What a big mouth you’ve got Grandma!


Is this the ultimate expression of snobbery?  A four door Aston Martin Rapide S where you can take three friends round town in ultimate (well, close to at least) luxury.

However, while Aston Martin has produced some of the best looking cars on the planet (the DBS is my favorite), this new Rapide S has the biggest mouth this side of an American TV wrestler.  It was right before!  If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!  However, Aston Martin are making positive noises, with ‘‘The Rapide S is to me, without doubt, the most beautiful four-door sports car on the market today,” said Aston Martin CEO Ulrich Bez.

OK, it isn’t all bad news.  The 5.9 liter V12 engine now cranks out 411 kW, which is 64 kW more than before.  This has been accomplished by using lighter, hollow camshafts and a stainless steel exhaust.  The 0-100 kph sprint is now 4.9 seconds and the top speed 306 kph.  Torque is also said to be much improved in the bottom half of the rev range, while the peak is up from 600 Nm to 620 Nm.

Aston Martin Rapide S.

Bez continued, saying “It is a four-door sports car that uniquely combines luxury, style and sporting excitement in Aston Martin’s most flexible and accommodating silhouette.  The car’s stunning visual appeal is now matched by a much more powerful and yet more efficient engine – our exceptional new AM11 V12 – which increases massively both the excitement and performance potential of the Rapide S.”  That is all PR Speak I’m afraid.  There is nothing truly “unique” about this car.  It is up against the faster Mercedes Benz CLS63 and versions of the Porsche Panamera (though anything looks better than the porcine Porsche).  In that league there is the BMW M6 GranCoupe and the upgraded Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG also capable of blistering performance.  The Audi RS7 has a twin-turbocharged 4.0 liter V8 running a maximum 1.2 bar of boost pressure to produce 412 kW at 5700 rpm and 750 Nm of torque between 1750 and 5500 rpm.

The new BMW M6 GranCoupe’s twin-turbocharged 4.4 liter V8 also produces 412 kW but “only” 680 Nm of torque.

The CLS63 AMG will get the twin-turbocharged 5.5 liter V8 engine as that unveiled in the facelifted E63 AMG, with 430 kW and 800 Nm in the S-model package.

Translating all that into performance figures, the Audi delivers 0-100 km/h acceleration in 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 305 km/h with the dynamic plus package.  (Very “plus”!)

BMW claims the rear-wheel drive M6 GranCoupe is capable of running 0-100 km/h in 4.1 seconds, while Mercedes-Benz sources suggest the upgraded rear-wheel-drive CLS63 AMG will boast a 0-100 km/h time as a mind-boggling 3.6 seconds with the optional S-model package.

I honestly feel that Aston Martin, no matter how svelte the styling, is lagging in the “sports car” stakes.  This is not the car to drag Aston Martin back into strong liquidity.