The Aston Martin Rapide is a grand tourer hatchback sedan that the luxury British automaker introduced in 2010. It’s the first four-door sedan produced by Aston Martin since 1989, when the Aston Martin Lagonda was discontinued. The Aston Martin Rapide premiered as a concept car at the 2006 Detroit North American International Auto Show, and was shown again in production form at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. The Rapide shares the same platform as the Aston Martin DB9.
Featured in the first couple years of the Aston Martin Rapide was the 5.9-liter V12 drivetrain that put out 470 brake horsepower. The engine was paired to a six-speed Touchtronic automatic transmission. The Rapide has a rear-wheel-drive configuration, and boasts a 0-60 acceleration time of just 5 seconds. Official top speed of the Aston Martin Rapide is 188.5 miles per hour. For the 2013 model year revision, the V12 was given refinements that increased the drivetrain’s output to 550 brake horsepower. Top speed increased slightly, to 190 miles per hour, and the 2013 Rapide can also accelerate from 0-62 in 4.9 seconds. (0-62 mph acceleration times are the equivalent of the European standard of 0-100 kmh.)
In addition to the Aston Martin Rapide’s performance, the cabin is outfitted with upscale features to make the Rapide as comfortable to ride in as it is to drive, and to back up the car’s premium price point. The Rapide features bi-Xenon headlights and LED taillights. The cabin is trimmed in premium leather and walnut, with complementary metal accents. The driver and front passenger have power seats with memory functions, heat, and cooling, with a tilt and telescoping steering wheel that adjusts to reach the driver’s vantage point. Bluetooth integration, along with USB inputs and iPod accessibility, add a convenience factor to the Bang & Olufsen 16-speaker surround sound audio system.
The Aston Martin Rapide was first built in a production facility in Austria, but production was moved to England in 2012 because production was scaled back. The first two years of Rapide cars were built by a sub-contractor, Magna Steyr, that had agreed to build the Rapide for eight full years. Due to weakening global demand for premium performance vehicles, Aston Martin opted to end the agreement early and produce the Rapide at an Aston Martin facility, so production could be adjusted more easily as demand for the Rapide changed. Annual production was originally scheduled for 2000 cars per year, but as of mid-2012, output was reduced to about 1200 cars per year. Aston Martin anticipates that number might occasionally dip as low as 500 units throughout the Rapide’s production run.