2011 Aston Martin Rapide

A t the heart of every Aston Martin lies an evocative engine providing effortless power and torque: Rapide features a hand-built 6.0-litre V12 engine producing 470 bhp (477 PS / 350 kW) with peak power being delivered at 6000 rpm and 600 Nm (443 lbft) peak torque at 5000 rpm. A specifically tuned six-speed Touchtronic 2 automatic transmission features as standard, allowing the driver to change gear automatically or manually via the steering column-mounted magnesium paddles.

Director of Design, Marek Reichman who led the in-house design team which penned the Rapide said: “Like a race horse standing still, you can see its power and elegance, the shape of Rapide’s rear haunches are muscular conveying the power that lies beneath while its low stance produces a powerful look.

“There is a real sense of proportion with this car, akin to a tailored suit; the new double grill gives more presence on the road while the iconic signature side strake has been lengthened through to the rear doors to enhance its lateral proportions in a subtle, yet elegant way."

Front on, the new polished alloy upper and lower grill adorn the Rapide to give it presence on the road while the new front lights house a single lens bi-xenon headlight with innovative light tube sidelights subtly distinguishing the Rapide to other road users.

Adding to the sense of proportion, Rapide’s low roof line combined with uniquely styled 20” wheels contribute to its sporting stance, and the iconic side strake, housing the side LED indicators is elongated to meet the rear doors.

The pillarless side glass helps convey Rapide’s coupe lines. The front and rear window choreography has been designed to permit the absence of a visible B-pillar to unclutter the curve line of the doors from front to back creating a seamless glass to glass window frame. Contributing to Rapide’s interior comfort, the side glass will rise up further into the window seal when the car is driven at speed cancelling out wind noise and the glass is laminated to improve noise insulation.

Pricing begins at $199,950. Click the ARTICLE tab above for more details. PHOTOS and VIDEOS at right.

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2011 Aston Martin Rapide

The Rapide is a sports car – a thoroughbred which can be enjoyed by four people in unison. Aston Martin engineers have spent thousands of hours tuning suspension, throttle maps, tyres, brakes and steering to create a car that, while practical, also provides a dynamically engaging drive. Despite the extra versatility, the low roof line, and therefore low centre of gravity, makes Rapide feel like an agile coupe.

Ian Minards, Product Development Director said: “We have learned so much with the development of the current Aston Martin range, and Rapide has really benefited from this knowledge. Our prototypes have been so close to production specification that we are able to really understand the car from very early on in the development process.

“Rapide is about the journey, and we always intended to combine the ethos of the DB9 and package it for up to four people in comfort but preserve the excitement of driving an Aston Martin sports car.”

The front mid-mounted 6.0 litre V12 engine which sits at the heart of Rapide produces 470 bhp (477 PS / 350 kW) with peak power being delivered at 6000 rpm and 600 Nm (443 lbft) and peak torque at 5000 rpm. The resultant 0-60 mph time is 5.1 seconds (0-100 km/h: 5.3 seconds). The engine designed and developed by Aston Martin engineers at Gaydon, England is hand built in a dedicated facility in Köln, Germany.

The use of lightweight materials has resulted in the Rapide’s projected weight gaining only 190 kg over its DB9 sibling delivering a target kerb weight of 1950 kg.

This figure is achieved through the use of Aston Martin’s Vertical / Horizontal (V/H) architecture – a platform technology derived from the aerospace industry employing aluminium which is bonded rather than welded to create a lightweight and ultra-stiff chassis. Despite the Rapide being 290 mm longer than DB9, it was a key objective to maximise the structural rigidity accounting for the increased length in wheelbase. The Rapide’s structure would require 28,000 Nm of force to be twisted through 1 degree. This torsional rigidity is a key element in delivering the excellent dynamic feel by optimising wheel to road contact and minimising vehicle shake and vibration.

Aside from the front doors and bonnet, all of Rapide’s body panels are new. The front wings are formed from composite while all four doors and roof are pressed aluminium and the rear quarter panels are steel.

Ian Minards said: “Dynamically the Rapide feels every bit as agile as the DB9, I have personally experienced the car being driven at high speed on the Nürburgring, and was enormously impressed with its capabilities.”

The standard six-speed Touchtronic 2 automatic transmission has been calibrated to ensure that the additional weight of Rapide has had a minimal impact on fuel economy, emissions and performance.

Aston Martin Rapide

Aston Martin Rapide

The marque's first four-door is powered by a hand-built V12. Time to charge admission.



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