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Aston Martin reveals tech of electric sports car

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Technical details have been released of the Aston Martin Rapide E – the UK brand’s first all-electric production car.

The Battery-Electric Vehicle (BEV) is under development with Aston Martin’s partner Williams Advanced Engineering, a technology sub-division of the Williams Formula One team.

It will make use of twin electric motors to produce more than 610hp and 950Nm of torque, making it the most powerful version of the Rapide yet offered.

Aston Martin predicts a sub-four-second 0-62mph time for the car and an electronically limited 155mph top speed – with 50 to 70mph taking just 1.5 seconds. And the brand adds that these figures will be achievable whatever the charging level of the car’s batteries, not just when fully charged.

Technical challenges

   

Williams Advanced Engineering’s leadership in electric vehicle technology is being used to enable Aston Martin’s first foray into such powertrain technologies. A particular focus has been overcoming the technical challenges of packaging the battery system and motors within the space available in the sports car shell.

Other challenges have included effective cooling of the batteries and motor at all times and keeping the car’s weight within acceptable limits.

The 800V battery electrical architecture offers 65kWh capacity from more than 5,600 lithium-ion cells, mounted in a pack in the space normally occupied by the Rapide’s 6.0-litre V12 engine, gearbox and fuel tank.

Aston Martin is aiming for a range of around 200 miles between charges, with charging possible at a rate of 185 miles range per hour using a typical 400V 50kW charger. Using the car’s own 800V system, charging rates will jump to 310 miles per hour.

Equally important to the car’s designers is ensuring that it continues to drive like any other Rapide model. The rear-wheel drive Rapide E’s twin electric motors will drive through a limited-slip differential, and the spring and damper rates have been revised to replicate the response of other Rapides.

The Rapide E will be built as a 155-vehicle production run, in a dedicated part of Aston Martin’s new St Athan plant in south Wales, which the brand says will become the home of its electrification plans. First deliveries are expected in late 2019.

Aston Martin Rapide E The Car Expert

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Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is the News and Road Test Editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.

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