Aston Martin ups Rapide ante
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.
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.