Aston Martin Wants Electric Rapide In Two Years
The Aston Martin Rapide may be on its way out now — soon to be replaced by a new sedan with a Lagonda badge — but that doesn’t mean the nameplate won’t receive a few upgrades as its lifecycle comes to an end. In fact, according to company CEO Andy Palmer, the Rapide is set to become Aston Martin’s first production car with an electric drivetrain.
Speaking to Car and Driver at the 2015 New York Auto Show, Palmer said Aston Martin already "green-lighted a technical study for Rapide EV," which would be a pure electric car with no range extender. The zero-emissions sedan will arrive in about to two years. Unfortunately, Palmer declined to reveal specifics like range and charge times, but he did hint the Rapide EV could have... hold on tight... 1,000 horsepower.
Tesla Motors, you’ve been warned!
Needless to say, the electric Rapide is part of the company’s plan to reduce its carbon footprint without axing the fabulous 5.9-liter V-12 engine spread across its lineup.
"From the compliance perspective, if we as a sports car company want to continue to make V-12s — I’d hate to be the guy that killed the Aston V-12 — then we can make the V-12 itself meet the emissions requirement, but you can’t expect your fleet average to be very good. So if you’re going to make your fleet average really good you have to have a low- or zero-emissions car," he added.
No word on whether the Rapide’s successor will also have an electric version.
Continue reading to learn more about Aston Martin’s future electric Rapide.
Why it matters
Although several sports car manufacturers have shifted toward downsizing or hybridization, including Ferrari, Aston Martin is one company I wouldn’t want to see offer V-6 or four-cylinder powerplants. Given its heritage, I can’t say I’m comfortable about an all-electric Aston either, but I’d rather have it sell a zero-emissions version of one of its nameplates rather the ditch the V-12 or put hybrid drivetrains in models such as the DB9 or the Vantage. Sacrifices have to be made, and an electric sedan (and maybe a hybrid DBX crossover) is more than welcome if it means we can still get V-12-powered cars. Besides, Tesla has already shown the world that an electric car need no longer be boring.
The Aston Martin Rapide arrived in 2010 as a four-door, high-performance sedan built on the company’s ubiquitous VH platform. The company’s first four-door since the Lagonda, which was phased out in 1990, the Rapide shared numerous parts with other Aston Martin vehicles, as well as the infamous 5.9-liter V-12. Upgrades introduced in 2013 and 2014 brought performance improvements, a new eight-speed automatic transmission, and reduced carbon-dioxide emissions.
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Source: Car and Driver