Aston Martin is testing the market for very expensive full-electric cars with the Rapide E sedan, which was unveiled on Tuesday at the Shanghai auto show.
Aston Martin will build just 155 units of the Rapid E, which will be the automaker's only battery-powered car until the UK automaker revives its Lagonda brand as an all-electric marque early next decade.
CEO Andy Palmer said the debut of Aston Martin’s first EV was a “huge moment” for the company. "As a car company we cannot afford to passively allow that future to come to us; we have to actively chase it," he said in a statement.
The automaker did not disclose detailed pricing for the Rapide E. It will cost in the "ballpark" of 200,000 pounds ($260,000), Aston has said.
The Rapid E's driving range of 322 km (200 miles) under Europe’s WLTP testing cycle is short compared with other EVs coming to the market. The upcoming Porsche Taycan has a 500-km (311-mile) range), for example.
Aston Martin has countered the Rapide E’s limited range by equipping it with an 800-volt battery system that allows more rapid charging. The sedan can be charged to 80 percent of capacity from empty in 30 minutes.
The Rapide E’s 65 kilowatt-hour battery pack is positioned where the V-12 engine and drivetrain were located in the conventionally powered Rapid sedan. The pack has 5,600 cylindrical cells arranged in a pack designed in a rough dumbbell.
The battery pack has been developed with the commercial arm of the Williams Formula One team.
The Rapide E weighs 2,140 kg (4,718 pounds), which is 150 kg heavier than the Rapide AMR.
The high-voltage system means the battery is not power restricted, or de-rated by repetitive high-performance use, Aston said.