Aston Martin Rapide S (2013) CAR review | Road Testing Reviews | Car Magazine Online

2 Sep 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Aston Martin Rapide S (2013) CAR review | Road Testing Reviews | Car Magazine Online
Aston Martin Rapide

S CAR review

By Ben Pulman


05 April 2013 11:00

is the new Aston Martin Rapide S. a facelifted version of the famed company’s super-saloon, timed to coincide with the launch of the new Quattroporte and facelifted Porsche

What’s new? The enlarged grille is big enough to make an designer jealous, the 6.0-litre V12 an extra 80bhp, and there’s a damping system that stiffer Sport and Track

Read on for our first drive of the new Aston Martin Rapide S.

The new Martin Rapide S has an extra That’s quite a hefty

It is, and it’s the main reason why the old has become the new Rapide S. The latest 6.0-litre V12 has 17% more grunt its predecessor, which means has jumped from 470bhp at to 550bhp at 6750rpm. It’s a 15bhp behind the flagship which stays ahead in the stakes only thanks to its airboxes.

Peak torque is up too, 443lb ft to 457lb ft at 5000rpm, but also an extra 30lb ft between idle speed and Three-tenths are shaved off the 0-62mph (now 4.9 seconds) and the top speed has from 183mph to 190mph.

of petrol-engined V12 limos probably care too much about the they’re burning, but consumption from 19 to 19.9mpg and CO2 emissions fallen by a whole 3g/km – but importantly it’s a cleaner overall and complies with EU6 regulations.

Does that big V12 good?

Slot the glass key (or Control Unit, in Aston into the top of the dash, hold it and the 6.0-litre engine wakes a filthy snarl, impressing and startling pedestrians. And on the road, the Sport button pressed opens the valves in the exhaust) and the pedal pinned, the twin emit a glorious crackling

The Rapide can refined too, and if you around gently with the in D and don’t floor the throttle, the V12 never really announces

But just as we found with the Rapide, it’s the moments gently cruising and … when the noise can be sporadic. In middle ground there seem to be any consistency to when the stays mute or starts loudly.

What else is new on the new S?

If we’re mean then is just a facelifted Rapide, but forthcoming pedestrian-protection regulations forced Aston to substantially its entire V12-engined range. means the DB9, Vanquish DBS) and Rapide S all have new mounted 19mm lower in the and to help meet the ped-pro there’s also a new (patent front-end construction too.

That lowered engine the centre of gravity, but it also everything under the bonnet revising. Ditto the chassis especially as there’s a new three-stage system too.

The Bilstein offer Normal, Sport and modes, the latter the new setting and a odd choice for a four-door sporting The spring ratings remain the as the outgoing Rapide, and the trade-off for hint of firmness is great control for a two-tonne limo. Panameras (our long-term GTS feel like they’re around when you make mid-corner adjustments, but the Rapide S remains impressively flat.

As for the they’re constantly adjusted by an ECU takes data from the angle, throttle and brake and vehicle speed.

It means is the best setting for over 90% of driving, but the ride doesn’t deteriorate if you switch to one of the firmer

What else?

Aston Martin Rapide

Without the of four-wheel drive to handle all power and torque, Aston has the Rapide S to stop it being a proposition if you’re just around. That means a throttle so you can carefully metre out the and unhurried gearchanges.

But if you’re with the throttle, sometimes right foot can nearly be in the carpet before the Rapide S So best to the Sport button for a pedal, otherwise you’re waiting for the revs to rise or the ‘box to downshift.

And even although there’s no doubting the S is properly quick, without a few (as per the Porsche Panamera Turbo S or new Quattroporte) this Aston a few revs to really deliver.

The setting doesn’t mess the weighting of the steering, but it does a little lighter and slicker the gritty helm we’d associate with an Aston – but with snow on the ground our car came shod with tyres so they could be the cause.

So if James Bond has a brood have this?

Only if 007 was as as Ian Fleming’s books suggest. The boot is actually bigger the Rapide’s seats do fold) and best be a child or the size of Moss if you want to squeeze the narrow rear door

Once inside the bucket-style are actually quite comfortable, the transmission tunnel clearly out you’re in something special, and are even a couple of screens if you to stick on a set of headphones and watch rather than listening to V12.

Coated in leather the of the cabin feels special and for once we’re grateful for an handbrake – it replaces the confusing item found rest of the range.

But it’s far from a perfect the dials are hard to read, the on the dash are hard to press, and the (despite being new) almost unfathomable.


The remains rather a muddle, and the is no limo. Of course it’s not a rival for the S-class, 7-series and A8, but the S pitches into a massively market – it can count everything the Porsche Panamera and Maserati and both potentially do the sporting thing better than

But if you want a practical Aston sports car, then the fits the bill. Plus never been much with the way the Rapide drives, and the new S only improves that

Aston Martin Rapide
Aston Martin Rapide
Aston Martin Rapide

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