The name Aston Martin immediately conjures images of astonishingly beautiful cars gliding along the roads, sometimes with none other than James Bond at the wheel! Their latest 4 door sedan, the Rapide S, is no different. This car has the sort of earth-shattering looks and imposing presence to make even someone who isn’t bothered about cars at all to screech to a halt and gape, and then whip out their cell phone cameras. In the looks department, as with all Astons, this car gets off to a flying start.
The Rapide, even in its earlier avatar, could get from a standstill to a 100 kph in less than 5 seconds. Aston has now put an even more powerful, all alloy, 6.0 litre, V12 petrol engine that dishes out 550 bhp; more than sufficient to give the occupants of this car the sort of acceleration that feels like a kick in the gut. The top speed of the Rapide S is predicted to be in excess of 300 kph, which is a real lot since this is a big 2 ton, 4 door, 4 seater luxo-barge. This car also has a 6 speed, TouchTronic 2 automatic transmission with electronic shift by wire control system and a limited slip differential. To keep all this under control, you get ABS, EBD, emergency brake assist, traction control, six piston brake callipers at the front and 4 piston callipers at the rear. To suit the ride quality to your preferences, the suspension setup has three stage adaptive damping system with normal, sport and track modes. But get behind the wheel, find a good road and floor the throttle pedal; and all these stats, numbers and jargon pale into insignificance because the feel of driving an Aston Martin is incredibly special and almost impossible to articulate. Also, that soulful V12 bellow makes things just that much more brilliant.
This is an Aston Martin. It———s good enough for James Bond himself. Need we say anything more? The Rapide S gets off to a flying start in the looks department. It doesn———t look like a coupe that has had 2 extra doors fitted to it in an overnight hack and graft job. The low slung roofline does cause issues for tall people sitting in the back of the car but when it looks this good, that just might be a sacrifice people will be gladly willing to make. The interiors are extremely luxurious but the ergonomics are still not at all up to the mark. Controls are not where you expect them to be, the switches and buttons are not easy to operate and the window line is surprisingly high, which might make things a bit difficult for short drivers. Apart from this, the quality of everything ——— materials, stitching, dashboard, centre console, seats; is to die for.
This is Aston Martin———s first attempt at making a sedan large enough to take 4 full grown adults for a drive. Overall, they have done a brilliant job ——— the car looks smashing, it———s sumptuously appointed and it drives fabulously. It may have a couple of niggling issues and foibles and cost the moon but, this is a car that makes an average Joe who gets behind the wheel feel like 007. And that is something only a true-blue Aston can do.