Electric Aston Martin RapidE concept shown

Aston Martin has unveiled an all-electric version of the Rapide S super saloon, the RapidE (ha!).

Electric car specialists Williams Advanced Engineering have been involved in the development of the Aston Martin RapidE, which is expected to go on sale within the next two years.

Specs are unclear at the moment, but the RapidE is understood to have similar power to the V12-engined Rapide S, around 550bhp, with a range of around 200 miles. Later on, it could be joined by a high-performance version with an electric motor on each wheel, producing as much as 1000bhp.

The RapidE was unveiled at a creative summit held as part of Chinese premiere Xi Jinping’s state visit to the UK, a significant move as the UK tries to sell its technological expertise to China. But it also signifies a tie-up between Aston Martin and Shanghai-based venture capitalist firm ChinaEquity, which has provided much of the funding needed to develop as the RapidE.

As such, the RapidE will go on sale in China first, before being rolled out to other markets. Not only will it help Aston meet stringent fleet average CO2 emissions targets, it’s a clear indication of the strength of the brand there and the increasing interest in alternatively-fuelled luxury cars.

Aston Martin CEO, Andy Palmer, said: “We see luxury electric vehicles as an intrinsic part of our future product portfolio and welcome ChinaEquity into the next phase of study for the project development.

“The exciting RapidE concept tangibly demonstrates the capability and ambition of Aston Martin towards developing low- and zero-emission sports cars,” Palmer added.

“We are excited to participate in the development of the RapidE and to make a contribution to Sino-British clean energy and green environmental strategy,” said ChinaEquity boss Chaoyong Wang. “We feel confident that there are significant opportunities for electric cars in China and the world.”

Aston is targeting sales in the low hundreds for the RapidE. Prices are expected to start around £200,000, against £150,000 for the regular Rapide S.

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By Only Motors

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