It is well known among the automotive world that the Aston Martin Rapide has always been the black sheep of the luxury sports sedan market. Its 470-horsepower, 5.9-liter V-12 engine has always fallen short of the competition, like the 518-pony Mercedes-Benz CLS 63 AMG and 500-horsepower Panamera Turbo. To make matters worse, it starts off at over $110,000 more than the Mercedes and over $70,000 more than the Porsche.
This all points to a big reason for Aston Martin refreshing the Rapide for 2013. Granted, the base price will not change, but its performance will. Initially, we all expected to see an available a higher-performance Rapide S in 2013. According to reports, however, a Rapide S is not in the works.
Car and Driver is reporting that Aston Martin is fitting the 5.9-liter V-12 plant from the 2013 Vanquish, which produces 565 horsepower, into the slightly redesigned Rapide. The exact horsepower figures are not compete for the Rapide, but we expect it to be slightly de-tuned to not compete with the Vanquish.
You can look for the 2013 Aston Martin Rapide to punch out somewhere in the 545-horsepower range to give it a bump over its cheaper competitors. Is this really enough to push the Aston in front of the competition? We say no, but it should help level out the market slightly.
With the additional horsepower in the base Rapide, there is no need for a Rapide S model, per Car and Driver, so don’t look for one this year. Apparently, all of the style changes we have seen from the spy shots and renderings are all included on the base model, if the reports are accurate.
It’s nice to see Aston Martin thinking about ways to make its extremely expensive sedan a little more worth the extra money, but would you still pay over $100K more for the Aston over the Mercedes?