One the road: Aston Martin Rapide | Andrew Anthony | Technology | The Guardian

21 Nov 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on One the road: Aston Martin Rapide | Andrew Anthony | Technology | The Guardian

Aston Martin Rapide

Aston Martin Rapide

Price £139,950

Top speed 188mph

Acceleration 0-62mph in 5.3 seconds

Average consumption 19mpg

CO2 emissions 355g/km

Eco rating 0.5

Bound for The school run

In a word Post-coital

As far as we know, James Bond never had children. While he often found himself tied up, he always managed to avoid getting tied down. It remains crucial to his identity as an escapist fantasy that he didn’t have to worry about the procreational payoff of recreational sex.

We can imagine 007 in a variety of tricky situations, but attending a parents’ meeting or discussing the latest Mini Boden catalogue are not among them.

But what if it had worked out with Vesper Lynd. and they settled down and produced a couple of micro agents? What would Bond drive? It’s just conceivable that he’d push a pram, but surely he wouldn’t own a people carrier.

The answer, perhaps, might be an Aston Martin Rapide. the new four-door supercar, ideal for those days when you’ve got to drop the kids and save the world.

Aston Martin Rapide

The four-door sports car is something of an oxymoron. It’s not just for reasons of speed that performance cars are essentially two-seat machines. The romance also depends on exclusion: it’s an adults-only environment. Thus, for the course of the journey, you can accelerate away from responsibility and stop being an adult.

Four doors suggest that the driver has a lot more baggage than will fit in any boot.

The way Aston Martin has dealt with these mixed messages is to produce a beautiful car that looks very much like any other Aston Martin, only longer. It’s more than 15 feet in length, but in the front you can con yourself that you’re in the cockpit of something much more intimate.

Each time you look over your shoulder, it’s a little shocking to find that a whole luxurious rear section is attached, as though not just the dimensions of the car, but also your life, were larger than what you had allowed yourself to believe. And no matter how fast you go, that life would still be there, right behind you.

But then the Rapide, as the name implies, can go very fast. What slightly dampens the thrill is that it’s a little weighty to manoeuvre around town. It’s wide, as well as long, and I was driving a left-hand drive version, which didn’t help.

I don’t think I’ve ever yearned so much to get out on the open road, and enable the car to forget that it was a saloon.

In the event, I succeeded in hitting a bollard and puncturing a tyre. It was all rather deflating. I pulled into a garage to use the air and, as I did so, a middle-aged man got out of his people carrier, in which his wife and children remained seated, and came over to admire the Rapide. It was the first one he’d seen on the road.

Wow, he said, shaking his head, that’s really something. And then he quietly went back and rejoined his waiting family.

• This article was amended on 5 May 2010. The original gave the top speed of the Aston Martin Rapide as 118mph. This has been corrected.

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