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2014 Aston Martin Rapide S

Four doors, 550hp and handsome looks. Yes, please!

Alex Bernstein
Jan 22, 2013 SHARE

Our favorite British car maker's new luxury GT has been redesigned and re-engineered to secure its role as "the world's most beautiful, and beautifully balanced, four-seat sports car."

2014 aston martin rapide s right rear view Photo 2/11   |   2014 Aston Martin Rapide S

The new Rapide S isn't another variant to accompany the standard Rapide-it replaces it completely. And thanks to a range of additions, the Rapide S is a fair amount more refined.

It boasts a new face with a striking new full grille. This more aggressive front end flows to the redisegned and more pronounced deck profile along with a boot lid 'flip'. These exterior cues are subtle but significant and further push the point home that the Rapide S is a true sports car, plus the aerodynamic upgrades aid in counteracting lift at higher speeds, of which the Rapide S is made for.

Aston Martin Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Ulrich Bez said, "The Rapide S is to me, without doubt, the most beautiful four-door sports car on the market today. This is, very clearly, the power of luxury in action. The car's stunning visual appeal is now matched by a much more powerful and yet more efficient engine-our exceptional new AM11 V12-which increases massively both the excitement and performance potention of the Rapide S. It is a four-door sports car that uniquely combines luxury, style and sporting excitement in Aston Martin's most flexible and accommodating silhouette. Purity of proportion and exceptional elegance are mixed with truly sensational dynamic performance-this is the four-door sports car in its most versatile form and I am sure our customers around the world are going to love it!" Strong words from a man that knows how an Aston should look and is passionate about their progress.

2014 aston martin rapide s right front view Photo 3/11   |   2014 Aston Martin Rapide S

The naturally-apsirated 6.0-liter V12 offers improved, well, everything. Power jumps nicely from the outgoing model, up 17% to 550hp. Peak torque increases from 443 lb-ft to 457 lb-ft at 5000rpm. The best part of this gained torque, though, is that it boosts the low end power by more than 30 lb-ft between idle and 4000rpm.

Despite these bigger numbers, the new engine is actually more efficient now, too. Thanks to pulling technology from Aston's race efforts and fine tuning, European emissions drop by seven percent and now fuel economy is 19.9mpg for Europe, US numbers to be confirmed soon.

The new AM11 engine sits lower by 19mm, offering more balance and sharper agility. The best result, though, is the quicker turn in, making the Rapide S a serious improvement.

2014 aston martin rapide s right rear taillight Photo 4/11   |   2014 Aston Martin Rapide S

The engineers in the Gaydon HQ have worked to revise the car's stability control and Adaptive Damping System to fit more in line with the newfound power and refinements. Suspension settings range from three settings: Normal, Sport and Track. The ADS system automatically alters the suspension settings to ensure the driver has the highest possible level of control in all situations.

Head of Product development at Aston martin, Ian Minards, explains, "Growing the power in a luxury sports car is all very well, but maximizing control and usability of that increased power is, just as much, the engineer's challenge. Balance, poise and control are the keys to a successful sports car and the dynamic improvements we have made with the Rapide S showcase our efforts to make this not just the most beautiful, but also the most beautifully balanced car in its class."

The Rapide S can be all class with a hint of sport, or it can be tailored to look truly race-spec. For example, the new optional Carbon Exterior pack includes a carbon fiber front splitter, rear diffuser, mirror caps and rear lamp infills.

2014 aston martin rapide s left rear tailight Photo 5/11   |   2014 Aston Martin Rapide S

Inside the cabin, you can expect the Rapide S to be no less luxurious or sporting. However, for this new model, the interior has even more options to more precisely tailor the car to the driver's specific style.

A new piano black interior pack adds a deep, rich, mirror-like shine to the facia, transmission tunnel center plate and door handles, with a darker surround on the instrument cluster and steering wheel add onto it. But if you went for the carbon exterior pack, you can keep the more aggressive nature flowing inside, too, with the Duoton perforated red and black leather, making its first debut in the new Rapide S.

The new model has improved NVH, too, to make sure you're not hearing or feeling anything you don't want to.

You can order yours at one of the 146 dealers worldwide next month with prices confirmed closer to the on-sale date.

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By Alex Bernstein
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