Aston Martin (finally) unveiled its first all-electric vehicle, the Rapide E

Aston Martin Rapide E Features Fast Charging And Will Be Capped At 155 Units

Speaking ahead of the Rapide E's Shanghai debut, Andy Palmer said: "Unveiling the Rapide E will be a huge moment for Aston Martin".

The limited-edition model was created with the assistance of Williams Advanced Engineering, which is heavily involved in the Formula E racing series along with Formula 1.

The company this week confirmed preliminary specifications for the Rapide E released late previous year, which includes two rear-mounted electric motors that produce a combined 449kW of power and no less than 950Nm of torque - enough to propel the sleek four-door sports sedan to 60mph (96.5km/h) in less than 4.0 seconds. The Rapide E is the first auto to be built at Aston Martin's state-of-the-art St Athan production facility. Aston also claims extensive use of carbon fibre throughout the cabin to help reduce weight.

Claimed range is "over 200 miles" which feels a touch optimistic given the size of vehicle and battery pack. The Aston's 800V system allowing for more efficient charging and greatly improved thermal characteristics over existing electrical architectures.

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In fact, it's simpler to just list the differences: the Rapide E's grille is grated rather than horizontally finned like on the sedan; the intake shape and fascia design have been re-imagined to make sure the 400-lb-heavier electric version cuts through the air properly; and there are some blue accents on the brake calipers and within the headlights.

The battery pack is sitting directly in place of the usual fuel engine, and can charge at a rate of up to 300 range-miles per hour when connected to an outlet that can deliver 100kW or higher.

The Rapide E is rear-wheel drive, powered by twin motors and can theoretically do 155mph, although most models are likely to hit lifetime top speeds of around 4mph, when being shuttled gingerly from delivery van to the climate-controlled vehicle collection warehouse of someone who got lucky with an app once or used to race cars as a job. Since it doesn't need an exhaust the rear diffuser has grown, along with a redesigned underfloor to take advantage of it. Forged aluminum wheels have also been developed for the model and come wrapped in special Pirelli P-Zero tires. Step inside and you'll find a 10-inch digital, driver-configurable instrument cluster that displays key information about the auto and its surroundings. Finally, the health and status of Rapide E can also be tracked from the app, providing reminders such as when a key service is due. Aston tells us there's 800V and 65kWh in total. One that signals Aston Martin is prepared for the huge challenge of an environmentally responsible and sustainable future. According to the brand, the Rapide E "represents a pioneering first step towards achieving the company's wider electrification strategy and the successful fruition of Lagonda" - an Aston Martin brand that has recently been relaunched to manufacture and sell exclusively electric and fantastically-luxurious cars.

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