Aston Martin has been playing with the concept of an electric Rapide for a while now, but the engineers in Gaydon have never followed through with a production version. Now, after a few false starts, the company has unveiled plans to offer 155 all-electric Rapide coupes in 2019.
The RapidE will be developed alongside the team at Williams Advanced Engineering, and shares plenty with the upcoming Rapide AMR. Aston Martin is promising the car will feel like the V12 model in the corners, and won't have its sensuous lines ruined by the swap from internal combustion to battery power.
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Of course, the driving experience will be vastly different in the RapidE. The V12 wail that defines the current Rapide and Vanquish will be notably absent in the all-electric model, but on the other hand you'll have access to huge reserves of torque from standstill.
Beyond the fact it'll be a pure EV, Aston Martin is remaining tight lipped on the performance of its first electric car. Around the launch of the initial RapidE concept, CEO Andy Palmer told Autocar a production model could be available in rear-drive and all-wheel drive trim, with power outputs ranging from 550 to 800 hp (410 to 597 kW).
Those power outputs are on a par with what we might expect of a high-performance EV in 2017, although the 200 mile (322 km) range mentioned in the same Autocar article lags well behind what Tesla is offering in the Model S. Aston Martin says it will be releasing more information about range and power in the lead up to the car's launch in 2019.
"Having unveiled the RapidE Concept back in October 2015 we reach another milestone with the confirmation that we are now putting the first all-electric Aston Martin into production," said Palmer in a press release. "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."
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