The Aston Martin Rapide is the English super car maker’s entrant into the four door high luxury segment market. The Rapide features a unique passenger arrangement and a pair of rear doors. Originally introduced as a concept at the 2006 NAIS in Detroit, a further refined Rapide production concept debuted at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show with road going versions released in early 2010. The Rapide is powered by Aston’s 6.0 Liter V12 lifted directly from the DB9, and makes 470 HP and 443 lb-ft of torque just like the coupe, not to mention that it will take the $200,000 super sedan from 0 to 60 MPH in just 5.1 seconds and reach a top speed estimated to be around 188 MPH.
The Aston Martin V12 Rapide isn’t exactly the type of car that you’d bring out on a date with Mother Nature. Sure, it can get dirty once in a while, but for the most part, it belongs in the metropolis with paved concrete streets as its jungle.
So imagine our surprise when we found out that the British luxury sports saloon is being prepared for an expedition unlike anything it has ever done in the past, James Bond movies included.
Aston Martin is preparing the V12 Rapide for a three-day excursion into the heart of the harsh Alaskan wilderness as a way of slamming home the point that the Rapide is more than just stunning good looks and powerhouse powertrain; it can also survive the test of endurance and durability amidst some pretty serious conditions surrounding it.
The entire trip will take the V12 Rapide across 1,230 miles in Alaska, beginning in Anchorage all the way to the town of Fairbanks through the Prudhoe Bay all the way up to the town of Deadhorse just a stone’s throw away from the Arctic Ocean.
Continued after the jump.
Investors are getting more and more strict when it comes to allowing people to borrow their money and it seems as if Aston Martin is getting the short end of that stick. The British sports car maker has secured a £304 million bond - about $440 million at the current rates - from global investors at a rather high 9.25% interest over the next seven years. That’s a 3-4% increase over the typical interest rate. Desperate or not, Aston Martin now has the money to design an all new platform for their full line of sports cars, including the DB9, Vantage and Rapide. Expect the new line to debut in 2015 or 2016 with the first details of the new design and production engineering showing up in a concept car sometime in 2012.
Before the British automaker moves to the new platform, however, their current VH platform will have to be modified to obey the new Federal FMVSS pedestrian impact rules. This re-engineered platform will be used for facelift versions of all three models. The new models will also benefit from new skin panels, revised interiors, and tweaked chassis and engines.
It looks like the V12 Zagato Racer won’t be the only Aston Martin model participating in the Nürburgring 24-hour race in Europe and the Spring Mountain 24 hours in Nevada. The Rapide will also be making its presence known at the race, first to demonstrate the durability of Aston Martin’s four door sports coupe, then to help raise money for charity. Surely this has something to do with the fact that the company has been experiencing slow demand for the luxury sports sedan and has since chopped production for the Rapide from 2,000 units all the way down to 1,250 per year. Since they took care of cutting costs - Step One - we’ll do our part in helping them out with Step Two: Marketing.
Julian Jenkins from Aston Martin the Americas, said: "Since its launch, the Rapide has been popular with customers looking for an exclusive sports car with a combination of exhilarating performance, handcrafted style, and added four-door practicality. As well as raising money for Heart for Japan, this 24-hour initiative will give us an opportunity to showcase the endurance capabilities of the Rapide which in turn demonstrates its everyday usability and durability."
"We’re truly excited to participate in this challenge. Since the Rapide made its racing debut at last year’s 24-hour race at the Nurburgring, we wondered how a street version would compare if driven continuously for a day over a closed circuit. Seeing how close we can get to the race distance covered last year will be an excellent measure of the car’s real-world performance."
The Rapide is going to need all of the publicity it can get in order to jumpstart the vehicle’s reputation once again. It shouldn’t be too difficult, though. We are talking about an Aston Martin after all.
The Geneva Motor Show is now in the rear-view mirror, which means that the spotlight has now turned to the New York Auto Show this coming April, and if there’s one thing that we can all look forward to in New York, it’s that it will be the site of the 2011 World Car of the Year awards.
All in all, 39 vehicles were included in the initial entry list comprising of new cars from all over the world. From these 39 cars, the list was whittled down to ten finalists with the top three contenders from these 10 cars receiving the final nominations for the 2011 World Car of the Year title.
The cars that are subject for nomination are selected and voted on by an international jury panel consisting of 66 automotive journalists from 24 countries around the world. Each member of the panel has been appointed by the World Car Steering Committee on the merits of their experience, credibility, and influence within the auto industry in their respective countries and, to an extent, in the region.
Eligibility for the World Car award is important in determining which cars can be nominated for the awards. This year, all candidates for the awards must become available for sale on at least two continents from January 1, 2010 to May 30, 2011.
Apart from the World Car of the Year title, other awards that will be announced at the New York Auto Show include the World Performance Car of the Year, the World Green Car of the Year, and the World Car Design of the Year.
Check out all the nominated cars for each of the categories after the jump.
After more than 3 years of speculation, the English coach builder Aston Martin unveiled the Rapide - their first four door sedan in the super car maker’s lineup.
The Rapide’s engine is the venerable 6.0 Liter V12 lifted directly from the Aston Martin DB9, and makes the exact same 470 HP and 443 lb-ft of torque as the coupe. The fat four door goes from 0 to 60 MPH in just 5.1 seconds and reaches a top speed of 188 MPH.
The Rapide’s power plant is mated to a six speed Touchtronic 2 automatic transmission, which offers the ease of a traditional automatic via the push buttons mounted on the dash or a much sportier manual transmission mode with the wheel mounted paddle shifters.
According to the automaker: "There is a real sense of proportion with this car, akin to a tailored suit; the new double grill gives more presence on the road while the iconic signature side strake has been lengthened through to the rear doors to enhance its lateral proportions in a subtle, yet elegant way. The car’s purity makes it look right from every angle."
Updated 01/14/2011: Aston Martin will be launching a series of innovative new films designed to showcase the marque’s four-door Rapide. Part One is now ready for your viewing enjoyment!
Updated 01/20/2011: Aston Martin has released today the second part of their new promotional series of films featuring the Rapide sedan. The new video is called "True Power Should Be Shared" and its even more impressive than the first part, so enjoy!
Updated 01/27/2011: The third - and a little Bond-esque - episode of the new Rapide promotional film has been revealed by the company. Its message: "Time is precious. Share it wisely in the new four door Rapide." Yes, Aston, we believe everyone should get a turn in the Rapide. Why not send us one and we’ll give it a go? Check out the video to see what we mean.
Read more on the Aston Martin Rapide after the jump.
Aston Martin will return to the legendary Nurburgring 24-hour race on May 15th-16th, 2010 with a racing version of their latest sedan. The Rapide will compete in near-standard specification apart from mandatory changes required to compete in this most demanding of endurance races and will be driven by a team of engineers from the company’s Gaydon headquarters in Warwickshire, England.
"The Rapide has the capability to carry four people in comfort but first and foremost it is a sports car and we will subject it to the same tests we would our other sports cars. We already have a proven track record at the Nürburgring racing our road cars with limited modification and in recent years we have enjoyed success in winning the SP8 class both in 2008 and 2009."
According to the boys from Aston, the race spec version of the Rapide wouldn’t be too far off of the production version with the only noticeable difference between the two would be the addition of race safety modifications and the elimination of all the interior trims and features found in the production version in an effort to reduce the car’s overall weight.
Aston Martin top dog Ulrich Bez stressed the importance of sticking the Rapide in an environment where it can measure itself against other sports cars from competing brands. “This race represents the ultimate final engineering durability test for any sports car – it subjects the car to the toughest possible assessment under public scrutiny,” he said.
UPDATE 12/15/10: Our friends over at Autocar have released a short three-minute video of the Rapide Nurburgring Edition. Affectionaly called ’Katie’ by Aston Martin, the Rapide racer was given a brief review by James Corstorphone where he compares Katie the Rapide Racer to a standard Aston Martin road car. Check out the video of the review after the jump.
Technically, we don’t know if this is the first Aston Martin Rapide that has been crashed since the car was unveiled almost a year ago, but we are absolutely hoping that it is, and that no other Rapides have been cracked and banged before this.
The incident happened in Netherlands, near a school in Eindhoven. Although we have no details as to what really happened, the pictures shown here lead us to believe that it wasn’t a horrific display since the Rapide isn’t that damaged. We are guessing that there was a sudden braking scenario and the car behind him just wasn’t fast enough - or was driving too close - to brake in time. Anyone with details on this accident, please drop us an email or comment below. We have no details on what really happened, but the Rapide in the pictures looks pretty less damaged, so we presume nothing bad happened. Most likely something involving a sudden brake and the car behind not reacting in time. If you have more details on this, please let us know!
An Aston Martin SUV? That seemed to be the plan back in 2009 when the company brought back the Lagonda brand with an SUV concept. In 2010, however, the company has decided that the Rapide is the only non-sports car version they will ever develop. It’s probably a good decision considering the Lagonda SUV wasn’t very well-received by the automotive industry when it debuted.
So, instead of wasting money on something no one will buy, Aston Martin is going to bring a Lagonda version of the Rapide sedan. It will grow in length in order to offer enough interior space for the rear passenger, and will most likely be more luxury oriented.
If we remember correctly, at the concept launch Aston Martin Lagonda Chief Executive, Dr Ulrich Bez said that the future sedan would be "the luxury car of the future, a combination of total usability, a new form and innovative new technology and materials." Sounds promising, but we’ll have to wait about four years to see if they’re right since that is how long it will take Aston Martin to produce the Lagonda Rapide.
Let’s face it, when you say Aston Martin Rapide, you think of a high-end luxury sedan. However, it seems not everyone thinks of it that way. Wait, what? That’s right, Aston Martin themselves have designed an even more luxurious sedan than the Rapide. It’s called the Rapide Luxe and it was just unveiled by Aston Martin UK.
The Rapide Luxe provides a combination of highly desirable functional features, a greater choice of paint and leather finishes as standard, and unique features including bespoke accessories.
This new edition will be offered with 20” 20-spoke alloy road wheels with a polished finish, full grain leather interior with a choice of colors from the Fast Track or Contemporary ranges, and a luxury entertainment set for rear passengers. This entertainment set includes a 6-disc DVD player, auxiliary input, wireless headphones, and a remote control. Oh, and, of course, unique Rapide Luxe sill plaques.
However, what is so special about the Aston Martin Rapide Luxe is that it comes with a bespoke 6 Piece luggage set (in any of the Fast Track or Contemporary leather colors) that can be ordered in the same leather as the entire interior.
The Aston Martin Rapide was debuted back in 2006 at the North America International Show (NAIS) with many people oohing and aahing over the clean and sleek design of the supercar. You would think that after such a remarkable reception, Aston Martin would jump at the chance to produce this vehicle and give everyone just what they were drooling over. That was not the case. It took Aston Martin four years to come out with a production model and now we get to see what transpired over those four years in a video that is only three minutes long.
To be honest, the video is not that great. The stages of development that are showed are not exhilarating or telling in any fashion. What the video is good for is a few shots of the beautiful Rapide as it coasts down the road. If you are looking for a Mulsanne type documentary, this video simply isn’t for you. If you are looking to see the gorgeous Rapide travel along some roads, then watch on.
The Aston Martin Rapide comes with a 6.0 Liter V12 engine lifted directly from the Aston Martin DB9. It will make the exact same 470 HP and 443 lb-ft of torque as the coupe. The fat four door will be able to go from 0 to 60 MPH in just 5.1 seconds and reach a top speed to be estimated at 188 MPH.