Driven: Aston Martin Rapide S| Love or Hate? Imbroglio.

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While a few will feel obscure, it is important to discuss whether to love or hate this car! I am not going to present any revelation, but instead rejig the things that cause a state of imbroglio after I drove this gorgeous V12 Rapide S.


The most beautiful four-door exotic sports sedan you will ever find!


Well, this car to me looks poetic and sharp at the same time. The Vanquish style grille and the fighter-jet like styling sure attract attention. The revised front end design is matched at the back by a striking new rear deck profile which includes a more pronounced boot lid ‘flip’. The aerodynamic and aesthetic upgrades both reinforce the sporting nature of new Rapide S. It is a fact that it looks striking from all angles and the Rapide S boasts of its lengthy 117.7 inches of wheelbase while I was wondering how spacious the car will be on the inside when I saw it for the first time!Our test car came with the frost white paint job and Aston Martin is offering infinite number of paint job options. Well, the most striking colour is red without doubt.



Big Numbers


Every car in the Aston Martin line-up boasts of big numbers; be it in terms of power, torque or the price. The Rapide S houses a mighty 6 litre V12 which packs 550bhp of maximum power and 620Nm of peak torque. It can hit 60 mph in 4.2 seconds. Top speed is 203 mph.The starting price of the Rapide S is AED 937,000/-.


Our test car came with the special Bang and Olufsen which costs around 8000 dollars (INR 5 lakh). Standard on the 2017 model are cool 10-spoke alloy silver wheels, LED and electroluminescent lighting, hands-free entertainment and heated front- and rear seats, among other things.




How plush are the interiors?


The front side is typical Aston Martin with the obisidian black instrument cluster. The dashboard, steering and seats come with a Copper and Sahara Tan colour combination. In other words, we can call it brown leather. The stitching and quilting in this car is overloaded. At times it’s  way too much for a sports sedan. The interiors are well built with top quality leather and other materials, but the comfort factor was missing. We have rear seat entertainment, hand rests and everything you need to get pampered by, but a Maybach for the same price will offer better comfort than the Rapide S.




What feels special is that even the rear seats feels like a jet cockpit, it feels less connected to other seats. The sloping roofline kills rear heardroom and the reason for the close quarters, of course, is that the designers at Aston Martin have ingeniously kept the car close to the same proportions as its two-door siblings.



How mad it is to drive?


Once when I spoke to Marek Reichman about the Vulcan, he said they don’t believe in supercharging or turbocharging. Aston Martin, as a brand, offer raw power in all their cars, while it might sound a bit out dated when the brand is not using the latest technologies which will help a 1.5 litre engine to generate over 400hp. Still following the basics and its classic! The pace with which the acceleration builds up is different. You can’t experience this kind of feeling in any Porsche/Mercedes. While everyone use turbos, Aston Martin still promises to deliver a special feeling with their cars. The driver involvement is so high in the Rapide S that we need to do a bit of work while in other cars the turbos and sensors do the job.



The Rapide S behind the wheel is a very angry car. The best part is the V12 noise which puts all the competition into shame. It makes a truly wondrous noise. The Rapide S is a great car to handle and you won’t ever feel odd about the length of the car and it feels nimble even around the corners. 550bhp of power goes all the way to the rear axles with LSD helping  you unleash your inside devil when you get to drive alone and when needed; this car is  pure show off material. You can play Travers Beynon around town with the Rapide S. The thunderous V12 sound track is to die for and thanks to Aston Martin for building such a raw family car! I am sure your spouse wouldn’t be much happy if you get her the Rapide S but hey it’s an Aston. The blend of power and handling is what people like me crave for. Even if a car isn’t as fast as a missile, the feel matters with how well the power is mixed with handling. In that case, the Rapide S is a superstar!



Do we have to think twice?


To be honest, yes. For a car that costs this much, we will have to think twice. This is some sort of family car for the James Bond. The Rapide S doesn’t score much stars in terms of comfort factor comparing it with the BMW, Porsche or Mercedes considering it is a four-door exotic sports sedan, but in terms of driving performance and handling, other manufacturers need to go back to their boardroom discussions and come up with something new. This is the best looking and best handling four-door exotic sports sedan ever. Period.


 

 

Aston Martin Rapide S specification



 

Body

  • Four-door sports car with four seats
  • Extruded bonded aluminium VH body structure
  • Aluminium, magnesium alloy and composite body
  • Extruded aluminium door side-impact beams
  • Single bi-xenon headlamps with integrated LED side lights and direction indicators
  • Clear LED rear lamps

 


Engine

  • All-alloy, quad overhead camshaft, 48 valve, 5,935cc, V12
  • Front mid-mounted engine, rear-wheel drive
  • Fully catalysed stainless steel exhaust system with active bypass valves

Max power: 558 PS (550 bhp) at 6,750 rpm

Max torque: 620 Nm (457 lb ft) at 5,500 rpm

Acceleration: 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 4.9 seconds

Max speed: predicted 306 km/h (190 mph)

 


Transmission

  • Rear mid-mounted ‘Touchtronic 2’ six-speed transmission with electronic shift-by-wire control system
  • Alloy torque tube with carbon fibre propeller shaft
  • Limited slip differential
  • Final drive ratio 3.46:1

 


Wheels & Tyres

  • 20-inch, 20-spoke, silver painted alloy wheels
  • Front wheel: 8.5J x 20-inch
  • Rear wheel: 11J x 20-inch
  • Front tyre: Bridgestone Potenza 245/35 ZR20
  • Rear tyre: Bridgestone Potenza 295/30 ZR20
  • Tyre repair kit

 


Dimensions


 

Length:

 

5020mm (inc. front number plate plinth) Wheelbase: 2989mm
Width:

 

2140mm (inc. mirrors) Fuel tank capacity: 90.5 litres (19.9 Imp.galls, 23.9 US galls)
Height:

 

1350mm Weight: 1990 kg

 

 

 


Steering

  • Rack and pinion, servotronic speed-sensitive power-assisted steering, 3.0 turns lock-to-lock
  • Column tilt and reach adjustment

 




Brakes

  • Front: dual cast discs, 398 mm diameter with six-piston monobloc calipers
  • Rear: dual cast discs, 360 mm diameter with four-piston monobloc calipers
  • Grey painted brake calipers
  • Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) with track mode
  • Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
  • Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD)
  • Emergency Brake Assist (EBA)
  • Traction control (TC)

 


Suspension

  • Three Stage Adaptive Damping System (ADS) with Normal, Sport and Track modes
  • Front: independent double wishbones incorporating anti-dive geometry, coil springs, anti-roll bar and monotube adaptive dampers
  • Rear: independent double wishbones with anti-squat and anti-lift geometry, coil springs, anti-roll bar and monotube adaptive dampers

 

Specification

  • Full-grain leather interior
  • Walnut facia trim with graphite centre console finish and iridium silver surround
  • Leather sports steering wheel
  • Electrically adjustable front seats with side airbags
  • Memory front seats & exterior mirrors (three positions)
  • Dual-stage driver/front passenger front airbags
  • Front occupant side airbags
  • Powerfold exterior heated mirrors
  • Heated front and rear seats
  • Heated rear screen
  • Automatic temperature control
  • Organic Electroluminescent (OEL) displays
  • Trip computer
  • Cruise control
  • Bluetooth® telephone preparation1
  • Satellite navigation1,2
  • Auto-dimming interior rear-view mirror
  • Auto-dimming interior rear-view mirror with garage door opener (USA and Canada only) 1
  • Satellite radio system (USA only) 1
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system1
  • Alarm and immobiliser
  • Remote-control central door locking and boot release
  • Glass ECU
  • Tracking device1,3 (UK only)
  • LED map-reading lights
  • Boot-mounted umbrella
  • 1000-watt Bang & Olufsen BeoSound audio system with ICEpower® technology
  • Integrated Apple iPod®,4 connector
  • USB Connector with Waveform Audio Format (WAF), Windows Media Audio (WMA) and MPEG (MP3) audio file compatibility
  • 5 mm auxiliary input socket

 


Options

  • 20-inch multi-spoke alloy gloss black painted wheels with diamond turned finish
  • 20-inch ten-spoke alloy silver painted wheels with diamond-turned finish
  • 20-inch ten-spoke alloy black painted wheels with diamond-turned finish
  • 20-inch 20-spoke polished alloy wheels
  • Alternative brake caliper finish – black, red, or silver
  • Magnum Silver rear lamp infills
  • Delete model badge
  • Delete protective tape
  • Carbon Exterior Pack
  • Optional facia trims – Piano Black, bamboo, tamo ash, mahogany
  • Piano Black Pack
  • Matching wood door trim
  • Personalised sill plaques
  • Semi-aniline leather
  • Black and red perforated duotone leather
  • Colour-keyed steering wheel
  • Embroidered Rapide S seat logo
  • Carbon Interior Pack
  • Twin-screen rear-seat entertainment system with six-disc DVD player, auxiliary input, wireless headphones and remote control
  • Auto-dimming interior rear-view mirror with garage door opener 1
  • Alarm upgrade (volumetric and tilt sensor)
  • Ventilated front and rear seats
  • Smoker’s pack (ashtray and cigar lighter)
  • Second glass key
  • Tracking device (UK category five)1,3
  • First-aid kit

 

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