Fall through the looking glass, go through the wardrobe, hit all the buttons on the Wonkavator, or take the Hogwarts Express one stop past the wizard school and there’s Aston Martin’s updated, five-door Rapide S sports car. It’s engineered for the alternative reality where up remains, down is sideways, rabbits wear top hats, and four-door exotic sports cars is the norm.
It’s an upside down universe where practicality is the burden, beauty always trumps convenience, and a 550-hp 5.9-liter V-12 is considered reasonable and ordinary. The car is a pain on the butt, and wonderful for this.
First viewed as a concept back in 2006, the Rapide is an uncompromised figurine. It’s a dramatic sliver of a vehicle, having a windshield very brutally raked which it’s difficult to find out some overhead traffic lamps from the driver’s couch, and a fastback roof top that might have even Bilbo Baggins ducking to get in through the rear doors. But once it entered creation back in 2010 and promptly grew to become sales-proof, the large problem was that it wasn’t quick enough. In Narnia, 470 hp might appear to be lots, however in Car and Driver’s world, which kept the standard ancient Rapide in back of muggle-spec competitors like the bulbous Porsche Panamera Turbo S. And also Aston’s stated 5.0-second zero-to-60-mph functionality? Today, five seconds is sufficient period to conquer Middle-earth.
So Aston has rewritten a Rapide fable with the form of a company’s newest AM11 V-12 that debuted in the new Vanquish. The changed block is full of a new crank and capped by fresh cylinder heads together with variable timing for both that consumption and exhaust cams and a new “big wing” intake manifold breathing in via 0.2-inch-larger accelerator bodies. The re-machined ignition spaces flow better by having a slightly elevated pressure rate. All that thumps output around 550 hp at the shouting 6750 rpm along with 457 pound-feet of peak torque at 5000 rpm with, Aston claims, considerably better torque production below 4000 revoltions per minute. There are no turbos, no superchargers, and no dark arts involved.
To deal with European pedestrian-protection standards, Aston offers mounted the engine 0.8 inch lower in its bay?although redesigning the front grille and hood. Toss in LED lighting and 20-inch tires within 245/35ZR-20 front and 295/30ZR-20 back Bridgestone wheels, which is a vehicle which visually blows its own Golden Ticket. That mentioned, which remains almost unchanged is Aston’s glue- and rivet-bonded metal space-frame structure, and also the rear-mounted six-speed automatic transaxle.
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