Aston Martin Rapide S – The 200 mph cruiser
Though not dramatically changed in any major way at a first glance, the 2015 Aston Martin Rapide S has been reworked in many areas. If fuel economy and the carbon footprint is what put to you off from buying this car, you’ll be glad to hear that the 2015 Rapide is now 11% more economical (averaging 13 mpg for city driving and 21 mpg on the motorway cruise) and emissions have been cut down by 10%. However, truth be told, if you’re interested in buying one, you’re probably less concerned about such trivial matters as fuel economy. So let’s skip to the more important stuff, like performance and looks.
On the outside, the Aston Martin Rapide S receives two new colors (Divine Red and Sea Storm green) and a brand new set of posh 20″ wheels with diamond and graphite finishes. One could say that it’s not much change for the new model and one would be right. But then again, if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. And so far, no one has ever thought of an Aston Martin and described it as lacking in the looks department. A plus side of their slick 4-door coupe styling is the great aerodynamics of the car which allows it to reach that blistering fast top speed of 203 mph. Of course, there’s also a downside to it, the rear seat space, which is slightly smaller than some of its competitors. But hey, you can’t have it all, can you? Although, you get quite close to it, with the Aston Martin Rapide S.
The British manufacturer has got us used to their subtle face-lifts since 2010 for this model, constantly improving on all aspects of the car to an as-close-as-humanly-possible level of perfection.
Performance wise, again, no radical changes. It still has its mighty 6.0 liter V12 (OK, we know it’s actually a 5.9 but Aston prefers we call it a 6.0 liter). It has now received an improved Bosch engine management system which increases the power to 552 bhp at 6650 rpm and 465 lb-ft. Not massively increased power, but if you consider its 4,400 pound weight, that’s plenty. As a matter of fact, enough to propel it from 0 to 60 in a supercar-like 4.2 seconds and up to a top speed of 203 mph. The magic ingredient allowing these performance figures is the all-new, rear-mounted, 8 speed ZF gearbox which is able to complete shifts in just 130 milliseconds when set in sport mode. Add some stiffer anti-roll bars, returned springs and dampers, upgraded 400mm brakes and some Bridgestone Potenza tires and you’ll understand why this massive cruiser-bruiser feels just as agile and responsive as its smaller and lighter stable-mate, the Vanquish.
Sumptuous and refined to an almost opulent level, the interior just oozes luxury. The excellent craftsmanship and the high level of attention to details have been Aston Martin’s trademark for a while now, and the 2015 Aston Martin Rapide S makes no exception. Hand-sewn quilted leather, rich materials, additional finishes and an almost infinite list of optional extras make it easy for the buyer to make this ultra-luxurious sedan exquisitely personal. Just bear in mind that the $200,000 base price of the Aston Martin Rapide S will increase faster than its speedometer at full throttle.