After officially launching the “production version” of its first electric car last year, Aston Martin has now reportedly killed its Rapide-E electric car program.
The British automaker unveiled a prototype of a Rapide converted with an all-electric drivetrain, the “Rapide E,” back in 2015.
Two years later, they started working with Williams Advanced Engineering, the tech division of the Williams Formula 1 team, to make the vehicle’s electric powertrain.
Last year, we saw one of the first production prototypes of the Rapide E and Aston Martin officially launched the car at the Shanghai Auto show in April 2019.
Now almost a year later, the company is reportedly canceling plans to produce the vehicle and it will instead shift the program into an EV research project.
However, a source close to the firm has told Autocar it will now become a research project used to further Aston’s broader electrification program, with no intention of producing customer cars. It’s not clear yet how many orders of the model were taken, or whether refunds will have to be issued.
They were only planning to produce 155 Aston Rapide-E electric cars, but now that number has apparently been revised to 0.
Aston Martin Rapide-E specs
The partnership with Williams Advanced Engineering resulted in a new powertrain consisting of “an 800V battery electrical architecture with 65 kWh installed capacity using over 5600 lithium-ion 18650 format cylindrical cells” powering “two rear-mounted electric motors producing a combined target output of just over 610PS and a colossal 950Nm of torque.”
The company says that it results in a range of “over 200 miles” under the WLTP standard and it will charge at “85 miles of range per hour using a typical 400V 50 kW charger.”
With a compatible 800V outlet, Aston Martin says that the Rapide E can charge at up to 310 miles of range per hour. It is also equipped with an on-board charger for level 2 charging. The company didn’t specify the charge rate, but it did say that it should fully charge the battery pack in “as little as 3 hours.”
As for the performance specs, the automaker is talking about “a top speed of 155mph, with a sub-4.0 second 0-60mph time and a 50-70mph time of just 1.5 seconds.”
This is not too surprising considering the specs. They hadn’t confirmed the price, but I expect that it was very high with only 155 units planned.
They probably figured out that there wasn’t much demand since people would likely be way better off with a Tesla Model S for probably half the price.
It doesn’t mean that Aston Martin is giving up on electric vehicles, but it looks like they have to change their approach to be more competitive.
The first Rapide-E concept was unveiled back in 2015. The EV landscape has changed a lot during the last five years while the electric Aston Martin didn’t change enough.
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