Don’t let the “S” designation fool you: the Rapide S, which made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show, is not a sportier version of Aston Martin’s sole four-door model but its revamped replacement.
The jury is still out on that pedestrian-friendly, huge one-piece grille (the rest of the bodywork is mostly the same) but under the skin Aston’s engineers have done a lot of work.
The 5.9-liter V12 now sports 550HP (565PS) and 620 Nm (457 lb-ft) of torque compared to the outgoing model’s 470HP and 600 Nm respectively. The 17 percent more powerful AM11 unit has gained dual camshaft timing, hollow cam shafts, knock sensing and fully CNC machined combustion chambers and has been placed 19 mm lower in the chassis.
Thus, the Rapide S is 0.3 seconds faster to the 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) sprint, which is dispatched in 4.9 seconds, and its top speed exceeds 305 km/h (190 mph). At the same time, despite being more powerful, it cuts CO2 emissions from 355 to 332 g/km.
The VH platform may be 10 years old now, having debuted in the 2003 DB9, but constant updates by Aston Martin mean that it's now in its fourth generation. The new Gen4 VH architecture forms the basis of the revamped saloon, which is also fitted with a new dynamic stability control system and the ADS adaptive damping with three modes (Normal, Sport and Track) calibrated especially for the Rapide S.