Aston Martin Is Unveiling Its First Electric Car

Aston Martin used the past weekend's 2018/2019 Formula E Monaco ePrix to demonstrate the performance of its Rapide E electric sport sedan.

Unveiled only last month at Auto Shanghai 2019, the Rapide E is an electric version of Aston Martin's Rapide, with the svelte sedan's V-12 and associated components swapped out for a battery-electric powertrain delivering a combined 601 horsepower and 700 pound-feet of torque.

Aston Martin's factory racing driver and 3-time Le Mans winner, Darren Turner, hopped behind the wheel of the Rapide E on Saturday and took to the Monaco street circuit where the Monaco ePrix is held. It was the first public demonstration of the sedan's performance.

Turner made two outings in the car, though Aston Martin hasn't said how quickly he managed to lap the ePrix circuit, which is shorter version of the layout used for the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix.

Aston Martin has previously stated the Rapide E will accelerate to 60 mph in less than 4.0 seconds and top out at a governed 155 mph. Impressively, the car should also have enough passing thrust to power from 50 to 70 mph in just 1.5 seconds. A 65-kilowatt-hour battery is expected to deliver about 200 miles, with moderate driving of course.

Aston Martin at the car's launch stressed that the performance won't be restricted to a narrow window only when the batteries are fully charged. The car has been developed so it can handle a full lap of the Nürburgring without emptying the battery. Aston Martin has also ensured that the car is capable of repeated hard acceleration and braking, which Turner demonstrated in Monaco. You can get a taste in the video from YouTuber Shmee150, which features portions firmed from inside the Rapide E during one of its hot laps.

“I’ve had the privilege to join the Aston Martin engineering team at various stages of the car’s development and the performance that’s on offer in Rapide E really is incredible,” Turner said after the run. “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.”

Just 155 will be built and a few build slots are still available. Production will commence later this year at Aston Martin's new plant in St Athan, Wales. The site is the new electrification hub for the automaker and will later be responsible for the revived Lagonda brand, Aston Martin's new dedicated EV brand.

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