25 Jan 2013

New Aston Martin Rapide S - specs and photos

Aston Martin has announced its new four seat ├╝ber-barge the Rapide S, which replaces the old Rapide.  The new car gets subtle revisions plus a great big shot of horsepower under the bonnet.

The 6 litre V12 is the same unit as found in the Vanquish.  In the Rapide S it produces 558bhp and 457 lb ft of torque.  0-60mph will take 4.9 seconds and the top speed is 190mph.  Perfect for hyperspeed down the autobahn to show the Germans that when it comes to exclusive, expensive, powerful luxury the Brits have it nailed.

Aston Martin also boast about 332 g/km and 19.9mpg.  Maybe those figures should have been buried in the small print.  However, ignoring the (lack of) green credentials the Rapide's power hike and performance is aided by variable cam timing, the engine being lowered by 19mm over the previous model and a stainless steel exhaust system - which means it'll sound fantastic.

Buyers will also be able to select one of 3 modes from the Rapide's Adaptive Damping System - Normal, Sport and Track.  That doesn't sound like a very Aston Martin feature but, given every other fast GT has a similar system, they have no choice but to provide it to users.

The Rapide is a more successful exercise in creating a 4 door saloon that stays true to it's 2 door siblings than the Porsche Panamera and Maserati Quattroporte.

The Aston Martin Rapide S will be available to order next month, and prices will be announced closer to the on-sale date.  The current Rapide costs £150,000.