Currently reading: Geneva motor show 2013: Aston Martin Rapide S
Four-door Aston Martin Rapide is given a significant mid-life makeover that includes an 80bhp power boost

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.

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.

Mark Tisshaw

Title: Editor

Mark is a journalist with more than a decade of top-level experience in the automotive industry. He first joined Autocar in 2009, having previously worked in local newspapers. He has held several roles at Autocar, including news editor, deputy editor, digital editor and his current position of editor, one he has held since 2017.

From this position he oversees all of Autocar’s content across the print magazine, website, social media, video, and podcast channels, as well as our recent launch, Autocar Business. Mark regularly interviews the very top global executives in the automotive industry, telling their stories and holding them to account, meeting them at shows and events around the world.

Mark is a Car of the Year juror, a prestigious annual award that Autocar is one of the main sponsors of. He has made media appearances on the likes of the BBC, and contributed to titles including What Car?Move Electric and Pistonheads, and has written a column for The Sun.

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gillmanjr 24 January 2013


Lots of comments on here about the grille...too large, looks like a Ford, etc.  I'm surprised no one else has picked up on this: the design is from the V12 Zagato.  Obviously it isn't the same grille but the shape and size (relative to the car) is very similar.  I bet if you ask AM they will tell you that the Zagato was the inspiration for it.

Flash Harry 23 January 2013

A good update by Aston on imo

A good update by Aston on imo the most desirable 4 door coupe/saloon i can only dream of owning.I agree with Harf that the grille will be alright once the number plate is added.Mrotom the Panamera is a big 911 but much uglier.Why would you pay that much money for a car that looks that undesirable !!

mrotom 24 January 2013

about Panamera

If you hear word "Porsche" you will think "911". This model is an icon of the brand. So there is no surprise that its characteristic shape is appearing here and there in other models of its brand.

I do not discus about its beauty, one will like it while other will not. But my point is, that Panamera is recently best selling model of Porsche brand just after, its SUV brother Cayenne (would you ever imagine such situation 15 years ago?). Total sales figures of Porsche were never better. Small sport cars like 911, Boxter, Cayman - so I mean these that Porsche is most famous for are niche one in its sales. And reason why Panamera and Cayenne are so popular now is because they were designed from the beginning as saloon and SUV but with a soul here and there of 911.

In Panamera you can travel same comfortably on front sits as on a back sits, you can pack luggage without any problem into reasonably sized boot. Its totally useful everyday car that a guy with small family can make a use of.

Aston if wants to be successful with its 4door models, must design them from the beginning as a saloon car. Its huge mistake was that Rapid looks like DB9 with extra door and its low sales seems to confirm that.

Peter Cavellini 24 January 2013

Where's the innovation!!??

Flash Harry@

Just another nip and tucked Aston?......well.....yes,why no stop start?,cylinder deactivation?,hybrid?, there's three things along with a new style direction that would put Aston back where it used to be, if you charge that much for a car, it should improve year on year, it's good thing cars aren't sold on buyers opinion,because then huge prices wouldn't happen.

underdog 23 January 2013

I'd rather have the big jag

In a competition to make really ugly big 4 door GTs it was the BMW 5 series that won, followed by the Porsche Panamera in my very personal view, but with this new look for the Aston i have to say its become a 3 way fight for the ugly cup.

But to be really honest and for me personally, for the money, I reckon the big Jag with the big engine is probably the best value and is not going to be terribly short on performance.