Aston Martin’s First All-Electric Car Takes on Monaco
The Aston Martin Rapide E made a head-turning appearance in Monaco during the recent ABB FIA Formula E Monaco EPrix, taking to the iconic street circuit with Aston Martin works driver and three-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Darren Turner behind the wheel.
The principality made for a suitably glamorous location for the first fully-electric Aston Martin to demonstrate to the public just what it’s capable of. The sleek vehicle is designed to capture the feel of the V12-engine Rapide AMR and boasts a package that delivers both performance and style. The British luxury car marque has dubbed the car as the most powerful Rapide sedan to date, with twin electric motors delivering a combined target output 612PS and 950Nm of torque.
As witnessed when the car took the track in Monaco, it can go very fast indeed, with a top speed of 155mph and a sub- 4.0 seconds 0-60 mph time. “Monaco is a fantastic setting,” says Aston Martin Vehicle Line Director John Caress. “It’s the kind of race circuit that can showcase what this car can really do. We’re here to showcase the technology.”
So how did the whole idea to create a fully-electric Aston Martin come about? “We started the project with the idea of what would an electric Aston Martin be like? What would it look like? What would it sound like? How it would perform,” explains Caress. “One of the keys to this project is learning and doing it in a controlled manner. This is why it’s very exclusive. But it’s also a very inclusive project, we want others to be part of our journey and this is a great way of doing that with a very select club of people who have made that commitment to be part of that journey and here we are today.”
Aston Martin has called in the help of Williams Advanced Engineering to collaborate on the project. “The reason for choosing Williams is because of their experience in carbon fibre technology and they were previously supplying the battery for Formula E. They also bring lots of knowledge in dynamics, it’s a very diverse team to produce that skillset and to fill the holes that we had at the time three years ago,” says Caress.
The Rapide E’s bespoke battery pack is placed where the original 6.0-litre V12, gearbox and fuel tank were located. Meanwhile, the 800V system allows for quick charging, making it a practical luxury car. Speaking on the audience’s feedback since the car was first revealed at the Shanghai Auto Show last month Caress says the reaction has been great so far, “People realise this is not a concept, it’s a real car. Now it’s about customer engagement and the Monaco EPrix is just one of the many events we’re planning to showcase what the car can do.”
Production of the car is limited to only 155 global units and will start later this year at Aston Martin Lagonda’s new production facility in St Athan, Wales. Pricing is available on request and there are still a few build slots left. So, best be quick if you want to get your hands on one.
Related: Fancy a Made in China Smart Car?