The Aston Martin Rapide E ditches the V12 for an all-electric drive
We've heard a lot from Aston Martin gone over the last couple of years particular Geneva most shows back to an electrified future.
And that's mostly been in the shape of the concepts, the gun the concepts.
Now, however, we've got something more concrete or by the minimum carbon fiber, the rapid This is not a concept but rather a proper, working production car, complete with the full carbon fiber battery case and technology developed with Williams advanced engineering.
And here to talk us through the car is it's vehicle line director John Caress.
John thank you very much indeed for joining us here.
This is your baby so you must be pretty excited to see it Let's start with the looks because to the [UNKNOWN] observer it looks such just like another repeat in some respect until you start going in to the details, [UNKNOWN] one of those obvious things is the wheels, talk through those.
Yes a very different, the product's about efficiencies in terms of how we utilize in the electric drive [UNKNOWN] within a very beautiful body.
We've made those subtle changes to the car.
The wheel is one of them.
And it's driven by aerodynamics.
So, reducing the aerodynamic track of the car is really important to reduce range and also, it's very lightweight.
[INAUDIBLE] forged aluminum.
Beautifully, diamond turn.
Gives us the aesthetic, but also gives us the efficiencies that we need.
So how much more effeciencies shaped than a standard?
We're about 8% better in terms of their efficiency which is.
A pretty big gain for.
Yeah absolutely and again all these tiny little sums all add up to a big improvement and of course with electric cars it's all about efficiency.
Absolutely so should we walk down the sort of around the front and have a look at the what you've done around here first?
Yes so one of the other changes that we've done is the front area You can see these perforations again.
We have a design aesthetic in there.
Again increasing the aero efficiency of the vehicle.
But also giving it a style differentiation which we wanted to do with the car.
Also make them purposeful while also making them look beautiful.
Certainly moving down along [UNKNOWN] got the nice little badge there on the haunches, which is a new branding.
Absolutely and it's the only badge that it wears, other than the wings.
Again, very discreet, understated, but displaying that.
It's a very different model to what we've done before, and it's the first.
It's the first luxury electric vehicle but also the first electric Aston Martin.
One thing I think it's worth just kind of imagining, because you look at the car, and I still can't quite get out of my head the fact that their must be a V12 under that bonnet.
So what is under the legnth of the car as we walk along it?
What we've basically done is taken out the V12.
We're taking out the torque tube.
That's in the center of the car.
We're taking out the eight speed transmission that's in the car and we're taking out the differential of the car.
It's just a husk.
And so we're left with the base structure of the car.
We obviuosly had to replace that with something, so we have the 65kWh primary pack.
Which takes up roughly about half the engine basically much like a V8 would be there that kind of size, all the way down center tunnel and is made to a single speed transmission, bespoke.
So how much more does that weigh that's always the big question is.
In the region of about 100 kilograms more than a repeat MR But the car's also 800 volt electrical architecture.
Why it's important for us is it will give us more efficiency in terms of charge times.
And that speed of charge while you're stopping at a service station or if you're going for meal, for instance, it gives you the convenience straightaway.
And that 800 volt architecture gives us that.
It also allows us to reduce the mass of the battery pack itself.
And makes it more efficient.
So what are we looking at in terms of charge times?
So we're looking at a charge of about half an hour.
You can charge on an 800 volt charge network and also, a 400 volt.
We got an onboard charger as well 22 kilowatt again, Very efficient very quick from a drive train point of view.
We've got to into integral powertrain motors on the car reinvented with over 950 Newton meters just going through just going through the real well so it's quarter.
I mean, thinking about the efficiency as well with a tire.
So this is a bespoke tie for us by prolly, again, lowering the frictional coefficient is really important as well to range and they've been really really supportive of that can these tiny little marginal gains gives us those few more miles.
Has it affected the way balance of the car?
Not at all.
So, if anything, we're a little bit more rear biased, but we're around the 50-50 where the base car is.
Where we're seeing electrification in this drive train is it's turning an AMR to 11 instance of adding more performance fuel to the car which an electric drive train More than 950 Nm really,really, gives us.
Have you got any kind of performance figures?
You can tell us about it.
Sub 4 seconds not up to 60.
155 miles an hour, breaks the performance feel, that's really, really interesting attribute and by-product that the drive train gives it.
So 57 miles an hour One and a half seconds ish.
So no quite far off DBS supervision and other levels.
And it's that real world performance feel, but also repeatable performance, you know?
The traffic light gone crazy, sometimes, but we want our customers to still.
Not be constrained by having electric car, be one that performance that all the time for them.
And [UNKNOWN] A lot of that comes down to cooling-
Because the shape is very recognizable, but it's designed for an internal combustion engine.
Have you managed to integrate the cooling- Yes, yes, so the front grille, for instance, so that's partially blanked.
It's big anyway, but we don't need all the air going through.
So I can't remember the percentage that is blanked off.
That again, that gives us an aero benefit, but we're only using the air Ratio that we need for this systems in the car
Range is obviously a big thing to talk about with electric vehicles, so what we So we're looking at 200miles on the DBRTP cycle.
Did you do it on the previous cycle [CROSSTALK] We did it on the previous cycle as well so that's about 230
Miles are there any DC cycle in this calibration phase of the project again will be pushing the engineering team to to eke out those extra fee miles and 10th miles as we're going through the make your ex track already.
So again, the car has a flavor of motorsport type suppliers who who want to make that jump from the track to the road.
We've been very selective so the motor for instance, the twin motors that we got, their supply pentacle powertrain.
It's the derived from the motor that's in the val'kyr so the car has a lot of that very [INAUDIBLE] very unique parts very high performance parts as well so we're getting that lightweight.
Also the technology story in the car.
So the regenatory breaking is again we want to keep the customer experience not akin to a ICE car, a V12 car.
But we want it to not be so far removed, like one pedal Flock [UNKNOWN] most important into the electric vehicle owners of the future for the [UNKNOWN] We'll run that journey absolutely.
So many we can't see from here but you know it's rare when you come [UNKNOWN] this huge diffuser.
I think we talking earlier about some big old piece of carbon fiber.
Absolutely, burns the whole length underneath [UNKNOWN] The exhaust muffler would be, and of course, the new motor and transmission that we've got under the car, again, those are real gains, give us those extra few miles.
Again, we've been pushing the engineering team very, very hard to just take out those tiny little clicks of cans, Gives us a small miles have been aid.
It's interesting one is I'm obviously still getting used to ease into all different things.
But it's interesting seeing all these are against we thought we were saying a lot of our games over the last sort of decade, I suppose because it's been a big advance you receive that with typically I suppose the
The end game of that is the Rebel Aston Martin Valkery.
This is answering the question about efficiency from a range.
Valkery is answering its sufficiency question for is aerodynamic and dent force.
The design team has been here at both ends without range versus absolute performance This car's about performance from a range perspective as well.
Inside the car, pretty much as you would expect, except for in the dash.
Yes, so the car's got a spoke turning channel CD screen.
The spoke design, the spoke graphics again,.
We're having to ask ourselves, Different questions about, well, what do we display for an electric car?
There's no tachometer.
So to speak that what information do our customers actually want?
And we've been taking feedback from customers about well what's important for them in terms of how do we convey this language of electric cars.
Like you said earlier, Henry, is it's a very different world.
And it's worth saying that there are only gonna be 155 of these produced, right?
And a lot fo what we're looking at here, or what it's been about for you, cuz you worked on this very early.
You were the first-
I was the program manager for the original [UNKNOWN].
So that's pretty extra ordinary to see this car go from a completely sort of [INAUDIBLE]
Yes, for its whole life.
Car all the way through to-
But what it's doing whilst it's rounding off
It's much more looking towards the gondola and saying this is all this stuff you have to learn about somewhere.
Even though this is the car at the end of its life.The byproduct of all this learning we're doing is a very beautiful, exciting, very limited edition special vehicle.
The whole thing really really proud of and it's a pioneer, in Aston Martin basically in terms of the processes, the skills, the people all the things that you kinda take for granted when you're designing a petrol engine car.
The end game is [UNKNOWN] And this is proving to be a very worthwhile exercise for Aston Martin to pioneer and forge that way hence we prepared- Jonathan, thank you very much I have looked forward to seeing one actually out on the road.
Thank you very much.
Hopefully I could drive one at some point, as well.
[INAUDIBLE] It should be pretty good shouldn't it?
The repeat he is intriguing is like worlds colliding with its blend of future and past.
And it's curious trying to imagine this familiar and slightly old school Aston Martin shape without a V 12 soundtrack.
However, They might have just created the most beautiful electric car to date.
But in some ways what is really interesting is that it has been created at all.
It would have been easy enough for Aston to develop all its electric technology behind closed doors.
After all, there are enough distractions at the moment with things like Valkyrie.
But I don't think anyone would have batted an eyelid, as the company hadn't produced an EV before the first Lagonda is due in 2022.
Perhaps then they have released this for sale at, you'll have noticed, an undisclosed price simply because they are so pleased with it, they couldn't resist teasing what they feel they're capable of.
No doubt we'll find out if and when we get to drive it.