Steve Cropley rides in the new four-door Aston Martin Rapide; exclusive picture gallery
19 August 2009

Autocar's Steve Cropley has been given exclusive access to the Aston Martin Rapide, joining the development team during hot weather testing in Kuwait.

Riding in Aston's DB9-based £150,000 four-door, which is due to go on sale next year, Cropley had an unrivalled opportunity to learn about the new car as it was pounded in temperatures beyond 50 degrees centigrade.

See the exclusive Aston Martin Rapide picture gallery

See Steve Cropley in the Aston Martin Rapide on video

"It was remarkable how good the development car was," says Cropley. "It had a discreet engine note, an absence of rattles,, Alcantara headlining, double-stitched leather and a general aura of luxury.

"From the front passenger's seat the car reminded me a lot of a DB9, mainly because its fascia is so familiar. So are the mechanical bits; the 6.0-litre V12 engine has the same 470bhp output, though the torque and throttle curves are being tweaked to suit saloon users."

Cropley says of his ride in the back of the car: "The Rapide is not the easiest rear compartment I've ever climbed into, but once installed I was comfortable. There was enough knee and head room to be snug and comfortable, and the rear seat was a little higher than the front so there was a decent view ahead, which I prefer.

"Though cautioned not to take much notice of ride quality - Aston will do more work here - I found the Rapide impressively flat and controlled, more sensitive to coarse surfaces than an S-class but less so than a DB9. It seemed a promising compromise."

Download the Aston Martin Rapide wallpaper here

You can read Steve Cropley's full article on the Aston Martin Rapide in the new issue of Autocar magazine, on sale today.

Twitter - follow all the latest Aston Martin reviews, news and video

Our Verdict

Aston Martin Rapide

The Aston Martin Rapide is beautifully styled and brilliantly accomplished

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lexus LC500
    Car review
    20 October 2017
    Futuristic Lexus LC coupé mixes the latest technology with an old-school atmospheric V8
  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK