IT LOOKS just like an Aston Martin should - but below that sleek, coupe silhouette is a very different Aston indeed.
For this is the Aston Martin Rapide E - the first-ever all-electric model from the iconic British sports car builder.
Aston Martin Lagonda has chosen the Shanghai motor show to reveal the final production-ready version of the new car - a significant nod to the fact that China is now the world's fastest-growing market for electric vehicles.
Only 155 examples will be built at AML's new Welsh production facility - the company's self-styled ‘home of electrification' - and potential buyers are being invited to check out the as-yet undisclosed price ‘on application.'
Whatever they pay, they will get a state-of-the-art 600bhp all-electric sports car capable of covering the 0-60mph sprint in less than four seconds and powering on to a 155mph maximum. A colossal 950Nm of torque provides neck-snapping mid-range power with acceleration from 50-70mph taking a mere 1.5 seconds.
An 800V, 65kWh battery pack encased in carbon fibre and Kevlar is fitted under the bonnet where the Rapide's original six-litre V12, gearbox and fuel tank were located and powers two rear mounted electric motors.
Aston Martin quotes a range of over 200 miles under the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) and claims that the cutting-edge 800V architecture means that the Rapide E's performance-potential will not be restricted to a narrow window of battery charge or climatic conditions.
"The Rapide E will deliver its performance in a consistent and repeatable way as would be expected from a traditional Aston Martin product," says the company.
Styling changes are few and have been designed to achieve optimal aerodynamic performance. The metal vanes of the traditional Aston grille are replaced by a honeycomb design which minimises airflow through the body.
There are new forged alloy wheels and low rolling resistance Pirelli P-Zero tyres while the underfloor has been redesigned and there's a new, larger rear diffuser - all of which is designed to improve the car's aerodynamic efficiency and increase range as a result. The changes add up to an eight per cent aerodynamic improvement over the Rapide V12, says Aston.
Under the skin, there's a limited slip differential, revised spring and damper rates and three driving modes - GT, Sport and Sport + - which can be selected for tuning both the powertrain and handling.
In the cabin, Aston's traditional analogue instruments are replaced by a ten-inch digital display delivering key information including the battery's state of charge, current motor power levels, regenerative performance and a real-time energy consumption meter.
There's even a dedicated app which allows key information from the car to be remotely monitored and even provide the driver with walking directions to the car's parking spot.
Speaking ahead of the Rapide E's Shanghai debut, Dr Andy Palmer, AML's president and group CEO, commented: "As our first all-electric production car, it is a truly historic step. One that signals Aston Martin is prepared for the huge challenge of an environmentally responsible and sustainable future."