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Aston Martin Reveals RapidE Concept, an All-Electric Sedan for China

Aston Martin showcased an all-electric version of the Rapide S four-door sports sedan today, outside Lancaster House in London.
Aston Martin RapidE Concept 12 photos
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The unveiling is meant to coincide with a visit from President of The People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, who is meeting with Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (as in Princess Kate).

Why? Very good question. The idea of shoehorning an electric powertrain into the Rapide S was born out of necessity, not love for the environment. Aston Martin needs to comply with more stringent emission regulations being enforced in China, and an EV is the only way.

The new RapidE concept has been developed in collaboration with Williams Advanced Engineering at its facility in Oxfordshire. Not a lot is known at the moment. However, the company's CEO, Andy Palmer, has twitted about "big lunchtime news is the 550bhp (or 1000bhp)."

According to him, the basic version that will come out in a couple of years will pack BMW M5 levels of power. A high-out version with Bugatti Veyron output will come along if the first version proves successful, which it probably won't.

“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," the CEO said.

Stuffing an Aston Martin with watts and volts does not make it into a Tesla Model S. Recent market studies have shown the Chinese market is reaching maturity and consumers are wising up. Also, let's not forget what happened to the Cygnet. It too was born from necessity (to lower fleet CO2 emissions) and only about one hundred of them were ever made.

Isn't Aston Martin the same company that's firing 15% of its workforce? Aren't they struggling to find development money for their new crossover? Yes, which is why the RapidE is built with £50 million from China Equity.

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