Aston Martin Wrestles Gasoline From the Grasp of World's Sexiest Sedan

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

We’re all used to driving curvaceous V12 sedans, right? Now, how would you react to news that your luxury automaker of choice planned to strip all fossil fuel-related hardware from it just to satisfy some squares with exceptionally strong regulatory powers?

That’s the situation for fans of the Rapide S, which Aston Martin claims is — in AMR guise — the world’s fastest four-door vehicle. Aston claims it just can’t keep building all of these 12-cylinder beauties in Europe’s regulatory environment. For some vehicles, gas has to go. And guess which model takes the first hit?

Speaking to Australia’s Motoring, Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer said the Rapide S has no future beyond this decade. It seems that looming emissions requirements will put the kibosh on the model’s 6.0-liter V12. However, the Rapide name isn’t disappearing entirely.

The quintessentially British automaker expects an electric version of the Rapide in short order, possibly named the RapidE. Get it?

“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,” Palmer said.

The limited-production, uber-luxurious Lagonda is apparently all the gas-powered four-door Aston needs. It should appear by 2020. Meanwhile, the RapidE, or whatever name the automaker gives it, is expected to be a muscular green performer. Official power output isn’t known, but it could be in the order of 800 horsepower.

“It’s coming 2018. It’s around the corner,” said Palmer of the coming EV.

In a bid to cut down on air pollution, many European cities are considering laws mandating gas-free motoring on certain days of the week, or in certain downtown locales. No one with money to burn wants to drive their vehicle to the suburbs, only to hop on a train. The all-electric model could also prove appealing to well-heeled Chinese customers.

[Image: Aston Martin]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • CarnotCycle CarnotCycle on Mar 21, 2017

    A gas-turbine parallel hybrid would be fitting for an Aston; a unique shameless excess, a can't-miss-it 'exhaust note,' smooth as electric anything, powerful beyond anything, and always breaking down somehow. Plus it'd run E85, biodiesel, whatever. With a plug-in module, there'd be more re-energize opportunities between fuel stations and electric outlets for that car than anything else operating.

    • Cognoscenti Cognoscenti on Mar 21, 2017

      What's next - Mr. Fusion, as connected to the Flux Capacitor?

  • OldManPants OldManPants on Mar 21, 2017

    Renderings for 6-figure cars should get details like light sources right. If the sun can glint square off that AM's grille area than it should also be highlighting the masts, sails and the building in the background.

    • See 2 previous
    • Rcousine Rcousine on Mar 21, 2017

      @OldManPants Yes, but it could also be a pure rendered car-model composites on top of the blurry background, there's multiple ways of doing it, and the photo isn't hi-res enough to hunt for too much detail. My guess is it's a rendering of a car composited onto the marina background, but it could be a real car, too. Back to the car, I think if they get the car bits right, there's every reason an all-electric version could be great. The real-world users of these will do just fine with this amount of range, and no they don't generally drive around near top speed, like, ever. Look for Rolls Royce to be the obvious next adopter of electric drivetrains.

  • Bd2 Probably too late to do anything about it for the launch, but Kia should plan on doing an extensive refresh of the front fascia (the earlier, the better) as the design looks really ungainly.
  • Namesakeone Since I include SUVs and minivans as trucks, I really cannot think of a brand that is truly truckless. MG maybe?
  • Sobhuza Trooper Subaru, they were almost there with the BRAT. --On a lighter note, where the hell is my Cooper Works Mini truck?
  • Mike Evs do suck, though. I mean, they really do.
  • Steve Biro I don’t care what brand but it needs to be a compact two-door with an ICE, traditional parallel hybrid or both. A manual transmission option would be nice but I don’t expect it - especially with a hybrid. Don’t show me an EV.