Petrol Rapide S will be phased out to make room for the all-electric RapidE.

Aston Martin and Williams Advanced Engineering joined forces in 2015 to create the RapidE concept, a car that hinted at a zero-emissions future for Aston's four-door coupe. Several months later, Gaydon signed a Memorandum of Understanding with LeEco to pave the way for a production version of the concept, slated to arrive in 2018.

Now, Aston Martin’s CEO Andy Palmer has reiterated the firm’s plans to launch the RapidE next year, but with a twist. The EV won’t join the V12-powered Rapide S on sale today... it will actually replace it altogether. This means the Rapide S is saying goodbye to its naturally aspirated 6.0-litre gasoline engine, which pushes out 552 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque. It also means the beefy AMR version revealed at Geneva is likely only to be a limited-run edition to signal the company’s newly formed AMR sub-brand. And mark the end of the V12 Rapide S.

As for the forthcoming EV, technical specifications are currently shrouded in mystery, but it is believed the RapidE will have 800 horsepower and enough battery juice for a range just shy of 200 miles. The RapidE isn't the only planned new four-door model from Aston Martin, either. The DBX crossover will be out by the end of the decade, and could be followed by a series of Lagonda-badged sedans.

However, a diesel is out of the question, especially since these “are definitely persona non grata these days,” according to Andy Palmer. He believes embracing electrification is the only way to go: pretty soon, he reckons, only EVs will be allowed in some cities around the world on specific days. 

Source: Motoring

Gallery: 2015 Aston Martin RapidE concept