Aston Martin has reluctantly stepped into the EV game with the world moving closer to adopting battery-powered cars. The British firm does not want to give up its style quotient though, for the Aston Martin Rapide E does not look like a typical electric car we have come to expect.
The British maker of sports cars and grand tourers announced in June 2017 it was working on a new electric car. For this endeavour, Aston Martin tied up with Williams Advanced Engineering and took its own sweet time to develop an EV.
Williams Advanced Engineering lent its valuable expertise to the development of the Aston Martin Rapide E.
Andy Palmer, CEO of Aston Martin, tweeted recently about the current level of progress for the companyâ€™s EV. The video shows an Aston Martin Rapide E moving under its own power with just a high-pitched beep to account for its electric powertrain. Andy Palmer says the Rapide E features a â€śbreakthrough 800-volt batteryâ€ť.
What is slightly troubling that the EV seems to sit on Aston Martinâ€™sÂ old VH Generation III platform which debuted back in 2010. The firm shifted to its Second Century architecture starting with the DB11. The Valkyrie is another matter altogether due to its collaborative development with Red Bull Racing.
Hereâ€™s the tweet by Andy Palmer:
A moment of @astonmartin history. First Validation Prototype Aston Martin RapideE moves under its own power for the very first time with its breakthrough 800v battery. Great work from the development team which includes Williams Engineering. pic.twitter.com/b2mRaeCsNP
— Andy Palmer (@AndyatAston) January 21, 2019
The validation prototype, as Aston Martin likes to call it, is little more than a work in progress. An early test mule, in other words. Andy Palmerâ€™s video clip doesnâ€™t showcase the car doing a speed run. A digital instrument cluster can be seen in the clip, sitting behind the leather-wrapped steering wheel.
Only 155 examples of the Aston Martin Rapide E will be ever produced. Manufacturing is scheduled at the firmâ€™s new St Athan plant, from where the DBX SUV will also roll out. As for pricing, Aston Martin did not disclose an exact price or even a range. Estimates tag the Rapide E starting at $33,000 (AED 1,208,000) before options. Thatâ€™s slightly less than what an Aston Martin Vanquish in UAE would cost, but UAE VAT will push the price further.
In this price bracket, the 2020 Aston MartinÂ Rapide E would fight against rivals like Ferrari GTC4Lusso T, Bentley Flying Spur, and similarly specced luxury grand tourers. What remains to be seen is how much performance it will bring to the table. The pinnacle performer of the Rapide range is the Rapide AMR. It crosses 100kph in 3.1 seconds thanks to its 602-hp, 950Nm V12 engine.