By Allyson Harwood
With a 552-horsepower V12 under its hood, Aston Martin’s 2016 Rapide S coupe is clearly built for speed. Unlike the company’s more traditional coupes, this supercar is a 4-door, 4-seat stunner with a luxury pedigree rivaling the Mercedes-Benz CLS, Porsche Panamera and BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe, all of which cost significantly less than the $200,000-plus Rapide S. Part sedan, part hatchback and part coupe the Rapide S defies categorization, but there’s no denying its ability to attract attention wherever it arrives. Exclusivity has its price, however, and in the case of the Rapide S that means having a much smaller dealer network to service and repair the car.
If you love everything about Aston Martin’s gorgeous coupes (including their ability to dash from zero to 60 mph in just 4.2 seconds), but you really need the convenience and comfort of a 4-door sedan, the 2016 Aston Martin Rapide S 4-door coupe has you covered.
For less than half the price of a 2016 Aston Martin Rapide S coupe, you could slide behind the wheel of a BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe, Mercedes-Benz CLS or Porsche Panamera. Heck, even loaded these three don’t approach the Rapide S’s base price.
The 2016 Aston Martin Rapide S coupe receives the company’s new AMi II infotainment system that, among other features, includes real-time readouts for horsepower and torque. New colors inside and out, new wheels and the introduction of Glen Coe leather round out the changes.
Aston Martin calls its 2016 Rapide S a coupe because attaching the word “sedan” to such a seductive machine just seems an antithetical proposition. We prefer to think of the...
... Rapide as a sedan in coupe’s clothing. Having the Vanquish coupe’s robust 552-horsepower V12 under its bonnet certainly bolsters the coupe image, as does a suspension born from a racing heritage. In a straight-line run, the Rapide S will spring to 60 mph in a scant 4.2 seconds. In the curves, the Rapide’s 3-stage Adaptive Damping System allows the driver to dial-in varying degrees of comfort or performance. Need to run to dinner or the office? Normal mode returns a controlled but comfortable ride. Heading off to tackle your favorite twisting road? The Sport mode stiffens the settings, while the Track setting brings track-worthy ride and handling.
8-SPEED AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
The Rapide’s ZF 8-speed automatic strikes the perfect balance between performance and economy. Shifts are quick, but the transmission isn't jumpy, and fuel economy can reach an impressive 22-mpg highway, as long as you don’t lay into the throttle.
CONFIGURABLE CARGO AREA
The sculpted rear seats provide a surprisingly comfortable perch for two, but when it’s just you and a companion, the rear seats power-fold at the touch of a button to provide a generous cargo bay.
The 2016 Aston Martin Rapide S coupe'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.
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.
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, AMi II infotainment system, rearview camera iPod/iPhone connectivity -- and this British company would be remiss if it didn’t include an umbrella.
Plenty of styling touches and ultra-lux amenities are offered so you can make your already-exclusive Rapide S 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.
Aston Martin’s 2016 Rapide S coupe’s V12 engine is technically 5.9 liters, but Aston rounds it up to a nice, even 6.0 liters. 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 was improved last year by more than 11 percent and CO2 levels were dropped by 10 percent, the Rapide is still subject to a gas-guzzler tax and combined fuel economy is 17 mpg.
552 horsepower @ 6,750 rpm
465 lb-ft of torque @ 5,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/22 mpg
The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2016 Aston Martin Rapide S coupe is nearly $210,000, including the gas-guzzler tax and destination, and adding options will certainly make that price go even higher. That starting price puts it in an atmosphere far above that of the Audi A7/S7, BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe, Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class, Maserati Quattroporte and Porsche Panamera, but it is possible to find a fully loaded Quattroporte or Panamera for around the same price as a Rapide S. For the most up-to-date information about how much folks are paying for the 2016 Aston Martin Rapide S in your area, check out the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price. As with most high-end cars, values drop quickly once you leave the dealer lot.