The current generation of Aston Martin’s lineup has truly incredible performance chops, and since the automaker is engineering its first electric car called the Aston Martin RapidE, it wants to make sure its batteries are capable of keeping up on a hot lap of the nefarious Nürburgring, which current EVs would struggle to do.
Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer took to Twitter yesterday to share some “nerdy but bloody good” details of the automaker’s upcoming RapidE, which will essentially be a totally reworked version of Aston’s combustion-engined Rapide model and supposedly previewed by the recent Rapide AMR concept.
Palmer’s mentioning of the upcoming car’s “ability to have usable performance for laps of Nürburgring” is significant because hot laps of race tracks is something EVs have been struggling with for years.
We took a Tesla Model S around the ‘Ring back in 2014, with the car going into its protective reduced power mode after only three minutes of the lap and finishing at around ten minutes total (which isn’t horrible). Car And Driver ran into a similar issue when they track tested a Model S P85D. Their test car went into “limp mode” as well, and I’ll let them explain why that happens:
We expected a slowish overall lap because of our experience with the car during acceleration testing. Electric wiring resistance and losses converting maximum DC-battery watts to AC-motor horses generate a lot of heat. And too much heat can permanently damage the battery, so the car protects itself by limiting current flow.
If Aston can manage to produce a car that can truly send it around the ‘Ring alongside its fierce, internally combusting rivals, we’ll get a fresh glimpse at the immense performance capability of EVs. It’s one thing for a racecar to do it, like the record-breaking electric Volkswagen Pikes Peak racer, and another for a fat luxurious people car. If they pull it off, the RapidE has the potential to really hurt some egos.
Palmer’s mentioning of a new 800-volt system for the car is also significant as the upcoming Porsche Taycan will be getting the same upgrade. The 800-volt technology has the potential to split charging times in half, according to Porsche, because it moves the limiting factor of the charge from the charging connector to the limit of the batteries themselves. Car And Driver has a more detailed interview with a Porsche engineer on how the new technology is supposed to work.
Last we heard, the Aston Martin RapidE will be a limited production run of 155 cars and will go on sale next year. While power figures have yet to be announced, Aston claimed it was targeting around 800 to 1,000 horsepower for the car back in 2015.
Sounds like fun. First one to the ‘Ring gets to see if their batteries overheat.