The Aston Martin Rapide uses the same basic cabin and chassis architecture as all other Astons, known internally as the VH platform, and features the same bonded aluminium components to form a monocoque.
The big difference, of course, is that the Rapide is more than a foot longer than any other current Aston in order to accommodate its new, individually tailored rear seats. Which means an awful lot of extra strengthening has had to be engineered into the car to maintain stiffness. Hence the rear door apertures aren’t anywhere near as big as you’d expect, while the hatchback-style boot opening is also a fair bit narrower and shallower than it appears from the outside.
The upside is that the Rapide’s rear-wheel drive platform is unusually stiff for that of a big saloon and provides an excellent basis from which the all-round double wishbone suspension system can operate. The chassis also benefits from an electronic adaptive damper system with anti-lift and anti-squat geometry as standard, plus dramatic 20in wheels wearing bespoke Bridgestone Potenza S001 tyres.
Flush door handles are now an Aston Martin staple and appear on all four doors. They feel exceptionally well made, much like the rest of the car.
The elongated Aston logo on the bonnet suits the stretched design theme displayed throughout the car and have to be the longest wings seen on any Aston so far. The chromed mesh grille is rumoured to be the design template for all Astons in the future. It looks good, although how long it’ll stay that shiny is debatable.
At the back, rear lamp infills can be had in Magnum Silver if you want — albeit for more money. Rapide badging on the tail is relatively discreet and can be deleted at no extra cost.