Shocker! Aston Martin Unveils 1,000-hp Electric Rapide E

The luxury marque adds some serious crackle to its lineup.

byBrett Berk| PUBLISHED Oct 21, 2015 4:26 PM
Shocker! Aston Martin Unveils 1,000-hp Electric Rapide E

Aston Martin has been hinting quite overtly at its interest in producing electric vehicles. With rising fuel economy and emissions standards, and a current product portfolio entirely dependent on sports cars powered by high-output V8s and V12s, the company almost has to electrify to remain viable and competitive.

Today comes the news that they’ve done just that.

A prototype, all-electric Rapide E will be unveiled in London, displayed to celebrate a creative summit as part of the government’s GREAT tourism and investment campaign. (Get it? “GREAT” Britain?)

A battery-powered version of the company’s resplendent four-door sport sedan, the Rapide E was created in partnership with U.K. firm Williams Advanced Engineering. The exploration on the vehicle’s viability as a production car is being funded in collaboration with ChinaEquity, a Chinese investment firm. But if it goes, it will be built at Aston’s headquarters facility in Gaydon, England.

Aston’s straight-talking CEO, Andy Palmer, has indicated in previous conversations that electric power makes perfect sense for a sporting luxury brand, providing immediate all-out thrust and the luxury of silent operation. This concept should provide plenty of both.

Our sources inside Aston indicate that the battery-powered car will match the output of the 6-liter V12 installed in the current Rapide S, producing the equivalent of 550 hp at minimum. Also, we expect that the car will have all-wheel drive, in order to help put this power to the road.

But the real excitement will come down the line, with plans to produce a high-performance version of the Rapide E. Our sources suggest that this vehicle will have 800 to 1,000 horsepower.

Given its devastating smog and pollution, and its drive to dominate pioneering technologies, China has created strong initiatives backing the development of electric vehicles. Aston indicates that the Chinese market is a clear priority for this car, were it to enter production. But our sources also emphasize that this would be a global car, with massive potential in the U.S. No one mentioned Tesla, Insanity or Ludicrousness.

Electrifying an existing design always comes with compromises. The best EVs are generally those designed from the ground up to be electric cars. (Aston is working on one of those too, the DBX sporting crossover.) But we have few arguments against the Rapide in general, or a 1,000 horsepower electric one in particular.

Aston: Shock us.