It was at the 2009 Frankfurt auto show that Aston Martin launched its current Rapide. The stylish super sedan has only been offered with a V-12 ever since, but from 2018 it will only be offered with an electric powertrain. The information was confirmed to Motoring by Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer.
The electric Rapide was previewed in concept form in 2015. The Williams Formula One team’s technology arm Williams Advanced Engineering is helping to develop the hardware while some of the funding for the project is coming from private equity firm ChinaEquity.
Palmer previously hinted that the electric Rapide could come with 800 horsepower and a range of about 200 miles. The car’s electric powertrain is destined for other Aston Martin models. Next in line is an SUV due in 2020. The SUV was also previewed in concept form in 2015.
The electric Rapide won’t be a permanent fixture in Aston Martin’s lineup, however. It will eventually be phased out to make way for the SUV and one or possibly two sedans sold under Aston Martin’s Lagonda marque.
Before the V-12-powered Rapide jets off for good, Aston Martin will offer the car in AMR trim. ARM is Aston Martin’s new performance sub-brand and the Rapide AMR gets an aggressive body kit as well as a 592-hp version of the standard car’s 5.9-liter V-12. Aston Martin will build 210 examples, the number reflecting the top speed in mph.