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2011 Aston Martin Rapide

Quatres Portes

A three-quarter front view of a 2011 Aston Martin Rapide

In short: An elegant alternative to the usual six-figure sport sedans.

Aston Martin Rapide Review

Aston Martin's last four-door was the astronomically priced Lagonda, and it punctuated the heady landscape of 1980s excess with ruler-sharp lines and a silhouette that had more in common with a door stop than a sedan.

What a difference two decades make.

The new Rapide is to complex curves as the Lagonda was to linearity, and this sweeping sedan's taut muscularity lends it a road presence that makes the Maserati Quattroporte and Porsche Panamera look practically passé.

Aston Martin Rapide

Under the Aston's vented hood is a 6.0 liter V-12 sourced from the DB9, and the mill is mated to a six-speed automatic that can also be paddle-shifted manually, propelling the two-ton sedan forward with effortless insistence. Thanks to the rearward-mounted powerplant and forward-positioned gearbox, the Rapide handled switchbacks and passes in the mountainous area outside of Valencia, Spain, with sports car-like precision. The adaptive suspension relents around town, allowing the optional 20 inch wheels to soak up potholes with ease, automatically stiffening when the road meanders.

The Rapide's interior cossets occupants with buttery leather, Alcantara, and available finishes including mahogany, piano black, and bamboo. The 1,000 watt Bang & Olufsen sound system is nothing short of sublime; other options include cooled seats, a twin screen rear entertainment system with six-disc DVD player, and personalized details like an engraved sill and color-keyed accents.

The interior of the Aston Martin Rapide

Is the Rapide perfect? Not quite; its rear seating isn't nearly as capacious as the Porsche Panamera's, some of the A/C and stereo controls are woefully counterintuitive, and those elegant interior surfaces seem a bit too precious for daily use. But if you're looking for a high-end sedan that brings a sense of occasion to your daily drive, Aston Martin's Rapide delivers a stirring combination of soothing interior and the potent punch of coupé-like performance.

A three-quarter rear view of a 2011 Aston Martin Rapide

Read our book review: Aston Martin: Ever the Thoroughbred
For a review of the V8 Vantage coupe, click here.

Warranty/Service: 3-year/unlimited-mile basic warranty; 3-year/unlimited-mile powertrain warranty.

QUICK SHEET
Base Price: $207,895/ As Tested: $220,040

Technical Specifications

Vehicle type: front mid-mounted engine, rear wheel-drive 4-passenger, 4-door coupe

Engine: 6.0-liter V12
Horsepower: 470 bhp @ 6,000 rpm
Torque: 443 lb-ft @ 5,000 rpm
Transmission: rear mid-mounted Touchtronic 2 6-speed automatic

Curb weight: 4,299 lbs
Wheelbase: 117.7 in
Length/Width/Height: 197.6/84.3/53.5 in
Turning circle: N/A

Brakes: dual-cast, six-piston front and four-piston rear with anti-lock (ABS) and electronic brake distribution (EBD)
Suspension: independent front and rear double-wishbone with adaptive damping
Traction: traction control, stability control, electronic brake assist

Safety: standard front, dual front side, and front and rear head airbags

0-60 mph: 5.0 seconds
Top Speed: 184 mph

EPA City: 13 mpg
EPA Highway: 19 mpg

Likes: rakishly beautiful lines, sumptuous interior finishes, piercing performance contradicts airy aesthetics
Dislikes: Rear seating area is snug, stereo/climate control interfaces are illogical, vulnerable interior textures discourage use of practical features like fold-down rear storage area

Check out other Aston Martin models
See all of our Automobile Reviews
Visit the Aston Martin website

Text: Basem Wasef
Photography: AlphaMedia and Aston Martin

P122906
(Updated: 08/24/11 NW)

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