All-electric RapidE gets nod for 2019 launch

Aston Martin’s plan to build a seven-model range is well-documented, and one of those models has just been given the go-ahead for production. Look out, because the Aston Martin RapidE is finally headed to production. The all-electric sports sedan was first unveiled in concept form back in 2015. From the start, the company had plans to move it past prototype phase and turn it into an actual production model. Two years later, and we finally have a definite timetable from the British automaker.

The full details are still unclear at this point, but from what’s been revealed, it’s looking like we’re two years away from seeing a production version of the all-electric grand tourer. A 2019 timetable has been set for the launch. The RapidE will be developed jointly between Aston Martin and Williams Advanced Engineering. This development is notable because the original plan for the RapidE was for it to be a partnership between the British automaker and Chinese company LeEco. The latter, however, has been mired in financial problems brought about by its ambitious start-up, Faraday Future. With LeEco no longer in the picture, Aston went back to its original partner Williams, which actually had a hand in developing the 2015 concept. Regardless of who it is, what’s important is the RapidE is finally happening. Now we get to see what Aston Martin’s electric car future is going to look like.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Should be interesting to see how the Aston Martin RapidE is going to turn out

2016 Aston Martin RapidE Concept
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Aston Martin's Electric Future Gets Green Light High Resolution Exterior
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Aston Martin RapidE Concept Production version Aston Martin RapidE
Aston Martin doesn’t appear to have plans to turn it into a high-volume model

On the surface, an electric Aston Martin doesn’t necessarily jive with the British automaker’s history. Aston boss Andy Palmer said so himself when he referred to the international combustion engine as “the heart of Aston Martin for more than a century.” What should be considered, though, is that like most automakers these days, recognizing the importance and potential of an electrified future is something that should be taken seriously. The company understands this and the steps it has taken in ensuring that the RapidE is turned into a production model is a big move in that direction.

Now as far as the car itself is concerned, Aston Martin doesn’t appear to have plans to turn it into a high-volume model. As it stands now, only 155 units are expected to be built and the reasoning for that is the company wants to test the all-electric market first to see how receptive it is to an all-electric Aston Martin.

Aston Martin's Electric Future Gets Green Light High Resolution Exterior
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The RapidE is a far departure from the company’s long-standing image

Considering how popular Tesla has become, it’s no secret there’s a well of untapped potential in this market. Still, Aston is playing it smart by taking a more cautious approach with its own dealings, because not only is the RapidE a far departure from the company’s long-standing image, it could also serve as the bridge that allows Aston Martin to compete in a different segment from what it’s used to.

It’s clear Aston Martin is finally prepared to make the all-electric leap. Here’s to hoping that it lands on its feet and the RapidE becomes the car that the company can build its future around. It’s a tough ask at this point, but if electric cars really are the future, then Aston Martin knows it needs to start on the right foot in that segment.

No pressure, right?

Press release

Less than two years after being unveiled as a concept, Aston Martin is today confirming that the all-electric RapidE will enter production in 2019.

Aston Martin's Electric Future Gets Green Light High Resolution Exterior
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Set for a limited production run of 155 cars, RapidE is Aston Martin’s first all-electric model. As such it spearheads development of the brand’s low- and zero-emission vehicle strategy laid out by Aston Martin’s President and CEO, Dr Andy Palmer, in the company’s Second Century Plan.

RapidE sees a continuation of the collaboration with Williams Advanced Engineering who worked on the original RapidE Concept. Based in Grove, Oxfordshire, Williams Advanced Engineering will assist Aston Martin with the complex task of engineering integration.

Based upon the forthcoming Rapide AMR concept, RapidE will deliver four-door sports car looks and dynamics of the Rapide S powered by an all-electric powertrain replacing the six-litre V12 engine. More information will be revealed about the RapidE’s all-electric powertrain in due course. The instantaneous delivery characteristics of electric motors means the RapidE will offer a unique driving experience of a kind not experienced before in an Aston Martin.

Aston Martin President and CEO, Dr Andy Palmer, said of the RapidE: “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. RapidE represents a sustainable future in which Aston Martin’s values of seductive style and supreme performance don’t merely co-exist alongside a new zero-emission powertrain, but are enhanced by it. 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.”

Aston Martin's Electric Future Gets Green Light High Resolution Exterior
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Paul McNamara, Technical Director at Williams Advanced Engineering said: “Williams Advanced Engineering has always endeavoured to work collaboratively with its customers to meet their sustainability challenges and find energy efficient solutions. For today’s car manufacturers, this is particularly important as legislation demands more energy efficient vehicles. This project with Aston Martin will draw on the extensive battery and EV experience we have accumulated and we are extremely pleased to be supporting this prestigious British company with their future electrification strategy.”

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