Aston Martin unveils its first all-electric vehicle

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Aston Martin has confirmed that its all-electric RapidE will enter production in 2019. Set for a limited production run of 155 cars, the RapidE is the brand’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 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-liter 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.

“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,” explained Dr. Palmer. “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.”

“Williams Advanced Engineering has always endeavoured to work collaboratively with its customers to meet their sustainability challenges and find energy efficient solutions,” added Paul McNamara, technical director at Williams Advanced Engineering. “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.”

Elsewhere, Aston Martin confirmed that its DB11 sports car is now available with a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8. Set to sit alongside and ‘complement’ the DB11’s existing 5.2-litre twin turbocharged V12, Aston Martin states that the new AMG-sourced powerplant has ‘provided the opportunity to reveal more of the DB11’s sporting character, while expanding its global appeal with a combination of exceptional performance and improved efficiency’.

Producing 510PS (503BHP) and 675Nm of torque, the V8 takes the DB11 from 0-62mph in just 4.0sec and on to a top speed of 187mph. This performance is matched by CO2 emissions of 230g/km and an EU Combined fuel economy figure of 28.5mpg. This new V8 derivative brings further significant benefits in markets where car taxation policy is structured around engine capacity, such as China.

Aston Martin’s engineering team has tailored the V8 engine perfectly for its application in the DB11 with bespoke air intake, exhaust and wet sump lubrication systems.

Electronic calibration of the V8 engine has included creating new ECU software and reprogramming the engine and throttle mapping. The slimline wet sump system enables the V8 to be mounted as low as possible for an optimised centre-of-gravity. The V8 engine is also lighter and more compact than the V12, which contributes to a saving of 115kg and a kerbweight of 1760kg.

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Dean has been with UKi Media & Events for over a decade, having previously cut his journalistic teeth writing and editing for various automotive and engineering titles. He combines extensive knowledge of all things automotive with a passion for driving, and experience testing countless new vehicles, engines and technologies around the world. As well as his role as editor-in-chief across a range of UKi's media titles, he is also co-chair of the judging panel of the International Engine of the Year Awards.

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