Four-door Aston Martin Rapide is given a significant mid-life makeover that includes an 80bhp power boost
Mark Tisshaw
22 January 2013

The Aston Martin Rapide has received a considerable power hike as part of a comprehensive mid-life refresh for the four-door saloon.

The extra power is reflected in the Rapide’s new name - it’s now known as the Rapide S - and means that the emphasis is now fully on making it a four-door sports car rather than a more luxurious, everyday GT. It made its debut at the Geneva motor show.

The biggest changes for the Rapide S are to its naturally aspirated 5.9-litre V12 engine. Power is up by 80bhp to 550bhp and peak torque jumps by 20lb ft to 620lb ft. Low and mid-range torque is said to have been improved considerably more than the headline peak figure suggests.

The extra power means that the claimed 0-62mph time for the Rapide S is 4.9sec, which is 0.3sec quicker than the outgoing Rapide, and top speed is up from 188mph to 190mph.

Despite the extra performance, fuel economy has improved by 0.9mpg to 19.9mpg. CO2 emissions drop from 355g/km to 332g/km.

Exterior styling changes are minimal, the most recognisable differences being a new front grille and a rear lip spoiler. A Carbon Exterior Pack can be specified, which means that the front splitter, rear diffuser, exterior mirror housings and rear lamp infills are made from carbonfibre.

Minor interior tweaks include a new piano black trim and optional ‘Duotone’ red and black leather upholstery. The rear seats can be folded flat to almost treble the load volume to just shy of 900 litres.

Like the rest of Aston’s range, the Rapide S is based on its familiar VH structure. This gets the latest ‘Gen4’ modifications, including updated adaptive dampers with three distinct modes (Normal, Sport and Track), revisions to its DSC system and adjustments to meet the latest safety regulations. The engine is also mounted 19mm lower than before.

Our Verdict

Aston Martin Rapide

The Aston Martin Rapide is beautifully styled and brilliantly accomplished

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The new Rapide S goes on sale next month, at prices expected to be close to the current car’s £150,000 despite the increase in performance.

Join the debate


23 January 2013

It looks as if it's about to eat me or something. Perhaps it looks better in the metal, but from the pictures it really seems like a massive step down from the pre-facelift  model.

Still, I do welcome to increase in performance and wish Aston Martin to sell a whole bunch of thse. 

23 January 2013

Remember the number plate will be covering half of it


23 January 2013

What are those little black bumpy things incongruously intruding into the headlamp façade?  Are they washers?  Sensors?  What? - - - And the back diffuser does not have a sufficient grill to block view of under-the-car hardware. The rest looks fine, if you can forgive the rather overworked side decoration.



23 January 2013

In the marketing matters there is long way to go for Aston Martin.

Its very visible if we compare that brand with Porsche, whose best selling models are big SUV (Cayenne) and 4door saloon (Panamera). Its icon 911 is now a niche model. 

Aston if wants to be successful with its saloon car, needs to design it as saloon from the very beginning, and do not try to make it looking like its coupé with extra door. In comparison, Porsche's Panamera is totally independent design, it does not try to look like big 911, but only keeps characteristic aspects of the brand.


23 January 2013

Let's hope there's enough people with good taste that want a great looking 4 door car that hasn't got loads of rear room and only ~300 litres of boot space. Does sound like a bit of a small market niche though


- the wheels

- that they've chosen red for the launch car (better than the white/silver norm)

- that grille is fine - it will be de-emphasised once the number plate is stuck in the middle

- that i'm getting in a comment before all the Aston haters get out of bed Smile

Don't Love

- why didn't they take the chance to sort out the cheap, after market white tail lights? Cheapens the car immensely, always hated them



mrotom wrote:

Porsche's Panamera is totally independent design, it does not try to look like big 911

Hmmm, really? You sure about that?



You're not stuck in traffic - you are traffic!!


23 January 2013

mrotom wrote:

In comparison, Porsche's Panamera is totally independent design, it does not try to look like big 911, but only keeps characteristic aspects of the brand.

Funniest thing I've read all day, although it is still early.  The fact that Porsche have tried to make it look like a 911 is the problem.

Re. the Aston; yes, the grille is awful.  The rest of it is still lovely though.  It's a shame that this car hasn't caught on, but I think the fault lies with Aston.  It seems to be a 4 door which is trying to look like the 2 door (DB9) so much that it's compromised the rear space to a degree that you might as well stick with the DB9.


23 January 2013

I'll still have that or a Quattroporte over a Panamera anyday.

23 January 2013

Looks like a ford!

23 January 2013

.... where does the front numberplate go? [sorry to get boring with details]

I suspect the addition of the DVLAs finest will upset the look somewhat

23 January 2013

This looks like it's been fettled by some tuner, what with its enlarged grille, very low profile tyres on massive rims and blacked out rear lights, not to mention that pronounced rear lip spoiler, with spoiler being the operative word! And as the adamh1234 said, the grille now looks like a take on Ford's version of Aston's!

Yet despite all that, it still looks far better than a Panamera.


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