There might not be a next-gen Rapide, but the current sedan is getting a high-performance version

Introduced in 2010, the Aston Martin Rapide isn’t exactly fresh, and it’s been five years since its most recent upgrade. While the DB9 was replaced with the DB11 and the Vantage was redesigned from the ground up, the Rapide remains alongside the Vanquish one of the last old-generation Aston Martins in need of an update. While we’ve seen prototypes of the new-generation Vanquish, the upcoming Rapide has yet to make a public appearance. Whether Aston Martin is working on a new sedan remains a mystery, but we just got confirmation that the British firm is preparing an AMR version of the current Rapide.

This isn’t exactly surprising though. The AMR division, which is derived from the Aston Martin Racing arm, was launched at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, where the company showcased two near production-ready concepts. One of them was the Rapide AMR and had various new features inside and out, as well as a more powerful engine. The second car on display was the Vantage AMR Pro, a more hardcore model tuned for track use. Whether the Rapide will also get the AMR Pro treatment remains unknown, but we’re definitely getting a production variant of the Rapide AMR later in 2018. Let’s find out more about that in the speculative review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Aston Martin Rapide AMR.

Exterior

  • Carbon-fiber bumper inserts
  • Bigger splitter
  • Revised grille
  • Vented engine hood
  • New side skirts
  • Carbon-fiber diffuser
  • Decklid aero flip
  • Big exhaust pipes
2019 Aston Martin Rapide AMR Exterior Spyshots
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Up front, the sedan is fitted with a revised bumper, which includes big carbon-fiber inserts and a larger splitter

While the test car spotted near the Nurburgring track is not yet ready to go into production, it does include some of the AMR signature elements we’ve seen on the concept car. Up front, the sedan is already fitted with the revised bumper, which includes big carbon-fiber inserts, round foglamps, and a bigger splitter than the standard model. It also gained the concept car’s vented hood, but the grilles aren’t yet fitted and the hood isn’t painted.

Unlike the show car, which has a black honeycomb grille, the prototype uses the chrome horizontal slats of the regular model, but it has seven instead of eight bars. There’s no indication that the black mesh will be a standard feature on the production Rapide AMR, but it would be a cool thing to have since it gives the sedan a more aggressive look.

2019 Aston Martin Rapide AMR Exterior Spyshots
- image 777165
The carbon-fiber rear diffuser will get bigger exhaust pipes

The side view is again a mix of AMR and standard production features. While the side skirts are definitely similar to the concept car, the carbon-fiber mirror caps, the black fender strakes, and the black door handles are definitely missing. The window trim is also chrome instead of black. But more importantly, the sedan rides on standard Rapide wheels when it should have unique, black-painted, 21-inch rollers. But all these features should make it on the car before it goes on the assembly line.

The rear end is of the same variety, as it’s fitted with the AMR elements seen on the concept car, but it’s not yet finished off with the fine details. Highlights include an aero flip on the decklid, a revised bumper that’s not yet painted, and a new, more aggressive diffuser. While the carbon-fiber aero element seems to have all the features in place, the massive quad exhaust pipes are missing.

The Stirling Green paint with Lime Green accents on the front splitter, hood, roof, side skirts, and diffuser is also missing from this car, but fret not, it will be there at the official launch. Aston Martin will probably offer other color combinations too.

Interior

  • Dark Knight Alcantara
  • Carbon-fiber sports seats
  • Carbon-fiber center console
  • High-contrast stitching and inserts
  • Custom graphics
2017 Aston Martin Rapide AMR Concept High Resolution Interior
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Note: Aston Martin Rapide AMR Concept pictured here.

Highlights should include Dark Knight Alcantara on the dashboard, carbon-fiber seats, and a carbon-fiber center stack

Our paparazzi didn’t get a chance to snap shots of the interior, but given the fact that the Rapide AMR concept had a production-ready cabin, it’s safe to assume that the upcoming performance sedan will get similar, if not the exact same features. Expect the AMR interior to carry the same design and features as the standard Rapide, but with a few exclusive bits on top. Highlights should include Dark Knight Alcantara on the dashboard, the seats, and the steering wheel, sports carbon-fiber seats, and a carbon-fiber center stack and console.

2017 Aston Martin Rapide AMR Concept High Resolution Interior
- image 708393
The sedan should get bespoke graphics for the infotainment screen and the instrument cluster

The seats, dashboard and door panels should be adorned by contrast stitching, with the option for it to match the exterior detailing. For example, cars that have Lime Green stripes and accents will get the same hue for stitching inside the cabin. The knobs in the center stack will probably have matching accents. Everything else should remain unchanged compared to the regular Rapide, although the special sedan should get bespoke graphics for the infotainment screen and the instrument cluster. Aston Martin could also add a special app to record track times, although this feature is more likely to be offered on the Rapide AMR Pro.

Drivetrain

  • Upgraded 6.0-liter V-12
  • 592 horsepower
  • 465 pound-feet of torque
  • 0 to 62 mph in 4.3 seconds
  • Top speed at 210 mph
  • Revised suspension setup
2019 Aston Martin Rapide AMR Exterior Spyshots
- image 777167
The Rapide AMR will become the most powerful version of the nameplate yet

The AMR package isn’t just about the visuals, so this Rapide will become the most powerful version of the nameplate yet. If the Rapide AMR concept is any indication, the production model should get the same naturally aspirated, 6.0-liter V-12 engine as the standard model, but tuned to 592 horsepower. That’s a 40-horsepower increase compared to the regular Rapide, but torque is likely to remain locked at 465 pound-feet.

2019 Aston Martin Rapide AMR Exterior Spyshots
- image 777170
Top speed should increase from 203 to a whopping 210 mph

Already quick from 0 to 62 mph in standard guise with a 4.4-second benchmark, the Rapide will become a bit faster with the AMR package. Look for the sedan to hit 62 mph in 4.3 clicks. Top speed should increase from 203 to a whopping 210 mph. The new figures will make the Rapide AMR one of the fastest sedans on the market.

The uprated engine will be joined by a new exhaust system that will give the car a unique growl, as well as custom chassis settings. There’s no word as to what new features it will get, but the AMR should benefit from a lowered ride height, stiffer springs, and revised electronics for better cornering. Bigger brakes and new tires with enhanced grip are also on the table.

Prices

The Aston Martin Rapide AMR will become the most expensive sedan from the British firm. With the Rapide S priced from $207,775 in the U.S., it’s safe to say that the Rapide AMR will fetch at least $250,000 before options. Word has it that Aston Martin plans to build only 210 units, so it will probably sell out in a matter of weeks.

Competition

Porsche Panamera Turbo

2018 Porsche Panamera High Resolution Exterior
- image 681040

Redesigned in 2017, the Porsche Panamera is among the most potent coupe-styled sedans available out there. Now sporting more 911-inspired features than ever, the second-generation Panamera is more luxurious on the inside too, with the higher trims more than capable to give the Rapide a run for its money. Unlike the Aston Martin, the Panamera is available with various drivetrains, including fuel-efficient V-6 engines and even a diesel and a hybrid. But if you’re looking for performance, the Panamera Turbo is your best bet. Powered by a twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8 engine, this sedan comes with 542 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque on tap. Although inferior to the Rapide AMR in terms of horsepower, the Panamera Turbo is significantly quicker, needing only 3.6 seconds to hit 62 mph from a standing start. Its top speed is inferior though at "only" 190 mph. The Panamera also has pricing on its side, with the Turbo model retailing from $150,000 in the U.S.

Read our full review of the 2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo.

Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe

2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Maximum top speed: 195 mph

Fresh for the 2019 model year, the AMG GT 4-Door Coupe blends styling features from both the AMG GT and the CLS in a spiced-up four-door coupe that’s supposed to compete against the Rapide and the Panamera. Although it’s interior is heavily based on the CLS, and it doesn’t stand out in the lineup, it does come with acres of leather and Alcantara, as well as aluminum and carbon-fiber trim. The sporty steering wheel speaks volumes of its skill at the race track. The base model is no match for the Rapide AMR at only 450 horsepower and 568 pound-feet, but it’s almost as quick with a 0-to-60 mph sprint of 4.4 seconds. More power comes from the GT63 trim, powered by a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 that’s good for 577 horses and 553 pound-feet. In this setup, the AMG GT 4-Door Coupe needs only 3.3 clicks to hit 60 mph. Finally, the range-topping GT63 S model, which comes with 630 horsepower and 627 pound-feet, gets there in only 3.1 seconds. Top speed is inferior though at 195 mph. Pricing is not yet available, but the base model could retail from around $140,000, while the V-8 version could cost around $160,000 before options.

Read our full story on the 2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe.

Conclusion

2019 Aston Martin Rapide AMR Exterior Spyshots
- image 777175

With the fate of the Rapide rather uncertain — there’s been talk about Aston Martin killing off the sedan — it’s good to see that the British firm is including it in the AMR program. At least it’s getting a proper sending into the history books. On the flipside, as attractive as it may be with the new features and the uprated engine, the Rapide AMR doesn’t stand a chance against the Panamera Turbo and the V-8 versions of the AMG GT 4-Door Coupe. But needless to say, it will be an interesting vehicle for Aston Martin enthusiasts and limited-edition collectors.

  • Leave it
    • * Pretty expensive
    • * Slower than the competition
    • * It could be the final Rapide ever

References

2014 - 2015 Aston Martin Rapide S High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the 2017 Aston Martin Rapide.

2017 Aston Martin Rapide AMR Concept High Resolution Exterior
- image 708381

Read our full review on the 2017 Aston Martin Rapide AMR Concept.

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