New all-electric 602bhp Aston Martin Rapide E unveiled at Shanghai

The Aston Martin Rapide E is ready for production, offering 602bhp and a claimed range of more than 200 miles

This is the Aston Martin Rapid E, the first all-electric car from the British luxury marque, which has made its debut at the Shanghai Motor Show. As the name suggests, the new model is a reworked version of the firm’s existing petrol-powered saloon, fitted with a new battery-electric powertrain. It’s on sale now, although production is being limited to just 155 units. 

In place of the conventionally-powered Rapide’s 6.0-litre V12 drivetrain sits a 65kWh battery pack, feeding power to a pair of rear-mounted electric motors. These develop 602bhp and 950Nm of torque, allowing a sub-four-second 0–62mph time, a 50–70mph sprint of just 1.5 seconds and a top speed of 155mph.

Best electric cars on sale in 2019

The Rapide E’s 800V architecture allows its 65kWh battery to be recharged at a rate of 310 miles per hour on an 800V outlet delivering 100kW or higher. A more conventional 400V 50kW charger will add around 185 miles per hour connected. Aston Martin says it is targeting an official range of more than 200 miles on the tougher WLTP testing regime.

Aston has redesigned the Rapide’s styling for its all-electric reincarnation. Updates include a new honeycomb grille, a reworked front splitter, a new undertray, an updated rear diffuser and a set of aerodynamically efficient alloy wheels. Aston says these updates have been designed to minimise drag and increase range, and that they deliver an eight per cent improvement in aerodynamic efficiency over the petrol-powered Rapide. 

We’ve yet to hear how the Rapide’s construction has been altered to accommodate the electric motors and considerable weight of the batteries. Aston says the car has "strict weight targets" which it has met through judicious application of carbon-composite materials. The car also has reprofiled spring and damper settings, to cope with the extra bulk.

Inside, the Rapide E gets a new 10-inch digital gauge cluster in place of the V12’s analogue dials. It displays EV-specific information such as regenerative performance, real-time energy consumption and the battery’s state of charge. Carbon fibre is also liberally used throughout the cabin - again, in a bid to meet Aston’s strict weight targets.

Dr Andy Palmer, President and Group CEO of Aston Martin Lagonda, commented: “Unveiling the Rapide E will be a huge moment for Aston Martin. 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.”

Several British engineering firms, including Williams Advanced Engineering and Xtrac, have joined forces with Aston to assist on the Rapide E's development. Owners of the car will be part of an ongoing programme, supplying feedback to influence Aston's future electric cars - including the forthcoming Lagonda models.

The new Rapide E will be the first all-electric Aston Martin built at the firm’s new facility in St Athan, Wales, where it will be manufactured alongside the conventionally powered DBX SUV. No official price has been announced for the car, but Auto Express expects it will cost around £250,000. First deliveries are expected in autumn this year.

Click here for all the latest from the 2019 Shanghai Motor Show...

Recommended

Facelifted Lexus ES saloon unveiled at Shanghai Motor Show
Lexus ES
Lexus ES Saloon

Facelifted Lexus ES saloon unveiled at Shanghai Motor Show

2021 Lexus ES boasts subtle styling tweaks, more safety tech and extra comfort as part of mid-life update
19 Apr 2021
Volkswagen ID.6 seven-seat electric SUV for China revealed
Volkswagen ID.6
Volkswagen

Volkswagen ID.6 seven-seat electric SUV for China revealed

New VW ID.6 is similar in size to the Touareg and boasts a third row of seats, but won’t be coming to Europe
17 Apr 2021

Most Popular

Driving test update to preserve the manual gearbox
Dacia Duster gear lever
News

Driving test update to preserve the manual gearbox

With more drivers learning in autos and electric cars, the DVSA is looking to update the driving test so people can still drive manuals in future
16 Jun 2021
New 2021 Vauxhall Astra to offer plug-in hybrid power
Vauxhall Astra render
Vauxhall Astra

New 2021 Vauxhall Astra to offer plug-in hybrid power

The new Vauxhall Astra will get a plug-in hybrid powertrain and a more premium image - here’s how it could look
17 Jun 2021
Tesla Model 3 police car all set for evaluation by UK emergency services
Tesla Model 3 police car - front
News

Tesla Model 3 police car all set for evaluation by UK emergency services

Tesla hopes to offer UK police forces a new zero-emission emergency responder option with the Model 3 police car
17 Jun 2021
Motorists think they can get away with driving offences due to lack of road police
police speed gun
News

Motorists think they can get away with driving offences due to lack of road police

Lack of road traffic police officers in the UK is making it easy for drivers to break the law, according to a survey of 15,500 British motorists
16 Jun 2021
New Audi Q4 e-tron 2021 review
Audi Q4 e-tron 2021  front
Audi Q4 e-tron

New Audi Q4 e-tron 2021 review

We get involved with the new all-electric Audi Q4 e-tron SUV on UK roads for the first time
17 Jun 2021
Ineos Grenadier prototype 2022 review
Ineos Grenadier prototype
Ineos Grenadier 4x4

Ineos Grenadier prototype 2022 review

Can the Ineos Grenadier really fill the mud-splattered void left by the old Land Rover Defender? We take a first drive in a prototype to find out...
15 Jun 2021
Fan-designed Ford Puma ST Gold Edition revealed
Fan-designed Ford Puma ST Gold Edition
Ford Puma

Fan-designed Ford Puma ST Gold Edition revealed

Ford unveils a special edition Puma ST, with a black and gold colour scheme chosen by Ford fans over social media
18 Jun 2021
UN report highlights ethical problems with electric cars
Electric car charging
News

UN report highlights ethical problems with electric cars

Analysis reveals lithium refining takes 65 per cent of Chilean region’s water, while 40,000 child miners dig for cobalt in DRC
14 Jun 2021
New Nissan Qashqai 2021 review
Nissan Qashqai 2021
Nissan Qashqai

New Nissan Qashqai 2021 review

We get behind the wheel of the larger, more comfortable and higher-tech Nissan Qashqai SUV in the UK
16 Jun 2021
New 2021 Hyundai Tucson N-Line hybrid and PHEV on sale now
Hyundai Tuscon N Line - front
Hyundai Tucson

New 2021 Hyundai Tucson N-Line hybrid and PHEV on sale now

Hyundai names price for new Tucson N-Line hybrid duo with plug-in offering 38 miles of electric running
18 Jun 2021
New Skoda Enyaq iV 2021 review
Skoda Enyaq iV 80 Sportline - front
Skoda Enyaq

New Skoda Enyaq iV 2021 review

The new Skoda Enyaq iV is the Czech firm’s first bespoke electric car and we've tested the full range on UK roads
10 Jun 2021
New Mercedes-AMG S 63 spied in minimal camouflage
Mercedes-AMG S 63
Mercedes S-Class

New Mercedes-AMG S 63 spied in minimal camouflage

AMG will soon launch a tuned version of Mercedes’s flagship limousine, probably powered by a 603bhp twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine
18 Jun 2021
Dacia unveils new badge design
Dacia badge
Dacia

Dacia unveils new badge design

The new Dacia branding will feature on the company’s cars from 2022, with the Bigster being the first candidate
17 Jun 2021
Porsche unveils next-generation PCM infotainment system with Android Auto 
Porsche Communication Management 6.0 911
Porsche

Porsche unveils next-generation PCM infotainment system with Android Auto 

Porsche’s sixth-generation touchscreen will be rolled out across the firm’s line-up, adding new connectivity features and natural voice control
17 Jun 2021