Fall with the looking glass, pass through the wardrobe, hit each of the buttons in the Wonkavator, or take the Hogwarts Express one stop through the wizard school and also there’s Aston Martin’s updated, five-door Rapide S sports vehicle. It’s engineered on an alternative reality where up remains, down is sideways, rabbits wear top hats, and four-door exotic sports cars are the norm.
It’s an upside down universe where practicality is a burden, beauty always trumps convenience, and a 550-hp 5.9-liter V-12 is considered acceptable and ordinary. The vehicle is a pain on the ass, and wonderful for this.
First seen as a concept back to 2006, the Rapide is the uncompromised sculpture. It’s a dramatic sliver of a vehicle, with a windshield so extremely raked which it’s difficult to find out a few overhead traffic lights through the driver’s seat, along with a fastback roof that will have even Bilbo Baggins ducking to enter from the rear doors. But when it got into creation back to 2010 plus quickly grew to become sales-proof, the large problem were that it wasn’t fast enough. On Narnia, 470 hp might appear to be lots, but in Car and Driver’s community, that left the normal ancient Rapide behind muggle-spec competitors like the bulbous Porsche Panamera Turbo S. And Aston’s claimed 5.0-second zero-to-60-mph efficiency? Nowadays, 5 seconds is sufficient period to conquer Middle-earth.
So Aston has rewritten the Rapide fable with the version of the company’s recent AM11 V-12 that debuted on the new Vanquish. A modified block is full of a new crank plus capped by latest cylinder heads together with variable timing for both that consumption and wear out cams along with a different “big wing” consumption manifold inhaling via 0.2-inch-larger throttle bodies. A re-machined ignition chambers stream better with a slightly improved compression proportion. All the thumps output up to 550 hp in the shouting 6750 revoltions per minute and 457 pound-feet of peak torque on 5000 revoltions per minute with, Aston asserts, considerably better torque production below four thousand rpm. There are no turbos, no superchargers, and no dark arts involved.
To face European pedestrian-protection standards, Aston offers mounted the engine 0.8 inch reduced in its bay?whilst upgrading the front grille and cover. Throw in LED lamps and 20-inch wheels inside 245/35ZR-20 front and 295/30ZR-20 rear Bridgestone wheels, and this is a vehicle which visually punches its very own Golden Ticket. Which mentioned, which is still essentially unchanged is Aston’s glue- and rivet-bonded metal space-frame structure, and the rear-mounted six-speed automated transaxle.
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