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Aston Martin reveals secrets of all-electric Rapide E

Aston Marton’s Rapide E will be limited to only 155 units

With development of Aston Martin’s first all-electric production car – the Rapide E – progressing, the luxury British marque has revealed a raft of technical details for the strictly limited 155-unit special edition.

Working closely with Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) as its development partner, Aston Martin has utilised the hugely successful leader in electric vehicle technology to kickstart a new era for Aston Martin’s powertrain technology and overcome the technical challenges associated with packaging the battery system and motors within the space available.

Throughout the development process, the engineering team have focused on achieving effective cooling of the batteries and motor to ensure consistent performance, while strict weight targets have been stringently observed using lightweight alloys and carbon composite materials.

Rapide E will be powered by an 800-volt battery electrical architecture with a 65-kWh installed capacity using over 5600 lithium-ion 18650 format cylindrical cells.

These are mounted in a bespoke battery pack where the original 6.0-litre V12, its gearbox and fuel tank were located. This battery system powers two rear mounted electric motors producing a combined target output of just over 610 PS and 950 Nm of torque.

Rapide E’s range target is over 200 miles under the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), while the model is capable of charging at a rate of 185 miles of range per hour using a typical 400-volt 50-kW charger.

However, the car’s 800-volt high-voltage battery system enables faster charging of 310 miles of range per hour, using an 800-volt outlet delivering 100 kW or higher.

Projected top speed for the Rapide E is 155 mph, with a sub-4.0-second 0-60-mph time and a 50-70-mph time of just 1.5 seconds.

It’s important to stress that these figures are not restricted to a narrow window only when the batteries are fully-charged. Instead the target is for maximum performance on-demand throughout majority of the battery state of charge window, as would be expected from a conventional internal combustion-engine car.

Though the Rapide E will be built in low volumes, it is being subjected to Aston Martin’s stringent and exhaustive testing protocols, with the dedicated WAE team working closely alongside Aston Martin personnel to ensure every aspect of the prototype test programme follows the marque’s established procedures.

Uniquely, customers will be an extended part of the ongoing Rapide E programme, with their comments and driving experiences providing an invaluable stream of feedback that will help shape and improve future Aston Martin EVs.

In addition to WAE, the Rapide E programme enjoys the support of other technical partners including Hyperbat Limited – a new joint venture company between Williams Advanced Engineering and Unipart Manufacturing Group – as the battery manufacturer, Integral Powertrain Technologies for the electric motors, Xtrac for the transmission and the H1PERBAT project consortium with grant funding from the Advanced Propulsion Centre.

Customer deliveries are set for the fourth quarter of 2019.

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