The Rapide, joins a growing class of ultra-luxury sedans that are typically priced higher than the most expensive models from mass-market luxury brands like Mercedes-Benz and BMW.
New for 2011
The Rapide gains a Luxe Package that includes a rear-seat entertainment system, cooled front and rear seats, a spare crystal key, upgraded alarm system and a broader choice of colors and interior trim.
The Rapide is based on the same platform as Aston Martin's other cars, and it's unmistakably a family member.
Aston Martin keeps the Rapide lightweight through the extensive use of aluminum, magnesium alloy and composite along with the more traditional steel. Exterior features include:
- Standard 20-inch alloy wheels
- Optional 20-inch silver or graphite wheels
- Standard front parking sensors
- Standard gray brake calipers
- Optional black, red and silver calipers
The Rapide seats four, though the backseat is snug, especially when compared with the Bentley Continental Flying Spur and Porsche Panamera. It is best for children and smaller adults. Heated front and rear seats are standard. A cooling feature is standard with the Luxe Package, optional on others. An optional backseat DVD entertainment system provides screens in each of the front seats' head restraints, along with wireless headsets.
Full-grain leather upholstery is standard, as is walnut trim. Many other finishes are optional, including mahogany, maple, ash, bamboo, piano black and alloy.
A liftgate covers the cargo area; though the area seems small, a partition drops down, expanding the space. Each of the rear seats also folds flat at the touch of a button, expanding the cargo volume from 11.2 to 31.3 cubic feet. A supplied umbrella in the cargo area is a decidedly British touch. Interior features include:
- Standard navigation system
- Standard Bang & Olufsen sound system
- Optional rear-seat entertainment (included with Luxe Package)
- Optional cooled seats (included with Luxe Package)
Under the Hood
A 470-horsepower, 6.0-liter V-12 engine drives the Rapide's rear wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. A Sport mode makes the transmission more responsive, and it can also be operated manually using magnesium shift paddles on the steering column. Aston estimates the zero-to-60 mph time at 5 seconds and the top speed at 188 mph.
Other features include an adaptive suspension that varies firmness based on conditions. The four-wheel-disc brakes have large six-piston front and four-piston rear calipers. Mechanical features include:
- 470-hp, 6.0-liter V-12
- Six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode
- Top speed of 188 mph
- Mechanical limited-slip differential
The Rapide's standard safety features include:
- Seat-mounted front side airbags
- Side curtain airbags for front and rear seats
- Stability control
- Antilock disc brakes