As­ton Martin ups Rapide ante

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Motoring -

As­ton Martin has un­leashed the most po­tent ver­sion yet of its five-door lift­back, the lim­ited-edi­tion Rapide AMR, which ups the ante with a re­tuned V12 en­gine, honed aero­dy­nam­ics and lash­ings of light­weight car­bon-fi­bre.

Ac­cord­ing to As­ton Martin Aus­tralia, a ‘small num­ber’ of Rapide AMRS will be im­ported later this year, with each priced from $459,950 be­fore on­road costs – a $77,840 pre­mium over the Rapide S upon which it is based.

Re­stricted to 210 ex­am­ples glob­ally, the Rapide AMR is mo­ti­vated by a 6.0-litre nat­u­rally as­pi­rated petrol unit that punches out 433kw of power at 7000rpm – 22kw more than the Rapide S – and 630Nm of torque in most mar­kets.

In Europe, how­ever, max­i­mum power for the Rapide AMR is 7kw higher, at 440kw, at the same en­gine speed, with the Bri­tish mar­que pro­vid­ing no ex­pla­na­tion for the dis­crep­ancy.

These im­proved out­puts were achieved by larger in­let man­i­folds with tuned-length dual in­let run­ners to en­hance air­flow, plus a re­cal­i­bra­tion of the en­gine con­trol unit and eight­speed ZF torque-con­ver­tor au­to­matic trans­mis­sion.

De­spite its ex­tra edge in out­put, the Rapide AMR only matches the Rapide S in the sprint from stand­still to 100kmh, at 4.4 sec­onds, but bet­ters its top speed of 327kmh by 3kmh.

Brak­ing is han­dled by a car­bon-ce­ramic pack­age – a Rapide first – con­sist­ing of 400mm discs with six-pis­ton cal­lipers up front and 360mm ro­tors with four-pot stop­pers at the rear.

The Rapide AMR sits on mul­ti­spoke 21-inch al­loy wheels – the largest on an As­ton Martin yet – wrapped in a mixed set of Miche­lin Pi­lot Su­per Sport tyres.

Rid­ing 10mm lower than the Rapide S, the Rapide AMR picks up re­tuned three-stage adap­tive dampers that ‘cre­ate a car that is more fo­cused, ag­ile and dy­namic’, ac­cord­ing to the com­pany.

The ex­te­rior makeover is en­hanced by a car­bon-fi­bre front split­ter, vented bon­net, side skirts, rear dif­fuser and bootlid-mounted lip spoiler, which have been tuned to re­duce aero­dy­namic lift.

A mesh front grille in­sert, Za­ga­toin­spired cir­cu­lar LED day­time run­ning lights and a more rau­cous quad ex­haust sys­tem round out ex­ter­nal up­grades.

In­side

A full-length car­bon-fi­bre cen­tre con­sole and Al­can­tara-trimmed seats – both Rapide firsts – fea­ture along­side Amr-branded car­bon-fi­bre scuff plates and a lim­ited-edi­tion AMR in­spec­tion plaque, while a One-77 sport­scar-style steer­ing wheel is avail­able op­tion­ally.

Rapide AMR buy­ers can also choose be­tween three de­sign schemes – stan­dard, sil­hou­ette and sig­na­ture – which al­ter paint­work and trim ac­cord­ingly.

Ac­cord­ing to As­ton Martin pres­i­dent and chief ex­ec­u­tive Andy Palmer, the Rapide AMR takes the com­pany’s most prac­ti­cal model to an­other level.

“AMR takes tech­nol­ogy and in­spi­ra­tion from our mo­tor­sport pro­gram to am­plify the sport­ing prow­ess in our road cars, which is clear to see in the Rapide AMR – As­ton Martin’s most ex­treme four-door sport­scar,” he said.

“With en­hanced per­for­mance, sharper dy­nam­ics and more pow­er­ful de­sign lan­guage, As­ton Martin has taken Rapide to new and ex­cit­ing ex­tremes.”

While the Rapide AMR was re­vealed in pro­duc­tion form at Le Mans, France, ahead of the an­nual 24-hour race this week­end, it broke cover in con­cept guise at the Geneva mo­tor show in March last year.

Only one Rapide S has been sold in Aus­tralia to the end of May this year, com­pared with four units dur­ing the same pe­riod in 2017.

RAPID: The As­ton Martin Rapide AMR has a top speed of 330kmh due to its 433kw-630nm 6.0-litre nat­u­rally as­pi­rated V12 petrol en­gine.

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