Aston Martin Unveils Its First Electric Car

Shanghai - Aston Martin unveiled the British luxury brand's first electric car at the Shanghai Motor Show, but don't expect to see many more. Only 155 of the four-door Rapide E will ever be produced.

Beyond this car, Aston Martin

will leave the electric vehicles up to Lagonda, a separate brand that will sell only electric luxury vehicles. An all-electric sedan and an SUV concept vehicle have already been revealed under the Lagonda brand.

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For the most part, Aston Martin will

stick to producing internal combustion-powered vehicles for customers who enjoy the sound and feel of a V8

or V12 engine. For customers who want to enjoy the quiet power of electric motors, there will be Lagonda, executives have said.

The Rapide E is an electric version of the gas-powered Rapide S. The car was engineered to, as much as possible, retain the driving feel of the V12-powered Rapide S, according to Aston Martin.

Aston Martin designers and engineers slightly

altered the body of the sleek four-door Rapide to improve its aerodynamics. Since electric cars require much less air than gasoline-powered cars, the Rapide E's grill was changed to allow less air to flow in. The area under the body was also designed to allow air to flow underneath the car more smoothly.

Batteries for the 602-horsepower car are housed where the V12 engine, the transmission and the fuel tank would go in the gasoline-powered version. The car can drive more than 200 miles on a charge, according to Aston Martin. It can go from zero to 60 miles an hour in under four seconds and its top speed is 155 miles an hour.

Inside, the usual analog gauge cluster has been replaced by a digital screen.

The rear-wheel-drive car is powered by two electric motors mounted in the back.

The car is available to order now. Pricing is only available upon ordering, though, the company said. It's expected to cost something over £250,000, or about $330,000. Prices for the gasoline-powered Rapide S start at just over $200,000.

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