SAM’S SLOT: The Aston Martin Rapide S
Aston Martin is one of the greatest British motor companies in our history. It continues to create and build vehicles that are made to the finest quality and recently they have made excellent, more track focussed cars such as the Vantage GT12 and GT8. Furthermore, since 2010 Aston Martin has made one of the best luxury 4-door sports cars ever, its name, the Rapide S.
This particular model comes with a 6.0 V12 which produces a rather incredible 522bhp and has a 0-60 time of 4.2 seconds. One would normally find such figures in a supercar but no, Aston Martin has pushed the boundaries to create an extraordinary piece of machinery. Flat out the Rapide will reach 203mph. Again, these figures are uncommon in a car that has four seats and a decent sized boot. Alongside the excellent performance the car is well equipped with heated front and rear seats, cruise control and memory front seats and exterior mirrors as standard.
One of the more special features in the car is the sport button. Push this and the car becomes a completely different animal. The car becomes more alive and you get a fantastic roar from both the engine and the exhaust. The steering becomes more responsive and the engine reacts quicker even with a small amount of throttle. Without the sport button, the car is still its luxurious self. The engine is quieter and the environment more subtle and calm and you forget the car has a V12 under the bonnet. The ride is smooth and it is fair to say that Aston Martin has produced the most refined 4-door sports car to date.
One thing I must highlight is the size of the car. It’s just over five meters long, but I suppose it has to be to accommodate the monstrous V12 engine in the front. However, the cabin is deceptively small and in the back of the car, you do feel a little cramped particularly if you are rather tall. Aston Martin does make up for the lack of leg space, however, by putting TV screens in the driver and passenger headrests.
The interior of the car is sublime and the quality of the materials is faultless. The centre console and dash is neatly designed and well finished, as you would expect from such a prestigious car maker. What I also like about Aston Martin is their endless variety of options. For example when designing your specification you have over 30 colours to choose from. There are also many different shades of leather and many more options that can be added at a price.
The Rapide S is in a league of its own both in appearance, its build quality and its engineering prowess making it a superb driving experience. It has all the performance of a supercar, but delivers in an understated manner. In a market where there are multiple 4-door sports cars available, this is by far the most refined example.