Mating the thrill of a responsive and powerful 560PS V12 engine with the refinement of an eight-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission, the Rapide S offers a very special blend of performance. One that combines searing pace and a towering 203mph top speed with agile handling, supple ride and a luxurious, hand-crafted cockpit tailored for four adults.
Elegance and exclusivity are also key ingredients in the singular and inimitable Rapide S recipe. Crisp, clean lines and a purity of proportion, combined with imposing scale and a sleek stance ensure tremendous presence. Generous haunches and flawless surfacing allow light to flow along its flanks, while iconic design signatures such as the side strakes and bold grille underline the Rapide S as a pure Aston Martin.
Aston Martin’s President and Chief Executive Office Dr. Andy Palmer said: “Right from its inception the Rapide set out to do something different: to offer the essence of Aston Martin in a more spacious but no less sporting or beautiful package. It’s testament to the original concept that the Rapide S has matured into something even more compelling. Hugely desirable and immensely capable, it juxtaposes incredible performance with space, style and luxury. Our customers love the fact its four-door, four-seat design enables them to share the Aston Martin experience with their friends and family. That it continues to do so with such panache and personality underlines its rare combination of qualities.”
Every aspect of the Rapide S has been painstakingly honed to create a unique blend of performance, dynamism and refinement for a memorable driving experience that remains truly one-of-a-kind some seven years since the Rapide was first introduced.
Central to this is Aston Martin’s legendary naturally-aspirated 6.0-litre V12 engine, which develops 560PS at 6750rpm and a peak of 630Nm of torque at 5500rpm. Tuned for a broad spread of performance in the Rapide S, there’s ample torque available from just 2500rpm for effortless overtaking response. These impeccable manners belie an engine boasting race car technology – developments derived directly from Aston Martin Racing’s successful World Endurance Championship GT campaign – to maximise both performance and efficiency. Such race-to-road technology transfer includes fully CNC machined combustion chambers and lighter, hollow, cam shafts. The V12 also sits as low as possible in the chassis for a centre of gravity more akin to a pure sports car than a luxurious four-seater. And of course, being an Aston Martin, it has a magnificent voice to match its rousing performance.
This epic powerplant is perfectly matched to the silken Touchtronic III eight-speed automatic transmission. Developed in partnership with ZF, this exceptional transaxle gearbox delivers swift, smooth shift speeds, moving between ratios as quick as 130 milliseconds, while careful attention to gearbox efficiency allows more power and torque to be transmitted to the road more of the time.
While there’s plenty to enjoy in the quick and near-seamless shift quality, keen drivers will revel in the truly comprehensive selection of available driving features such as ‘Drive’ and ‘Drive Sport’ modes along with ‘Paddle Shift’ and ‘Paddle Shift Sport’ options for more engaging, sporting, shift control. Optimal, multi-ratio downshifts are available by pulling and holding the down shift paddle, allowing for the car to select the lowest available gear when under braking.
Adaptive Drive Recognition (ADR), meanwhile, tailors shift points to the individual driver’s style. Thus, a more spirited driver in standard ‘Drive’ mode will rapidly adapt to enjoy a shift map more akin to the settings found in ‘Drive Sport’. As the programming is reset during each key cycle – when the car is locked and unlocked – the perceived ‘changes’ to the car’s nature are similarly reset, so you can be sure the Rapide S always moulds itself to each and every journey.
A True Sports Car
No other four-door car performs quite like the Rapide S, but there’s a great deal more to its dynamic repertoire than a 200+mph top speed. Qualities such as the inherent poise and athleticism born of near-perfect balance and an exhaustive development programme at the Nürburgring Nordschleife. Qualities formerly the exclusive preserve of dedicated sports cars.
As befits the more sporting nature of the Rapide S it benefits from Aston Martin’s hi-tech Adaptive Damping System (ADS), which offers three distinct settings: ‘Normal’, ‘Sport’ and ‘Track’, with the character of each specifically tuned for the Rapide S, and therefore distinct from other ADS-equipped models in the Aston Martin range.
The ADS automatically alters the suspension settings to ensure the driver has high levels of control at all times, with the ability to respond quickly to different driving conditions. The different damping modes help to significantly broaden the character of the Rapide S, adapting its set-up to suit the driver’s precise requirements. Thus, it can be a luxurious GT car in Normal mode with the capacity to morph into a more assertive sports car in Sport and Track modes.
A multi-stage Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system is precisely tuned to the Rapide S so that the driver can progressively work their way to, and eventually just beyond the limits of grip and traction, while always safe in the knowledge the electronic safety net will intervene when precisely when required. Of course, being an Aston Martin and therefore a true sports car, the DSC system can be disabled for the purest possible driving experience when mood and opportunity allows.
First Class Travel
As with all modern Aston Martins, handcrafting is the order of the day in the Rapide S. The use of authentic materials throughout the interior ensures what looks like metal, wood, leather or glass is just that. The result is a beautiful, tactile and aromatic interior that delights the senses and immerses you in a world of fine quality and exceptional comfort.
Thanks to a host of luxury or sports-orientated options, Rapide S customers can create a car precisely tailored to their specific style. The optional Carbon Exterior Pack, for instance, immediately dials up the Rapide’s sporting attitude. Front splitter, rear diffuser, mirror caps and rear lamp infills all fashioned from carbon fibre clearly signal the sporting nature of this 558 PS four-seater. Likewise, duotone perforated red and black leather accentuates the car’s more dynamic character.
For those looking for more pronounced luxury, the piano black interior pack adds a deep, rich, mirror-like shine to the facia, transmission tunnel centre plate and door handles. A darker surround in the instrument binnacle and steering wheel with black horn-push surround, round off the pack’s sumptuous additions. Luxurious blend headlinings in either tan or grey emphasise the luxury still further inside.
In the spirit of this fusion of sporting luxury great care has been taken to ensure extraneous noise is quashed and desirable sound is enhanced. These carefully tuned NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) qualities ensure road and wind noise is minimised, while the delicious sound of the V12 engine can be enjoyed, either as a mellow accompaniment or rousing soundtrack depending upon whether you elect to activate the sports exhaust.
Practicality is not a quality you would normally associate with a genuine 200+mph car, but the Rapide S offers exceptional flexibility: the rearmost pair or its four seats capable of accommodating adults in a uniquely sporting setting, or folding down at the touch of a button to almost triple the available load space.
Those seeking the ultimate in luxury and personalisation can also consider the ‘Q by Aston Martin’ service which offers uniquely-tailored options for individualisation. The Q service focuses on fashioning colour and materials with limitless boundaries precisely to customer choice and specification, enabling owners to give free rein to the creativity and indulge their desire for bespoke luxury.