Road Test: Aston Martin Rapide | SACarFan

7 Nov 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Road Test: Aston Martin Rapide | SACarFan
Aston Martin Rapide

Road Test: Aston Rapide

The Aston Martin is the first vehicle from the manufacturer that I#8217;ve had the to pilot. I say #8216;privilege#8217;, because there being faster and expensive cars on the road, the Martin Rapide is imbued a cocktail of character, ultimately as sheer class.

Aston is known best for its two-door and supercars, but history has seen the venture into the super-saloon before. In 1947, David purchased both Aston and Lagonda. Not badged as an Aston but in an effort to revive the Lagonda some years later, the Martin DB4 was used as the platform which to build the Lagonda #8211; a four-door GT car produced 1961 until 1964.

to order and rather expensive in its the Lagonda Rapide sold in numbers, just 55 in fact. in 1974, in a reversal of names, Martin launched the Lagonda a luxury four-door that was in price only by the Rolls-Royce Spirit and Bentley Mulsanne. 645 Martin Lagondas were despite it being heralded as one of the 50 cars of the last 50 years, to Bloomberg Businessweek. Thankfully, with the introduction of the Aston Rapide, the name and the car are now decidedly .

The Rapide borrows many of the Aston Martin DB9 coupe#8217;s attributes, specifically, the extended that makes way for the Rapide#8217;s reason for being, the two rear Despite the Rapide being 290 mm than DB9, aluminium of the chassis ensures the Rapide just 190 kg more than the DB9 at 1 950 kg.

The lines are also borrowed those of the DB9, which been masterfully sculpted to and disguise the two rear doors. the long bonnet beats the 6.0-litre V12 engine and inside the everything forward of the B-pillar is very DB9. Wonderful indeed.

Instantly recognisable as an Martin, the Rapide#8217;s styling faithful to the athletic stance of its sister models. Front on, the new alloy upper and lower give the super saloon on the road, while the new single bi-xenon headlight units bright white LEDs to set the car from all others.

Helping to the coupe-like proportions is a low roofline, side windows that the impression of a single window Aston#8217;s iconic side that stretches into the doors, as well as a set of 20-inch wheels that visually the wheelbase. Strong rear hint at the power that beneath and frame the rear that opens to provide of cargo area. ‘C’ shaped lamps, each housing 360 . complete the signature Aston styling.

The four ‘swan wing’ open up and out at an angle of 12 degrees to the chance of kissing the curb drawn along side, also providing easier to the cabin. Once inside, the passengers share in Aston#8217;s crafted workmanship. In front, the and controls are elegant and minimalist in appeal.

Small buttons between solid aluminium dials can be a little challenging to whilst driving and the satellite screen that rises out of the requires some time to However, passengers will themselves immediately au fait the seats. Sporty and snug, are comfortable over short and journeys and are optionally available internal heating and cooling.

A centre console runs the front to the rear of the cabin. The houses storage areas both the front and rear with ample space for CDs or items. For the rear passengers it serves to provide a cosseting . Two individually appointed sports form the rear environment of the but having been designed as a sports car, and then as a … rear passengers find space limited.

The two rear seat-backs fold at the touch of a button to increased capacity to 750-litres. Luxury and are a given, with independent control in the rear as well as an rear entertainment system; two LCD are integrated into the back of the seat headrests, linked to a DVD changer, with sound delivered via wireless headphones or the standard 1000 W Bang BeoSound Rapide #8211; a sound system tailored to the

Attention to detail is evident the interior, from the leather dashboard in front, to the Alcantara lining, through to the hand-trimmed with its carpeted floor and iridium anodised runners and plates, the Rapide exudes and panache.

The Rapide#8217;s ride and are setup to cater for the car#8217;s abilities together with driver control. The Rapide#8217;s Damping System (ADS) two separate valves to automatically the dampers between five positions, allowing instant of the car’s ride and handling

Under normal driving the ADS softens suspension for a more ride, but being a sports the Rapide does periodically road imperfections. However, the remains a serene environment at speeds thanks to the double windows that do well to wind and road noise, nothing but a reassuring hum emanating beneath the bonnet.

At the driver#8217;s and call#8217; is the 6.0-litre naturally-aspirated, V12 engine, which produces 350 kW and 600 Nm of Sending drive to the rear via a 6-speed #8216;Touchtronic 2#8242; transmission, the Rapide is one smooth around town.

With no of power, response from the V12 is and acceleration is swift . Even squeezing the right pedal in 6th at 60 km/h with the engine just above the 1 000 r/min the Rapide surges forward The exhaust note echoes the refined character with an bassy, burble from away.

Press the #8216;Sport#8217; however, and the Rapide momentarily off its eloquence in favour of a far more spirit, especially once 3 800 r/min, which leads to of delight from its passengers  both male and female I add. The 6-speed automatic can be manipulated by the driver via the steering magnesium paddles and allows one to in the more aggressive gear pattern as shifts are made and more forceful.

The electronic gadgetry also more aggressive engine matching on downshifts and in full mode, upshifts occur at speeds. Fewer sounds are intoxicating than a naturally V12 in full song.

It#8217;s not the drivetrain that responds to the #8216;Sport#8217; button . Once the suspension dampers are automatically set to firmest positions, readying the chassis for eager driving A low centre of gravity, a near weight balance of 51:49 thanks to the gearbox being to the rear of the car on the transaxle #8211; with wide Bridgestone S001 tyres (245/40 R20 and 295/35 R20 rear), endow the with true sporting

The 5 metre long saloon rapidly (no pun intended) between remaining taught and composed changes of direction #8211; carry a little too much speed and the tail-end will prompting the Dynamic Stability (DSC) system to intervene. The maintain their composure being made from a of cast iron and aluminium, results in a 15 #8211; 20% reduction in over conventional cast units. Crucially, Aston#8217;s DNA has been retained, which for a real level of feedback steering that one might not from a four-door saloon.

In short, the Rapide isn#8217;t as or as roomy in the back as its most rival, the Porsche Panamera. it costs considerably more. beautiful, charismatic, has a magnificent V12 and makes you feel special time you drive it. Believe the the Aston Martin Rapide is world#8217;s most elegant sports car#8221;.

What we

A more intuitive sat-nav

Gear shift paddles to with the steering wheel than fixed to the steering

Another go!

Aston Martin Rapide
Aston Martin Rapide

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