As one of the newer Astons in the market, the Rapide is a high-performance sport saloon that came out in 2010. It was first unveiled as a concept car at the 2006 North American International Show in Detroit while the production version of the Rapide was first seen at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2009. Since the Aston Martin Lagonda halted production in 1989, the Rapide is the first Aston to feature a four-door saloon body style. Like many of the newer Astons, the Rapide is also based off the VH platform. It received a facelift in 2013 and got an overall performance boost.
When the Rapide came out, Aston Martin boldly proclaimed it to be the most elegant four-door sports car in the globe. It may sound exaggerated but the car manufacturer was dead serious and they got the goods to back their claim up. The Rapide is long, longer than a DB9, but proportions are elegant and it’s got a dynamic, flawless platform as its base.
Since the Rapide makes use of the VH platform like other Aston Martin models, it features the same basic chassis and cabin architecture as the others, right down to the bonded aluminum components, which makes it feel very familiar. However, the Rapide is just longer by over a foot to give way to individually tailored seats at the rear. And despite the bigger size, ample stiffness is retained given that the Rapide follows a rear-wheel drive system.
The Rapide also admits to not being developed with supreme speed in mind but it remains to be an extremely swift car. It’s nothing like, say, a Porsche Panamera Turbo, but it is still fast enough to render anyone speechless after driving one. How fast can it go? It can reach 60mph in less than five seconds from rest and will take 11.2 seconds to reach 100mph.
While the Rapide is by default supremely refined and offers a smooth ride, it also offers a Sport mode which completely changes everything about the vehicle to give you a different experience altogether. With the suspension dramatically stiffer, the Rapide starts feeling very, very close to an all-out sporting GT. What you choose is entirely up to you. Either way, the experience is fantastic.
To make your Rapide suit your needs and wants perfectly, a number of add-in options are available, like cooled rear seats and twin TV screens at the backs of front seats. You can also, of course, choose whatever trim and colour you want and even have child seats installed.
Step inside the Rapide, as in all the way to the back, and you’ll feel what Aston Martin got wrong: there’s just not enough space in the rear. You may have better luck at achieving comfort though if you’re not a six-footer driving a Rapide with an equally tall passenger at the back. The seats themselves are impeccable, trimmed with high-end leather and sculpted beautifully—no problems there—it’s just that you forget all those when you’re trying to squeeze yourself in. Shorter passengers will indeed be more comfortable but the experience is still far from being luxurious.
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