Remember when there were rumors going around that James Bond's new Aston Martin will be an electric vehicle (EV)? Well it looks like Aston Martin themselves have somewhat confirmed that rumor to be true at this year's Auto Shanghai.
Instead of just building GT (or spy) cars powered by V8s or V12s, the company has also branched out to making high-performance EVs that can help 007 chase the bad guys. Making its world debut at Auto Shanghai 2019 is the all-new Rapide E, an electric-powered version of the four-door GT.
First unveiled as a concept called the 'RapidE', Aston Martin's first production EV comes with rear-mounted electric motors and a huge 800V battery pack under the hood where the V12 is originally placed. It may not have twelve cylinders (or any cylinders), but the electric powertrain doles out an impressive 610 PS along with 950 Nm of torque. This translates to a 0 – 97 km/h sprint of just under 4 seconds, and a top speed of nearly 250 km/h. It also has a maximum range of over 320 km based on the WLTP cycle.
If ever 007 needs to have its batteries quickly recharged, he can do so with either a 400V 50 kw charger, or the faster 800V 100 kw charging system that Aston Martin claims can recharge the battery pack in an hour. There is also an onboard traditional AC charger that can fully recharge the batteries in 3 hours.
Besides giving it an electric upgrade, Aston Martin was also busy making the Rapide E more aerodynamic and lightweight. Carbon fiber was extensively used to shed a few kilograms off the car while a redesigned underfloor streamlines the airflow from the front splitter all the way to the rear diffuser.
“As our first all-electric production car, it is a truly historic step. One that signals Aston Martin is prepared for the huge challenge of an environmentally responsible and sustainable future. As a car company we cannot afford to passively allow that future to come to us; we have to actively chase it,” said Dr. Andy Palmer, president and Groupe CEO of Aston Martin Lagonda.
Don't expect Aston Martin to make numerous examples of the Rapide E. According to the Gaydon-based automaker, only 155 units will be made in total. With 007 notorious for damaging or crashing his cars on almost every mission, we can expect that number to drop to 154.