In all honesty i don’t think I need to say too much about this car. It’s an Aston Martin with a 6 litre V12 and room for four. I think this just might be a car which is all things to all men.
We will start with the show stopping looks. The front end is essentially that from the DB9 and is therefore very pretty.
The grills are slightly larger with the bottom being more prominent giving it its own look of sorts. The new LED lights which run along the inside of the headlights give it a slightly more menacing look than its smaller sister, the DB9. Working back down the body it is clear to see that Aston have not fallen into a similar trap that the Porsche Panamera fell into. On the Porsche, incidentally one of Aston’s main rivals, was that it looked too much like a stretch 911, the rear doors seemed a bit out of place. On the Rapide the doors fit sleekly into the body line without losing the trademark Aston bodyline. The back end is lifted if the rear of the Vantage which in certainly my opinion anyway is better looking than the DB9’s. So certainly in terms of looks the new Rapide is a blend of everything Aston has done so well in recent years.
Of course the main party piece of the Aston is the glorious 6 litre V12 engine lurking under the surface. The ford derived engine boasts an impressive 470 bhp, although it is not quite the 510 you get from the DBS it is still enough to shake up the passengers in the back a little bit. The gear box is a six speed ‘touchtronic’ paddle shift. By now Aston has worked out the bugs that plagued the gear box when it first featured in the Vanquish and early DB9 models. A lot of effort has gone into making the Rapide not just powerful but good in the corners as well. It features the same under pinned chassis that the DB9 and DBS run on as well as sport suspension and a limited slip differential. Then there is the addition of a sport mode which sharpens up the suspension, throttle response and gear changes. All this makes it handle like a proper Aston.
The Rapide is certainly a terrific car. Sensational looks boosted by impressive performance and crisp handling put it above the Porsche Panamera. The danger is with this car is that it might be compared to the Rolls Royce Phantom or the new Ghost. Both these cars sport similar engines to the Aston but have twice the leg room and luxury. The difference is the Rolls Royce is a car to be driven in on your way to your private jet or luxury yacht. The Aston Martin Rapide is a car to drive, one to get behind the wheel and properly enjoy.