Aston Martin‘s first-ever battery electric, the Rapide E, made its dynamic debut in Monaco on Saturday, May 11, ahead of the Formula E Monaco ePrix.
You may recall that the Rapide E celebrated its world debut at the Shanghai Auto Show in April. The Monaco event, however, represented the European premiere of the limited edition EV — the first ever such model launched by the British luxury car manufacturer.
The Rapide E took part in two dedicated on-track sessions throughout the day, in the hands of Aston Martin works driver and three-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Darren Turner. The automaker says the car “didn’t disappoint, as it showcased its performance credentials on the circuit.”
The Rapide E is the most powerful version of Aston’s saloon ever thanks to the twin, rear-mounted electric motors that deliver a combined output of 612 PS (604 hp) and 950 Nm (701 lb-ft) of instant torque. The sleek four-door is powered by an 800V electrical architecture battery with a 65kWh capacity using over 5,600 lithium-ion 18650 format cylindrical cells.
According to Aston Martin, the 800V system allows for more efficient charging and “greatly improved thermal characteristics over existing electrical architectures.” Encased in carbon fiber and Kevlar casing, the battery pack lies where the 6.0-liter V12, transmission, and fuel tank are located on the gasoline-powered Rapide.
“The car has the kind of torque and punch that you’d expect from an EV, but they’ve really worked hard to retain the dynamic characteristics of what makes an Aston Martin special,” said Darren Turner. “Today feels like a real milestone in this company’s history and for me to be the first person to drive an all-electric Aston Martin publicly is an absolute honor, particularly here in Monaco,” the racing driver added.
The British luxury manufacturer will only build 155 units of the Rapide E at the new production facility in St Athan, Wales starting from the fourth quarter of this year. That’s where the Aston Martin will also build the Lagonda all-electric SUV, which will benefit from the technologies and experience derived from the Rapide E program.
The last allocations for the high-performance EV are available, with pricing on application.