The Aston Martin Rapide AMR is it, then. The once bold new era, heralded by the introduction of a vehicle platform called VH, which allowed about a dozen (similar) cars to be launched on the same architecture, draws to a close. It was the Bez of times, it was far from the worst of times.
But the new Aston Martin revolution is under way. And this Rapide, as outlandish as VH cars became, what with having four doors and four seats, is the last of the old line of cars to disappear.
It’s going out in limited-run AMR specification. There’ll be 210 of them badged this way, with 35 extra horsepower and costing 45,450 extra pounds over a Rapide S, so 595bhp and £194,950.
What sets the AMR apart from the standard Rapide?
You might find unregistered examples of the Vanquish S at dealers, but production of that has finished. These are the last VH cars. Production and some deliveries have already started, but you can still order and specify one, and you don’t have to have the racing-inspired day-glo highlights of the one photographed here.
You will get carbon-ceramic brakes behind 21in wheels and AMR-specific tuning, turning what was Aston’s most laid-back GT car/four-door coupé/fastback saloon/family hatch/call it what you will into something more raucous.
You’ll also get, if you’re prepared to overlook the Valkyrie (which, for these purposes, I am) the last of the naturally aspirated V12s, the 6.0-litre-badged (actually 5935cc) stalwart which has provided sterling work, in various iterations, since its introduction in the DB7 Vantage of 1999. That was the first production Aston with a V12. Now you can’t imagine the Aston range without one.
As ever, the V12 drives the rear wheels, these days through an eight-speed automatic gearbox mounted at the rear, and a limited-slip differential.
Unleashing the Rapide AMR on the road
Those traits and a lengthy 2989mm wheelbase are what have lent the Rapide one of the nicest inherent chassis balances among super-saloons, or even some big GT cars, over which the Rapide was – and remains – more agile and deftly balanced.
The Rapide’s kerb weight is 1995kg, which seems like a lot until you realise a Bentley Continental GT, despite having two fewer doors, weighs another quarter of a tonne.