Aston Martin RapidE

Aston Martin has revealed a fully electric version of its Rapide S four-door saloon in London. Developed in collaboration with Williams Engineering, the concept is being showcased as part of the government’s GREAT campaign, which encourages foreign investment in British firms.

Called the RapidE, the concept is part of a study to assess the feasibility of the first all-electric Aston Martin. According to company CEO, Dr. Andy Palmer, EVs could represent the future of the brand. He said: “We see luxury electric vehicles as an intrinsic part of our future product portfolio and welcome ChinaEquity into the next phase of study for the project development.

“The exciting RapidE concept tangibly demonstrates the capability and ambition of Aston Martin towards developing low- and zero-emission sports cars.”

Chinese investment group, ChinaEquity, is working with Aston Martin and the two organisations are hopeful a production version could be brought to market by 2017. The electric RapidE would be built at Aston Martin’s global HQ in Gaydon.

Could offer as much as 1000hp

While the loss of a V12 engine would undoubtedly detract from the full-fat Rapide experience, a battery-powered version would lower Aston Martin’s overall CO2 emissions.

It has been suggested that the electric version will develop power to match the 560hp offered by the V12. The RapidE would also benefit from the instant acceleration offered by EVs.

Even more mouthwatering is the prospect of a 1000hp RapidE, if all four wheels are powered by their own electric motors.

Aston Martin: ‘an iconic British brand’

Aston Martin has released a short video to promote the RapidE concept. Oliver Letwin MP, who has lent his support to the project said: “Aston Martin is an iconic British brand, and I welcome their agreement today with ChinaEquity.

It is a great example of British and Chinese businesses working together to develop links and bring benefits to the UK economy.

“It also demonstrates how a collaboration between the UK and China can develop the innovative low emission solutions needed to tackle the pressing global issue of air quality.”

The launch of the RapidE is a welcome fillip for Aston Martin: it’s been a mixed month for the famous brand. The hype and good feeling generated by the appearing of the one-off DB10 in the forthcoming Bond movie has been offset by news of losses at its parent company.

Aston Martin Holdings UK reported an annual pre-tax loss of £71.8m, which would could result in job losses. As many as 15% could be cut from its 2,100-strong workforce.