Test driven: Aston Martin Rapide
PUBLISHED: 15:21 21 October 2011 | UPDATED: 19:32 20 February 2013
Clare Bourke goes for a weekend spin in an Aston Martin Rapide
Clare Bourke goes for a weekend spin in an Aston Martin Rapide
When I was asked the question Would you like to test drive an Aston Martin Rapide I jumped at the chance. Jumped out of my seat in fact.
I have been a lover of the Aston Martin for as long as I can remember and have watched James Bond movies with my eyes trained on the car he is driving rather than the action.
When Im rich its the car I will own but until then I have to satisfy myself with owning one for a weekend.
I was given a Rapide for three days by Grange Aston Martin in Welwyn and instantly fell in love with its sleek dark grey bodywork and plush cream leather interior. After a quick 20-minute guide to whats what and whats where, I was handed the key and off I went.
Now, I have always thought the only good Aston is a two-door sports car think DBS as driven by new Bond Daniel Craig but this car was something else. For a start it has four doors which basically makes it a family car - and my family couldnt have been happier when I pulled it onto our driveway.
Aston Martin describe the Rapide as the worlds most beautiful four-door sports car and its hard to argue with that.
Unlike sports cars that purport to have space in the back but actually leave you with your knees around your ears, the Rapide has loads of legroom in the back so passengers get a comfortable ride too. And luckily that doesnt compromise the luggage space too much. Granted, its not a massive boot but its perfectly adequate to hold a modest number of bags for a family of four and if you need more space the rear seats fold individually to give you just that when theres just the two of you.
But its the drivers seat that is the place to be once youve slotted your glass topped key into the slot to turn the power on. This is a car that is an absolute dream to drive. It is bursting with power watch that accelerator and is a completely smooth ride, gliding around corners as if they werent there and just as at home on the M25 as on winding country roads, although at nearly two metres wide youll want to watch those hedgerows.
It is also very easy to master being primarily an automatic in Drive mode but if youre feeling confident then you can switch to the highly responsive Sport Touchtronic mode, changing gear with the leather covered paddles behind the steering wheel and adding a new dimension to your drive. I was nervous at first but quickly got the hang of it and it enhanced my entire driving experience.
The interior is a thing of real beauty with attention to detail missing nothing: Seats trimmed in leather; fascia and instrument cluster with dark zirconium dials on a black surround; trademark glass starter module in the centre of the dashboard; interior storage that includes cup holders, phone and MP3 pockets; LED map lamps; ambient lighting; solid aluminium controls; satin chrome finishes; and a Bang & Olufsen audio system with 15 speakers. I could go but you youre better of reading the full spec.
After my three days at the helm of this beautiful car, getting back to my company Vauxhall Astra was a bit of a comedown to be honest. I felt too high up and uncomfortable and hated pulling away from Grange Aston Martin and saying goodbye to my weekend companion.
I would honestly say, if you are looking for a luxury, spacious car that is a dream to drive, the Rapide priced at around 153,000 - really does have it all. The respect and appreciative looks you get from other road users are compensation enough for parting with the necessary funds to own one. Sports car? Family saloon? You decide.
GET IN CONTACT
Aston Martin Welwyn
Great North Road, Stanborough
Welwyn Garden City
0844 248 7163
If you were expecting a really technical review, this was never intended to be one of those but if you want the spec, here you go:
- LENGTH: 5019MM (197.6)
- WHEELBASE: 2989MM (117.7)
- WIDTH: 1929MM (75.9) EXC. MIRRORS 2140MM (84.3) INC. MIRRORS
- Turning Circle: 12.5m (41.0 ft)
- FUEL TANK CAPACITY:90.5 LITRES (19.9 Imp Gal, 23.9 US Gal)
- HEIGHT: 1360MM (50.4)
- WEIGHT: 1990KG (4387 LB)
- Four-door body style with tailgate and four individual seats
- Single bi-xenon headlamps with integrated LED side lights and direction indicators
- Clear LED rear lamps
- Maximum power 350 kW (477 PS/470 bhp) at 6000 rpm
- Maximum torque 600 Nm (443 lb ft) at 5000 rpm
- Acceleration 0-100 km/h in 5.2 seconds (0-62 mph) 0-60 mph in 5.0 seconds;
- Maximum speed 295 km/h (183 mph)
- All-alloy, quad overhead camshaft, 48-valve, 5935cc V12
- Front mid-mounted engine, rear-wheel drive
- Fully catalysed stainless steel exhaust system with active bypass valves
- Compression ratio 10.9:1
- Rear mid-mounted, Touchtronic 2 six-speed gearbox with electronic shift-by-wire control system
- Alloy torque tube with carbon-fibre propeller shaft
- Limited-slip differential
- Final-drive ratio 3.46:1
Wheels & Tyres
- 20 20-spoke alloy silver painted wheels
- Front wheel: 8.5J x 20; Rear wheel: 11J x 20
- Front tyre: Bridgestone Potenza 245/40 ZR20
- Rear tyre: Bridgestone Potenza 295/35 ZR20
- Rack and pinion, Servotronic speed-sensitive power-assisted Steering, 2.75 turns lock-to-lock
- Column tilt and reach adjustment
- Front: Ventilated dual cast, 390mm diameter with six-piston monobloc calipers
- Rear: Ventilated dual cast, 360mm diameter with four-piston monobloc calipers
- Dynamic Stability Control (DSC)
- Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
- Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD)
- Emergency Brake Assist (EBA)
- Hydraulic Brake Assist (HBA)
- Positive Torque Control (PTC)
- Electronic Park Brake (EPB)
- Traction Control (TC)
- Full-grain leather interior
- Walnut facia trim and Graphite centre console finish with Iridium Silver surround
- Leather sports steering wheel
- Electrically adjustable front Sports seats
- Heated front and rear seats
- Memory front seats and exterior mirrors (three positions)
- Dual-stage driver / front passenger front airbags; Front occupant side airbags; Head protection airbags for front and rear occupants
- Powerfold exterior heated mirrors; Heated rear screen
- Automatic front and rear temperature control
- Organic Electroluminescent (OEL) displays
- Trip computer and Cruise control
- Bluetooth telephone preparation
- Satellite navigation system
- Auto-dimming interior rear-view mirror
- Front and rear parking sensors
- Alarm and immobiliser; Remote-control central door locking and boot release
- Tracking device; LED map-reading lights; Boot-mounted umbrella
In Car Entertainment
- 1000 W Bang & Olufsen BeoSound audio system with ICEpower technology includes six-CD autochanger (4)
- Integrated Apple iPod connector (5)
- USB Connector with Waveform Audio Format (WAF), Windows Media Audio (WMA) and MPEG (MP3) audio file compatibility
- 3.5 mm auxiliary input socket