Aston Martin Rapide review |

12 Jan 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Aston Martin Rapide review |
Aston Martin Rapide

The newest Aston Martin much more than two doors. Photo Gallery

King road tests and the Aston Martin Rapide.

say Aston Martins all look the and they have a point. you spy one you immediately know it’s an — they’re that — but was it DB9 or a DBS? A V8 or a V12?

You see two together, so it’s hard to

However, I’m at Phillip race circuit surrounded by than 40 examples representing facet of the line-up. It’s the track day organised by the company in and could be the largest gathering of down under.

Many have driven their interstate to be here, and some flown in from New Zealand. they’re all together like — the cars, that is, not the — it’s surprising how the leap out at you. They’re at as different from each as, say, Porsches.

The Aston has just been expanded by one and the most different of the lot. The is Aston’s first four-door after it joined the rush to slinky sedans. This pioneered by the Mercedes-Benz CLS and Maserati is growing rapidly.

The Porsche Panamera is another while Audi and BMW both to make “four-door coupes”.

So the Rapide is the one that has made the from two doors to four the fewest compromises on shape. A is more commodious in the rear but ugly from behind and all over. Aston struck a balance.

The Rapide sticks to the that surprised the Detroit show in 2006, which like a stretched DB9. by side, it’s obvious was a bit more involved than

It’s bigger in all dimensions to the pin-up 2+2, but most longer, by 30cm. The Rapide all the brand signatures, including doors that swing slightly to lift them of kerbs. But every panel is while ingredients such as the and side strakes are longer.

It gets a unique face a grille on the lower air intake and garnished with a string of

Aston says it’s the beautiful four-door sportscar, and hard to disagree. Some of the relies on visual tricks. The doors are much larger the actual openings; some of they conceal is structural. a squeeze to get in and, once it’s tight but bearable for better for children.

The rear fold for carrying long which is just as well cargo space is a relatively 317 litres.

One question mark the car’s assembly, which is done away from the Midlands at a special facility in Transplanting the brand’s craft appears to have worked; the car I was beautifully hand-finished to a high As usual, what appears to be is metal, including the Bang speaker grilles and magnesium paddles behind the wheel.

The just seems a little lavish.

There are no dud notes although the centre console, is borrowed from the DB9, has buttons and the control system is compared with the best of the

In technical terms the Rapide the DB9, with the same and six-speed automatic transmission at the rear axle. As with the most of the Rapide is aluminium and claims the bonded chassis has stretched without compromising Weight increases are the penalty, the Rapide 230kg heavier a DB9 at a whisker under two tonnes.

The Rapide chalks up a few firsts for the including an electronic park and dual-cast brake discs in iron and aluminium. It also adaptive dampers from the DBS to its wishbone suspension.

As well as the largest and heaviest Aston, the is also the slowest. At 5.2 seconds to 100km/h, it’s 0.4 seconds than a DB9. It gives up too, with a maximum of 296km/h, 10km/h less a DB9.

However, among these figures are no disgrace.

a starting price just more than the DB9 Coupe Aston executive Marcel expects to sell 30 Rapides by the end of the Globally, the company will 2000 a year.

My first is a delivery run of sorts. The night the track day, the Rapide to be relocated from the brand’s showroom to Phillip Island so it can be shown off to owners and a score of prospects. I’ve driven 140km before and they are not exciting.

It’s already dark and so I focus on negotiating Melbourne’s crawl and getting there drama.

It’s easy to get and the steering makes a favourable immediately. It’s direct, and terrifically weighted. It makes this 5m-long, highly piece of exotica through traffic a breeze.

Cabin and ride quality are better expected, too, and the days Astons came without control have long All the comforts and conveniences are here, heated seats. If there’s an it’s the control system and its buttons, which make a suitable radio station a

That’s not an issue at the circuit the day, when the weather has and Aston owners are patiently through driver briefings. than just a chance to their cars at speed, event is modelled on ones in Europe and the US in which professional drivers ride shotgun owners to coach them on the best from their Three instructors have out from Britain, where the has been offering performance courses for a decade.

The rest are locals with of motorsport experience.

Aston Martin Rapide

Under the guidance of Brit Paul I take the Rapide out first. never driven an Aston on a before and the experience is something of a The Rapide doesn’t feel a sedan but something smaller and agile — you could be in one of the coupes. The steering I liked on the is even better here, the brakes are excellent and gearshifts than expected. This V12 is a lovely unit that mind working hard.

It may not be the Aston, but the Rapide doesn’t slow.

During the course of the day a chance to sample the rest of the range, and when you drive back-to-back, as when you see them it’s the differences that out. The Rapide is the refined and member of the range, surprisingly to drive even on the track, yet and capable. Grip levels and speeds are high.

The Rapide the renewal that began DB9. That car helped break its habit of borrowing from previous owner and trading on a reputation that was racing history, part action hero.

After expanding its line-up the less expensive Vantage V8, ownership base has increased It’s now large enough in to make events such as the one at Island possible. Most of the were experiencing their car on a for the first time.

And most I to would do it again in a flash.

The should help expand the of Aston even further. The likely circuit warrior in the will make future days more likely, not And when the owners turn up to put a through its paces, they be pleasantly surprised.

While for trainspotters, at last there’s an one to pick.

ASTON MARTIN – $366,280 plus costs


ENGINE: 5.9-litre V12

OUTPUTS: at 6000rpm and 600Nm at 5000rpm

Six-speed automatic, rear-wheel

Read more about motoring at The Australian .

Aston Martin Rapide

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