Four-door Aston gets a tweaked face, retouched interior and upgraded motor
It still looks gorgeous...
Yes it is, the Rapide. Aston Martins have always had that sort of elegance its intended rivals lacked, probably because its German competitors were designed by engineers rather than artists.
Now that the four-door Aston has reached mid-life, it's time for a little nip and tuck.
The most prominent change is the front grille which has now been designed to be more imposing than ever.
The rear end hasn't changed much, except for the more pronounced boot lid flip.
You might be inclined to suggest that the rear should have been massaged more because the lights look rigidly old and the same.
The interior has also been retouched, albeit mildly. The accompanying picture of the interior shows the more meticulous leather and stitching it has gotten to keep fresh.
I see there's a new S model...
Yes, the Rapide S is new. But make no mistake: this isn't an additional model in the Rapide range.
Interior has more delicate appointments.
The Rapide S replaces the previous model in all global markets, according to Aston Martin.
This means that there is still only one model to choose from. But the good news is that there is more performance now, thanks to modifications made to the 6.0-litre V12 engine. Along with new variable camshaft timing, as such, power climbs by 81hp from 477 to 558. Torque also increases by 20Nm from 600 to 620. Aston says more torque is now available lower down the engine range.
To reflect the higher sporty pedigree the four-door Aston now has, there are more carbon fibre parts around the car.
Aston says the Rapide S requires 4.9sec to go from 0-100kph. That's 0.3sec quicker than before
That doesn't sound impressive enough...
You must have already glanced at the sidebar, where you can see that all of the Rapide S's nearby opponents from Germany are a great deal quicker in acceleration terms.
Weight couldn't have really been the issue because, at just under two tonnes, the Rapide tips the scales at practically the same level as the Panamera, as such.
One reason could be the traditional rear-wheel-drive because, like the Bimmer, the Rapide S lacks the four-wheel traction of the Audi, Merc and Porsche.
Other factors could be the ordinary six-speed automatic in the Rapide and the lack of turbochargers which all of its rivals use.
The mediocre 7kpl economy rating Aston claims for the Rapide S is already indicative of its comparatively older tech. Double-digit figures are now more customary in German cars.
Why should I go for one, then?
You'd probably need to be a die-hard fan of Astons, a lover of normally aspirated engines or an impersonator of James Bond, even though the Rapide S _ at under 20 million baht _ won't err away from rivals in price.
But this is just a statistical test, which means the Rapide S could still be a great car to drive.
Rear hasn’t changed as much as the front.
The other super more-doors
About the author
- Writer: Richard Leu
Position: Motoring news Editor