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2015 Aston Martin Rapide S

Overview
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2015 Aston Martin Rapide S Review

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The Rapide S brings all the style, panache and performance the boutique automaker's coupes are known for – plus Aston Martin's potent 552-horsepower V12 engine – yet unlike the coupes, it can comfortably seat four passengers and their gear. Is it a sedan? A hatchback? A family car? A 4-door coupe? The Rapide S is essentially all of these, while remaining true to the company's performance roots. This highly exclusive luxury vehicle has a starting price that's over $200,000, making it more expensive than similar models like the Porsche Panamera, BMW 6-Series Gran Coupe, Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class and Audi S7. The exclusivity means turning more heads on the road, but working with a smaller dealer network.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you want the gorgeous style and exclusivity of an Aston Martin coupe and a 0-60 time of 4.2 seconds, yet want to be able to bring a few friends (and their luggage) along to enjoy the experience, the Rapide S may be your ideal ride.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The Rapide S is more expensive than similar models from Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, Audi and BMW, and unlike those cars, the Aston Martin offers only one powertrain combination.

What's New for 2015

The 2015 Rapide's V12 has been updated, now more powerful and more efficient with reduced emissions. In addition, a new 8-speed automatic replaces the previous 6-speed. The front brakes are larger, there is more standard equipment and new 10-spoke 20-inch wheels are available.

Driving the Rapide S
Driving Impressions

Aston Martin is not a mainstream brand, so it should come as no surprise that its take on a 4-door sedan isn't mainstream either. The gorgeous Rapide S, a sedan...

... in coupe's clothing, has its brethren Vanquish coupe's fiery 552-horsepower V12 under the hood and handling that'll make you forget it has those two extra doors. Straight-line acceleration will rocket you to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds, and in the corners, the Rapide's 3-stage Adaptive Damping System lets you choose your automotive adventure. Set the suspension to Normal mode, and jaunts to the office are more comfortable. If you want to turn things up a notch, set it to Sport mode. There's also a setting that sharpens things up nicely for track maneuvers.

8-SPEED AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
Changing to the new transmission has helped make the Rapide that ideal combination of being more fuel efficient and faster. Shifts are quick, but the transmission isn't jumpy, and fuel economy improves from 13 mpg city/19 highway last year to 14 mpg city/22 highway for 2015.

CONFIGURABLE CARGO AREA
The sculpted back seats provide a comfortable, supportive place to enjoy the road as the miles pass by. However, when there are only two people in the car, the rear seats power-fold with the push of a button to create a cargo area that's nearly three times bigger.

2015 Aston Martin Rapide S Details
2015 Aston Martin Rapide S photo Interior

The Rapide's cabin embodies modern elegance, with top-notch materials throughout, including full-grain diamond-quilted leather and touches of walnut. The seats offer a toned-down version of the bolstering you would find in a sports car: They're plenty supportive yet quite comfortable. There are pleasant details like glass switches, organic electroluminescent displays, and dials and buttons that are elegant and mostly easy to reach and use, with the exception of some climate-control and stereo controls that are a little small. A big plus: the electronic parking brake replaces Aston Martin's traditional (and somewhat counterintuitive) "fly-off" handbrake.

Exterior
2015 Aston Martin Rapide S photo

Despite the extra doors, the bodywork of the Rapide S makes the car fit right in with the rest of the lineup. There is no doubt this curvy looker is an Aston Martin. While the Rapide has four doors, the handles are the same color as the body so as not to compromise the lines of this car. It has a long hood profile, trademark grille, LED accent lighting – and there's no bad angle on the body. This is one of the most beautiful 4-doors on the market.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

As you would hope, this $200,000-plus car comes with a lot of standard equipment. The Rapide's fantastic V12 and ZF 8-speed automatic are in every model, as are 20-inch wheels, the 3-stage Adaptive Damping System, LED lighting, heated front seats and rear screen, and parking sensors. Inside, the Rapide comes with features such as the terrific 1,000-watt Bang & Olufsen audio system, satellite-based navigation, rearview camera (now standard for 2015), iPod/iPhone connectivity – and this British company would be remiss if it didn’t include an umbrella.

Optional Equipment

Plenty of styling touches and ultra-lux amenities are offered so you can make your already-exclusive Rapide S even more unique. There are multiple trim finishes, stitch colors, several wheel choices, four brake-caliper colors, ventilated front and rear seats, carbon-fiber paddle shifters and a rear-seat entertainment system. And if you want to take your Aston Martin gear with you, other nice touches seem to be pulled straight from a James Bond movie: the AMVOX2 Transponder Rapide Watch, crafted by Jaeger-LeCoultre that can be used to lock and unlock the car, Aston Martin luggage and Q, Aston Martin's personalization service.

Under the Hood

The Rapide's V12 engine is technically 5.9 liters, but Aston Martin rounds it up to a nice, even 6.0 liters. Both horsepower and torque have been increased for 2015, with two more horses and eight more lb-ft. Behind the smooth, robust engine is an 8-speed ZF automatic transmission that can also be operated via paddle shifters. The engine has a lovely burble that is music to a car enthusiast's ears, but this is not the vehicle for the environmentally conscious. Even though fuel economy has improved by more than 11 percent from last year and CO2 levels are down by 10 percent, the Rapide is still subject to a gas-guzzler tax and combined fuel economy is 17 mpg.

6.0-liter V12
552 horsepower @ 6,750 rpm
465 lb-ft of torque @ 5,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/22 mpg

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