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Aston Martin Ponders All Electric Rapide Variant

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On: Wed, Apr 8, 2015 at 2:54PM | By: Carl Malek

Aston Martin Ponders All Electric Rapide Variant

Following the recent unveiling of the updated Aston Martin Rapide S sedan, Aston Martin has revealed that the bespoke Porsche Panamera fighter could serve as the basis for the firm's first-ever fully electric offering, which would be the most significant development in the company's long and illustrious history.

Designed to largely appeal to consumers in the United States as well as China, the electron-powered Rapide would be equipped with two high-capacity battery packs—one located in the engine bay and the other in the transmission tunnel—with power being supplied by two electric motors mounted over each axle. Initial reports claim that the electric motors will be capable of producing a combined 1,000 horsepower, about 450 horsepower more than the 6.0-liter V12 engine that powers the Rapide S.

This is possible thanks to recent advancements in vehicle battery technology which allow batteries to not only be more powerful than before, they boast much longer driving ranges, with the Rapide's estimated at an impressive 200 miles. So far Aston Martin has not revealed whether the key components for the electric powertrain are being developed in-house or if an outside automaker is supplying the parts needed; however Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer did reveal to Auto Express magazine that an engineering feasibility study is currently underway at the company's HQ in Britain to see if such a model is indeed possible and practical for Aston Martin's long term goals.

While the very notion of Aston Martin undertaking such an ambitious project may seem a little controversial to Aston Martin loyalists who prefer to see the company maintain its current pace and production lineup, Palmer revealed that introducing an all-electric model would help the iconic British car maker comply with upcoming CO2 regulations that will be the most stringent guidelines yet. This bold move will not only allow the company to be in line with these new regulations, it will allow the automaker to avoid the dreaded action of downsizing and keep its dated, but still potent, V12 powerplant alive for the time being.

Palmer's remarks did not conclusively reveal whether or not the company has decided to formally produce the all-electric Rapide, but if it is indeed given the green light, look for it to arrive in Aston Martin showrooms in two to three years, and carry a base price of $300,000. While this is not cheap for a green-powered supercar, it does allow Aston to show the world what it is capable of in terms of innovation and technological prowess, and that is a win-win proposition.



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