Aston Martin Rapide

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Aston Martin Rapide
Aston Martin Rapide S
ManufacturerAston Martin Lagonda Limited
DesignerMarek Reichman
Miles Nurnberger (exterior)[1]
Body and chassis
ClassMid-size luxury car/Executive car (E)
Body style4-door liftback/fastback sedan
LayoutFront mid-engine, rear-wheel drive
Rear-Motor, rear-wheel drive (Rapide E)
PlatformVH Generation IV
Engine5.9 L AM11 V12 (2010–2014)[2]
5.9 L AM29 V12 (2014–2020)[3]
Electric motor2 electric motors on each axle (Rapide E only)
Transmission6-speed ZF 6HP26 (Touchtronic II) automatic (2010–2014)[4]
8-speed ZF 8HP70 (Touchtronic III) automatic (2014–2020)
Xtrac Bespoke P1289 ILEV automatic (Rapide E)
Battery65 kWh Lithium-ion
Wheelbase2,990 mm (117.7 in)
Length5,019 mm (197.6 in)
Width1,928 mm (75.9 in)
Height1,359 mm (53.5 in)
Kerb weight4,299 lb (1,950 kg) (Rapide)[5]
4,387 lb (1,990 kg) (Rapide S)[6]

The Aston Martin Rapide is a sports saloon car, built by the British marque Aston Martin from 2010 to 2020. It has four doors and four seats. It was first presented as a concept car at the North American International Auto Show in 2006 and the production version was shown at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show.[7]


Aston Martin Rapide concept at the 2006 North American International Auto Show

The Rapide name is a reference to the Lagonda Rapide, a four-door, four-seater saloon produced by Lagonda, now a part of Aston Martin. The new Rapide is the company's first 4-door fastback saloon since the Lagonda which was discontinued in 1990.[8] The Rapide is based on the DB9 and is underpinned by the Aston Martin VH platform.[9]

The first cars rolled off the production line in May 2010,[10] initially built at a dedicated plant at the Magna Steyr facility in Graz, Austria. The factory initially planned to build 2,000 cars per year,[11] but production was relocated to England in 2012 after sales did not meet production targets.[12]


Rapide (2010–2013)[edit]

Aston Martin Rapide fastback


The Rapide is powered by a 5,935 cc (5.9 L; 362.2 cu in) V12 engine, generating a maximum power output 477 PS (351 kW; 470 hp) and torque of 600 N⋅m (443 lb⋅ft). The car is rear-wheel drive and has a 6-speed Touchtronic II automatic transmission. The Rapide can attain a top speed of 303 km/h (188 mph),[11][13] and can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.2 seconds.[14][5]


The Rapide's standard features include a tilt-telescoping steering wheel, bi-xenon headlamps and LED taillamps. Leather and walnut wood trim with metallic accents; power front seats with memory, cooling and heating systems; Bluetooth; satellite radio (US version only); with USB and iPod connectivity.[15] Other standard features include a Bang & Olufsen 16-speaker sound system with two tweeters that rise from the dashboard on activation of the system. The Rapide became the first Aston Martin model to replace the Volvo-sourced satellite navigation system with a bespoke Garmin unit.[16]


The Rapide was designed by stretching the design of the DB9 in order to accommodate an extra set of doors. Aston Martin design director, Marek Reichman has described a thoroughbred race horse as an inspiration, stating that he wanted muscles in the design to be visible through the skin.

The side windows of the car were made to appear like a single unit by using a black B pillar. The roof was designed to be as low as possible so it would mimic the design language of Aston Martin's model lineup. Due to the usage of swan doors and a low roof, the car is difficult for the accommodation of tall people. By comparison, the Porsche Panamera, a competitor of the Rapide, is 2.3 inches taller.

The rear flanks of the car are wider than those on the DB9, thus smoothening the extended roof design. The rear fenders and a curvaceous design language prevent the car as being perceived as stretched. The car makes use of rear lights and diffusers from the Vantage while the front headlamps were originally unique to the model. The front headlamps would also be used on the 2011 Virage, the second generation Vanquish, and the 2013 model year DB9.[17]

Rapide S (2013–2018)[edit]


The Rapide S succeeded the standard Rapide in 2013. The AM11 V12 engine is upgraded and now has a power output of 558 PS (410 kW; 550 hp) and torque of 620 N⋅m (457 lb⋅ft).[18] Performance improvements include a top speed of 306 km/h (190 mph) and acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) reduced to 4.9 seconds. Carbon dioxide emissions are reduced by 23g/km to 332g/km.[6][19]

The Rapide S received further revisions in August 2014, for the 2015 model year, including a new, 8-speed Touchtronic III automatic transmission. It now also used the AM29 V12 engine, with a power output of 560 PS (412 kW; 552 hp) and 630 N⋅m (465 lb⋅ft) of torque, resulting in an acceleration of 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.4 seconds and an increased top speed of 327 km/h (203 mph).[20][21]

Rapide E (2019)[edit]

In 2015, Aston Martin was reported to be working on an all-electric version of the Rapide. Named Rapide E, it was confirmed to be slated for production in the fourth quarter of 2019, at the 2018 Frankfurt Motor Show. The Rapide E was designed to rival Porsche's Taycan electric saloon.

Aston Martin planned to build a limited series of 155 examples at their dedicated production facility located in St Athan, Wales where future all-electric Lagonda models are to be produced. Williams Advanced Engineering provided R&D assistance in the protype building and testing process with close involvement from interested customers. In January 2020, however, it was reported that the production of the Rapide E had been cancelled.[22][23]

The Rapide E was to be powered by a 65 kWh battery supplied by HyperBat Limited; a new joint venture between WAE and Unipart manufacturing group. The battery would be capable of 800-volt power transfers. Five thousand six hundred lithium-ion electric cells were to be fitted in the engine bay along with two electric motors supplied by Integral Powertrain at the rear. Both of the motors drive the car via an Xtrac transmission featuring a limited-slip differential. A new suspension system would also be implemented to better cope with the changes in the drive train.

The two electric motors have a combined power output of 610 PS (602 hp) and 949 N⋅m (700 lb⋅ft) of torque. The car has claimed acceleration figures of 0–97 km/h (0–60 mph) in sub-4.0 seconds' time and 80–113 km/h (50–70 mph) in 1.5 seconds, along with a top speed of 249 km/h (155 mph).[24] Maximum performance was to be accessible regardless of battery charge. A prototype was tested at the Nürburgring to ensure that the car delivered linear power despite hard usage.

The car was to have a projected range of 322 km (200 mi) (WLTP) and could charge up to 185 miles of range per hour on a 400-volt, 50 kW charger. The car was also to be chargable on an 800-volt super charging station which increases the charging rate. The RapidE was fitted with low-drag wheels and low-resistance Pirelli P Zero tyres for maximum efficiency.[24][25][26][27][28]

Rapide AMR (2018–2020)[edit]

2019 Rapide AMR

In June 2018, Aston Martin unveiled the high-performance iteration of the Rapide called the Rapide AMR. The 5.9-litre naturally aspirated AM29 V12 engine produces 603 PS (444 kW; 595 hp) and 630 N⋅m (465 lb⋅ft) of torque, courtesy of better air flow to the engine and new calibration software.[29]

The 8-speed automatic transmission has also received recalibration for better shift timing. The car now comes standard with Michelin Pilot Supersport tyres and 21-inch alloy wheels, the biggest wheels ever fitted to an Aston Martin. The new model features carbon ceramic braking system with six piston calipers at the front and four piston calipers at the rear featuring 400 mm and 360 mm brake rotors front and aft. The car features a new front grille, "sprout" fog lamps and side sills, rear diffuser and bootlid made from carbon fibre.

The Rapide AMR can accelerate from 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph) in 4.4 seconds and can reach a claimed top speed of 330 km/h (205 mph).[30]

Interior options include a One-77 steering wheel, a personalised plaque along with logos and a variety of colour schemes. Production was limited to 210 examples only.[31]

Production and reception[edit]

Aston Martin opted to end its production by sub-contractor Magna Steyr in the middle of 2012, six years earlier than expected. Production of the car was also halted temporarily in May 2011. In the face of a diminishing market for luxury saloons, and to match output to shrinking sales, Aston Martin had to cut annual production from 2,000 to 1,250 in June 2011 – and was prepared to go as low as 500 annually.[32] Rapide sales were a fraction of Aston Martin's more popular Vantage and Vanquish nameplates.[33]

As a "four-door 'coupe' based on the DB9's architecture, built hastily to compete with Porsche's stark contrast to the homely-but-practical Panamera—its beguiling aesthetic is the cause of its limited four-up usefulness" with extremely cramped rear seats, as well as poor fuel economy from the V12 engine.[34] The tagline of the Rapide was "Only four door sports car in the world" while the Panamera's was "first sports car for four" as the Panamera has "back seats, offering terrific kneeroom, a supportive (if hard) seat cushion, and generous headroom".[35][36] Production of the Rapide ended in 2020 with the Rapide AMR as the final variant.[37]


A Rapide was entered in the 2010 24 Hours of Nürburgring.[38] Drivers included then Aston Martin CEO Ulrich Bez, journalist Matthew Marsh, the company’s Nürburgring Test Centre Director Wolfgang Schuhbauer and engineering manager Chris Porritt. It finished second in the SP 8 class and 34th overall.[39][40]

A Rapide S was entered in the 2013 24 Hours of Nürburgring. It was powered by a new technology introduced by Alset GmbH, a Hybrid Hydrogen system that enables the car to use hydrogen and petrol individually or at the same time in an internal combustion engine.[41] This Rapide S was the first car to race the 24 Hours of Nürburgring with hydrogen fuel.[42] It was driven by Ulrich Bez, Matthew Marsh, Wolfgang Schuhbauer and Shinichi Katsura and finished 114th overall. The car was part of its own class, E1-XP2.



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