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Aston Martin Rapide: A four-seater for James Bond driving report

Nick Dimbleby
Aston Martin Rapide - driving report
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Take out the rubbish in the morning, then take the children to school and be home in time to put them to bed in the evening - there isn't really much time in between to save the world. So it is possible that Commander James Bond, Her Majesty's secret agent, is not the preferred customer of the Rapide - Aston Martin s new family car.

Aston Martin Rapide: Perhaps the most elegant four-door sports car in the world

We should actually have it at the company headquarters of Aston Martin in Gaydon, Warwickshire. But Great Britain, once ruler of the world's oceans, conqueror of entire continents, almost first conqueror of Mount Everest, inventor of the Barbour jacket and the Land Rover is collapsing under three centimeters of fresh snow. That's why we meet him in Austria. Aston Martin calls the Rapide without excessive consideration for other opinions the 'most elegant four-door sports car in the world'. Just to add that the Rapide is the only real four-door sports car. Oh, you will surely like to hear that in 70435 Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, where you want to sell 20,000 Panamera a year - ten times more than Aston Martin from his four-seater. And maybe you ask yourself at Porsche when you see it Well, whether it was correct, the Panamera grafting on a hunched tail, at the behest of a single gentleman who now has nothing more to say in the company.

The Aston Martin Rapide is similar to the DB9

The Aston Martin Rapide shouldn't be accused of sacrificing its beauty for functionality. The production version towers over the topthe study presented in Detroit in 2006 by 2.5 centimeters - not for such a mundane reason as creating more headroom in the rear, but because Marek Reichman's design team was bothered by the low side windows. The enlarged windows cover the B-pillar, so the Aston Martin Rapide looks diagonally from the front like the Aston Martin DB9 . Whatever the option, after all, it is based on him. More than ten percent identical parts, stresses the zealous press office in a hurry, but there is no between the two cars. The engine and the six-speed automatic transmission positioned on the rear axle based on the transaxle principle, yes, they do. Also the cockpit, whereby the Rapide has an electric parking brake, which you can see for yourself. The four-door model also uses the same basic structure as the coupés.

The Aston Martin Rapide rear passengers are securely fixed

The brakes and the chassis with independent suspension were adapted to the higher weight by the technicians on the Aston Martin Rapide and stretched the wheelbase by 24.9 centimeters for the rear doors and the rear compartment compared to the Aston Martin DB9 - a combination that Aston Martin already had under the name Lagonda Rapide, 55 copies from 1961 to 1965. The new one fixes its passengers in the back on fine leather-covered sports seats, strictly separated from the insurmountable center console that rises from the cockpit. The space available: Yes, well, one must not forget that the Aston Martin Rapide does not want to be a sedan. The space at the back is free of opulence and cut close to the body for adults, but is sufficient for longer tours.

There is an optional Roman Isofix child seat for the Aston Martin Rapide

Let's check off the next topic that has never been of interest to an Aston Martin: the trunk. Fits under the not-so-large tailgate - for those who do not calculate the loading volume in golf bags - 317 liters, with the rear seat backs folded down 886 liters. So now we have everything together: four doors, folding rear seats, tailgate, plus a list of options that dispenses with any hint of stinger missiles, bulletproof windows and ejection seats. Instead, she praises a Roman Isofix child seat. Is that supposed to be a sports car? And what a! Deep and tightly integrated - just like in a sports car - drivers and co. Sit pushing the start button and the sound wave of the V12 sweeps away the last doubts.

The Aston Martin Rapide feels like a sports car

Our chauffeur snaps into gear D, his right foot nudges the accelerator, the rear wheels of the Aston Martin Rapide whirl up fountains of snow until the traction control intervenes resolutely. The Rapide plows out of the snow-covered parking lot with a slight tail wagging onto the road. It takes three turnsand they are forgotten: rear seats? Which rear seats? Because the Rapide feels like a sports car, without any sedentary sedan. Only the sluggish automatic disturbs when driving in a hurry - a problem that the pilot can temporarily avoid using the leather-covered magnesium shift paddles. Whereby you can feel as a passenger: the Aston Martin Rapide cannot completely hide its weight of almost two tons - 190 kilos more than the DB9. But with its highly responsive and precise steering, it is hardly less agile than a DB9. If it's a car with which you can drive the front passenger dizzy, you can finally do it with the whole family in the Rapide with a little extra effort.

The Aston Martin Rapide will start the 24-hour race

Although it can comfortably transport them. On the motorway, the long wheelbase of the Aston Martin Rapide calms straight ahead. When it comes to suspension comfort, it benefits from tires with a larger cross-section and adaptive dampers. Even if the tightest of the five characteristic curves is selected in sport mode, the comfort remains long-distance compatible. A car for the big intercontinental trip, a sports car for the whole family or even for James Bond - he would have room for three of his changing ladies' acquaintances. But also a car for the race track, as Aston Martin boss Ulrich Bez reveals: The Rapide will start in the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring. To prove that he is what he is. A real sports car.


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