Aston Martin Rapide E: 602bhp electric supersaloon debuts at Monaco Formula E race

New Aston Martin Rapide E electric saloon makes its 'dynamic debut' at Monaco Formula E race

Aston Martin Rapide E

The electric Aston Martin Rapide E has made its 'dynamic debut' at the Monaco Formula E race, in the hands of works driver Darren Turner. This follows the car's unveiling at the Shanghai Motor Show earlier in the year.

It’s the British luxury brand’s first electric car, arriving ahead of the DBX SUV due in 2020. Based on the petrol-powered Rapide, the saloon features a pair of electric motors sending 602bhp to the rear wheels: this results in a 0-62mph time of less than four seconds and a top speed limited to 155mph.

The Rapide E uses a 65kWh battery, which should return more than 200 miles of range based on the latest WLTP efficiency tests.

It’s compatible with rapid charging speeds of over 100kW, which Aston Martin says will get the battery from 0-80% in little over half an hour. The Rapide E also has an on-board AC charger for destination charging, with a full top-up promised in less than three hours.

Following his time in the car, Turner said: “I’ve had the privilege to join the Aston Martin engineering team at various stages of the car’s development and the performance that’s on offer in Rapide E really is incredible. The car has the kind of torque and punch that you’d expect... but they’ve really worked hard to retain the dynamic characteristics of what makes an Aston Martin special."

Outside, Aston Martin has introduced a new honeycomb grille, front splitter, floor, rear diffuser and alloy wheels to deliver an 8% increase in aerodynamic efficiency, thus boosting the range. It has also used lots carbon-fibre in order to minimise the weight gain caused by the battery.

Inside, a 10-inch digital instrument cluster displays key information to the driver, including remaining battery charge, real-time energy consumption and regenerative braking performance.

The centre console features climate control and infotainment screen controls, in a similar layout to that used on other Aston Martin models. Driving modes include GT, Sport and Sport+ settings, each affecting the performance of the drivetrain and suspension.

The Rapide E also comes with a dedicated smartphone app, showing things like the current range and remaining charge time. Sat-nav instructions can also be sent to the car remotely, with the app showing its location in crowded car parks.

“Unveiling the Rapide E will be a huge moment for Aston Martin,” said CEO Andy Palmer. “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.”

Built in the company’s new factory in St Athan, Wales, the Aston Martin Rapide E is on sale now, with a rumoured price tag in the region of £250,000. The car is a limited-edition vehicle, with only 155 set to be built.

As well as the forthcoming DBX SUV, Aston Martin has developed an electric powertrain for its classic cars. The DB6 MkII Volante is the first vehicle to undergo the conversion.