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Aston Martin Rapide Axed

Aston Martin Rapide Axed

In a sign of the times, premium sports car company Aston Martin has signed the death warrant for its petrol-powered Rapide sports sedan, which will be replaced by an EV.

The confirmation same from Aston Martin CEO Dr Andy Palmer, who told “The Rapide as a car by itself disappears, [but] the four-door market is covered in a different way.”

The V12-powered cruise missile will be directly replaced by an electric-only powertrain in 2018, dubbed the RapidE, and indirectly by the DBX crossover and Lagonda luxury sedan.

“So obviously there’s a platform for the electric Rapide, so it has life in front of it, but the Rapide as you see it today is also going to be replaced by the DBX on one hand and the Lagonda on the other,” said Palmer.

First launched back in 2010, the Rapide is the world’s fastest four-door vehicle, and the new Rapide AMR version will be capable of 338km/h thanks to its thumping 6.0-litre 440kW V12.

But that vehicle’s beefy V12, it seems, doesn’t measure up for future emissions regulations and will be replaced by the DBX and Lagonda vehicles from 2020.

And the RapidE?

“It’s coming 2018. It’s around the corner,” said the Aston CEO.

That vehicle is expected to develop a neck-snapping 600kW or 800hp from its electric motors to give the Tesla Model S something to think about. The company has not divulged official figures but the battery-powered Aston Martin is tipped to have a cruising range of around 320km, depending on driving style.

The engineering behind the electric powertrain is being handled by Williams Advanced Engineering, which is affiliated with the Williams Formula 1 team, and development costs are being partly shouldered by ChinaEquity, one of the largest private merchant banks in what is the world’s largest new car market today.