speed of 155 mph.
Aston Martin added the performance figures aren’t restricted to a narrow window, either. Unlike some electric cars, the Rapide E will perform identically whether the battery is fully charged or semi-depleted. As proof, the company said the Rapide E can complete a full lap of the Nürburgring circuit without derating the battery.
Power delivery and characteristics are meant to enhance the feel found in the V-12 powered Rapide S. Engineers spent time tweaking the chassis and software integration to keep the gasoline-powered Rapide’s driving feel. Power is sent through a limited-slip differential, while a revised spring and damper rate keeps the electric sedan poised. The Rapide E finds grip with Pirelli P-Zero low rolling-resistance tires with noise-canceling foam.
When it comes time to plug the electric car in, the Rapide E will add 185 miles of range per hour with a 400-volt charger. However, Aston Martin could beat Porsche to the punch with an 800-volt charging system. The brand said its system will add 310 miles of range per hour, using an 800V outlet delivering 100 kW or higher. Aston Martin estimates the Rapide E will return a range of 200-plus miles on the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP).
The company will call St. Athan in Wales home for its electric-car production. The Rapide E and future electric Lagonda brand models will be assembled at a new factory in 2019. Aston Martin plans to build 155 units of Rapide E and deliveries are scheduled to start in the fourth quarter of 2019.
a version of this article first appeared on AutoGuide