Aston Martin Is Coming After Elon Musk With a Tesla Killer

James Bond's favorite marque is zooming into the electric car market.

September 20, 2018 5:00 am

In 2019, sustainability is getting sexy.

That’s because Aston Martin just announced that’s when initial deliveries of its first all-electric model will commence being to made to some very charmed – and conscientious – customers.

The wheel and fender of the all-electric Aston Martin Rapide E. (Aston Martin)

Limited to 155 cars to start, the Rapide E will be Aston Martin’s first fully electric production car and have a designated building facility within the marque’s manufacturing factory at St. Athan.

Developed in conjunction with Williams Advanced Engineering, the Rapide E will be powered by an 800-volt battery system featuring more than 5,600 lithium-ion 18,650 format cylindrical cells.

The all-electric Aston Martin Rapide E. (Aston Martin)

Located where the car’s six-liter V12 and transmission would be, the battery system is connected to a pair of rear-mounted electric motors that are capable of producing 602 horsepower and 701 pound-feet of torque.

All that power translates to some serious speed as the Rapide E has a 0-to-60 time of under four seconds and a top speed of 155 miles per hour. To make zooming by gas guzzlers breezy as Sunday morning, the Rapide E can also jump from 50 to 70 mph in just 1.5 seconds.

By comparison, a Tesla Model S also has a top speed of 155 mph and a sub-four-second 0-to-60 time. However, the Tesla model’s time is way under (tested as low as 3.1 seconds) when “Insane Mode” is engaged.

The front of the all-electric Aston Martin Rapide E. (Aston Martin)

Even more attractive, those figures are applicable whether the car’s battery is fully juiced or close to empty. When creating the system, Aston Martin made it a priority for the Rapide E to be able to provide maximum performance throughout the battery’s charge cycle, the same expectation drivers have for a car with a conventional engine and fuel system.

Capable of going at least 200 miles between charges, the Rapide E’s speed specs are aided by newly designed aerodynamic wheels decked out in Pirelli P-Zero tires designed to cut down on noise and friction as well as boost airflow and cooling.

The battery of the all-electric Aston Martin Rapide E. (Aston Martin)

Once the Rapide E hits the market, Aston Martin will seek feedback and comments from customers about the car’s day-to-day usability and their usual use of it in order to improve and shape the company’s future electric vehicles.

And more of them are coming, as Aston Martin plans to relaunch its Lagonda brand as “the world’s first zero-emission luxury marque” in 2021. Additionally, by the mid-2020s, all Aston Martins will have some form of electrification.

A diagram showing the powertrain of the all-electric Aston Martin Rapide E. (Aston Martin)

“Environmental responsibility and sustainability is a global challenge faced by us all. As a career automotive engineer, I’m proud that the car industry is leading the way in finding long-term solutions and reducing harmful emissions,” said Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer.

“As our first all-electric production model, Rapide E will fast-track our knowledge and help us ensure the character and high-performance capabilities of our future EV models and enhance the unique qualities found in all Aston Martins as we know them today,” he added. “Rapide E will also serve as a critical step on our path to re-launching Lagonda.”

Pricing has yet to be announced, but, rest assured, it ain’t gonna be cheap and will likely exceed the $74,500 MSRP of the 2018 Model S.

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