With BMW, Jaguar, and Tesla unveiling their latest electric vehicle prototypes, there’s really no shortage of high-performance EV’s hitting the market over the next year. Even some of the Best Electric Cars of 2017 have impressive horsepower numbers (Telsa’s Model 3) while still maintaining a 200+ range on a single charge. They strike the perfect balance between energy consumption and performance. It was only a matter of time before Aston Martin moved from concept to production with its first ever electric coupe.
Aston Martin’s EV Plan of Attack
Developed on the same platform as the Rapide AMR, Aston Martin is planning to build 155 all-electric coupes in time for a 2019 release date. Keeping the design elements of the V12 model, the conversion from internal combustion to battery power will certainly have its challenges – especially if the world renown automobile manufacturer wants to keep performance at the forefront of its engineering efforts.
“Having unveiled the RapidE concept back in October 2015 we reach another milestone with the confirmation that we are now putting the first all-electric Aston Martin into production,” CEO Andy Palmer said in a recent company press release.
Keeping mostly hush-hush about performance numbers, Palmer told Autocar the RapidE could include both rear drive and an all-wheel-drive trim, with power outputs ranging from 550 to 800hp (410 to 597 kW). That’s doubling Tesla’s Model 3 horsepower of 335. Even though early estimates predict a range of 200 miles (322 km), which is slightly below the 215-mile range of Tesla’s Model 3, the RapidE more than makes up in off-the-line torque.
The RapidE Project
With some of the greatest minds at Williams Advanced Engineering heading up the RapidE project, the challenge lies in being able to switch from a V12 to battery power without compromising too much horsepower. “The internal combustion engine has been at the heart of Aston Martin for more than a century, and will continue to be for years to come,” Palmer said. “RapidE will showcase Aston Martin’s vision, desire, and capability to successfully embrace radical change, delivering a new breed of car that stays true to our ethos and delights our customers.”
With price, performance, range, and overall design elements not even hinted at by the company, there’s a lot of intrigue surrounding Aston Martin’s first luxury electric vehicle. The first challenge on the docket: replacing the V12 with an all-electric powertrain – which some would argue is at the heart of the Aston Martin identity.
Here is a quick glimpse at some of the new electric luxury vehicle prototypes that will most likely share the spotlight with Aston Martin’s RapidE:
There is a growing list of “firsts” with the low-voltage, high-performance QUANT 48VOLT electric sports car. From six flow cells being used simultaneously to a low-voltage EV capable of zero to 100 km/h in 2.4 seconds, it’s safe to say that nanoFlowcell’s new technology is poised to change the future of mobility.
With the Sportback’s predecessor (the e-tron Quattro SUV) already in production and scheduled for release early next year (2018), Audi is certainly on its way to penetrate the already impressive field of electric luxury vehicles.
Equipped with a “Boost Mode” that yields a power capacity of 370 kW and an impressive 0 to 62 mph in 4.5 seconds off-the-line performance, the e-tron Sportback will be a highly anticipated model when it hits the roads in 2019.
Capable of firing off the line at a clip of 0-60 mph in a record-breaking 2.39 seconds, the Faraday Future (FF 91) comes with a 783kW (1050 hp) peak-performance motor that makes merging onto highways a piece of cake. Armed with a super-charged 130kWh battery, the FF 91 comes with a high-energy density battery that gets 378 miles (EPA est.) on a single charge. The world-class battery storage capabilities are the result of the company’s first Inverter patent called FF Echelon. Partnering with LG Chem, the all-wheel drive FF 91 is capable of achieving 51% to a full charge in fewer than 4.5 hrs at 240V.
The Lucid Air luxury electric vehicle (EV) is an automotive marvel. Still, in pre-production and the prototype only half-built, Lucid Motors is hoping for a 2018 release date. With an estimated price tag starting at $100K, the luxury sedan is certainly impressive. Capable of traveling 400 miles on one charge, Air’s 600-hp engine can go 0-60 mph in 2.5-seconds.
Sources: Aston Martin, AutoCar, New Atlas