NAME’S RAPIDE. ASTON MARTIN RAPIDE.
James Bond loves his Aston Martins. And men the world over love to drool over this sexy speed demon. It truly is one of the best looking and performing supercars in this world.
Let me get this one thing out of the way. No matter how jaded an auto journo you might be, no matter how many exotic cars you may have driven, the sight of an Aston Martin rolling up to you and the sound of its naturally aspirated V12 engine revving up will never fail to send Goosebumps down your spine. So you can imagine the state I might have been in when the Rapide rolled up for a test drive. Stunned, speechless, dumbfounded – take your pick. Any and all of these words could best describe what I was feeling.
Of course, once you’ve gotten past the “Astonness” of the Rapide, and the shock and awe has worn off, the real nature of this car starts to come through. Every line, every curve, every crease of the car dripping with pure automotive allure – so much so that the thought of getting behind the wheel almost felt cruel as that would mean not getting to see the gorgeous exterior. Sure, from the front, it looks like every other Aston Martin, but view it in profile and it’s the slightly elongated cabin and the four door layout really makes it look like nothing else on the road today. Honestly, it wouldn’t be too farfetched to say that this is probably the best looking four door car in the world.
Getting inside the car, the story took a little strange turn, however. At the risk of getting lynched by every auto enthusiast on the planet however, I do have nits to pick about the interiors. After the drop dead gorgeous looks of the body, there are certain bits of the interior, especially the centre console, which seem a little half hearted. Things like the steering wheel and crème leather trim are absolutely gorgeous. But then the buttons and dials on the centre console tend to feel like they should belong in a significantly cheaper and less exclusive car. The buttons look like they’ve been designed to be operated by someone with incredibly small fingers, the overall layout of the centre console seems rather uninspiring, the plastic on the dials doesn’t titillate your senses and even the air conditioning vents look like they might have come from your everyday saloon.
And don’t even get me started about the rear seats. The Rapide is a four-seater in name only. Thought the two buckets in the back aren’t as small as those in some of the 2+2 coupes, they can accommodate conservatively sized adults in any kind of comfort. And even if you have no cause for concern with the leg room and head room, there’s a good chance that a feeling of claustrophobia in the rear might. Not the ideal car to be chauffeured around in then.
The driver’s seat is where the Rapide really comes alive though. The massive bucket seat itself seems to suck you in and make you an integral part of the car. The pristine steering wheel with its hand recesses and the large paddle shifters behind it let you know that you’re sitting in something not only with some serious performance figures, but proper performance heritage as well. All the nit-picks about the design of the interiors fade away in the instant you step on the gas.
The naturally aspirated 5,935cc, 48-valve V12 engine mounted in the front midship position sends 447PS of power and a staggering 600Nm of torque to the rear mounted 6-speed automatic gearbox via a carbon-fibre propshaft. What this means in simple English is that even though the Rapide is a four-door-four-seat car, every bit of it is built with speed in mind –a point proven each time you dab the throttle and the engine clears its throat and the tacho needle races towards the redline when you floor it.
The figures are enough to give any sportscar a run for its money. Zero to 100km/h in 5.2 seconds and a top speed of nearly 300km/h. Show the Rapide some corners, and it will devour them as well, thanks to its double wishbone suspension setup, adaptive damping system and super sharp brakes – 390mm ventilated discs with 6-piston monobloc calipers at the front and 360mm ventilated discs with 4-piston monobloc calipers at the rear.
Displacement: 5935cc, V12
Engine Type: Petrol
Maximum Power: 470 Bhp @ 6000 rpm
Maximum Torque: 600 Nm @ 5000 rpm
Gears: 6 Automatic
Fuel Tank: 90.00
PRICE: Rs. 2.20 cr (approx)