A Green Shoot Emerges From the Aston Martin Rapide’s Grave

Aston Martin’s Rapide, a super-sedan created by stretching the DB9, is essentially dead, with the last remaining examples of the limited-run Rapide AMR finding deep-pocketed buyers. And yet, like Frankenstein’s monster, the Rapide lives on, having had its V12 heart replaced by something altogether new.

Aston Martin has a “new” electric car to show off at Auto Shanghai 2019. It’s a discontinued Rapide converted to electric power and saddled with the Rapide E name, and it can be yours for a considerable sum of money. It’s anything but a green car for the masses.

Boasting more power than even the Rapide AMR, the Rapide E generates 601 horsepower and 700 lb-ft of torque from a pair of rear-mounted electric motors, fed by a 65 kWh battery pack shoehorned into the vacant space left by the missing V12, transmission, and fuel tank.

An 800-volt electrical system allows the fastest of fast charging, aiding well-heeled and impatient buyers who’ve used up their roughly 200 miles of driving range. Yes, some EVs with smaller battery packs can go further on a charge, but are they an Aston Martin? Got that right.

“Unveiling the Rapide E will be a huge moment for Aston Martin,” said CEO Andy Palmer in a statement. “As our first all-electric production car, it is a truly historic step. One that signals Aston Martin is prepared for the huge challenge of an environmentally responsible and sustainable future.”

The Rapide’s hefty battery pack meant engineers were forced to shave weight elsewhere, lest the car become an overheavy, low-range joke. Heavy use of carbon fiber and alloys in certain body panels and components reduced mass while no doubt raising the car’s price. Spring and damper rates saw revisions to handle the additional heft.

All of this work resulted in a car capable of reaching 60 mph in under 4 seconds, with a top speed of 155 mph. Attempt to reach that number and you’ll risk going dark in a hurry, not to mention incurring exorbitant fines from your local law enforcement officer.

Should you be one of the 155 buyers of this limited-edition EV, you’ll enjoy three drive modes (GT, Sport, and Sport+), model-specific aero wheels, and a unique mesh grille to help differentiate it from your neighbor’s Rapide. There’s also blue flourishes inside and out.

As for price, you’ll have to contact Aston Martin about that. Given that the Rapide AMR topped $200k, you’re looking spending at a lot of green to go green. Orders are already open.

[Images: Aston Martin]

Leave a Reply