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Aston Martin ramps up Rapide

Big mouth: Aston Martin has taken the simple step of enlarging the revised Rapide’s grille to give it a striking new look.

Rapide becomes even more rapid as Aston Martin replaces sedan with S model


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24 Jan 2013

ASTON MARTIN has turned up the wick on the Rapide four-door sedan, replacing it with this S model that packs a 17 per cent power hike, sharper dynamics and purposeful-looking styling tweaks led by a gaping new grille.

Drawing elements of Aston Martin’s fourth-generation VH (vertical, horizontal) underpinnings, the Rapide S is claimed to deliver a sharper, more agile drive.

The revised V12 engine is mounted 19mm lower to reduce the car’s centre of gravity and a “tangible” improvement to turn-in, while improved adaptive dampers – now with three operating modes – ensure tight body control or extra comfort depending on the driver’s mood.

Despite now pumping out 410kW of power and 620Nm of torque (up from 350kW/600Nm) and peak power coming in 750 revs higher at 6750rpm, the 6.0-litre V12 has not become more peaky, as more grunt is available lower in the rev range.

As a result, 0-100km/h comes up three tenths quicker at 4.9 seconds and top speed creeps up slightly, to 306km/h.

The powerplant is also more fuel-efficient at 13.9 litres per 100 kilometres, down from 14.9L/100km.

Aston says the power and efficiency gains are yielded by technology transfer from its racing efforts, including CNC-machined combustion chambers and lightweight hollow camshafts.

In addition to that gaping new grille, styling updates are largely limited to a more pronounced lip spoiler on the boot lid, which Aston says reduces lift at high speeds.

Customers will be able to dress their Rapide S with a new pack of carbon-fibre exterior additions comprising a front splitter, rear diffuser, mirror housings and tail-light trims.

Interior luxury can also be increased with optional piano black finishes for the dashboard fascia, transmission tunnel and door handles, complemented by a darker instrument surround and black steering wheel trim.

A new bonnet lining and other insulation has contributed to reduced noise, vibration and harshness in what Aston Martin calls “the removal of extraneous noise and the enhancement of desirable sound”.

Aston Martin dealerships will start taking orders next month, when Australian pricing will be confirmed.

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