Search Cars

Saturday, January 25, 2014

2014 Aston Martin Rapide S



FOR FULL IMAGES...CLICK HERE >>> View Photo Gallery


PRICE : For 2014 Aston Martin Rapid S  $198,250


The Aston Martin Rapide S has four doors, but look beyond that for a moment; it's no exception from what Aston Martin has a longstanding reputation for: turning out some of the world's top grand-touring sports cars...

Far more faithful to sports-car athleticism than to the luxury-sedan hints it may drop, the new Rapide S—replacing the former Rapide in the Aston lineup for 2014—gets a little more performance-focused, without losing any comfort...

The Rapide made its debut about three years ago; yet it’s getting a bit of a relaunch to accommodate the new-generation ‘AM11’ V-12 engine, altogether making 550 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque. That's 80 more horsepower than before, most notably, from a new 'AM11' version of Aston's V-12, and it bumps top speed to 190 mph, with 0-60 mph in just 4.7 seconds. EPA fuel economy ratings stand at 13 mpg city, 19 highwa—about typical for this class of vehicle...

Not much changes in the Rapide's overall profile—curvaceous and classic Aston Martin—and that's great. With a larger 'full' grille, the face of the Rapide S is wider, and the lower aero work adapted to suit that. Aston has raised and recontoured the hoodline to meet EU pedestrian impact standards, while also adding a trunklid 'flip' spoiler to aid aerodynamics (top speed is 190 mph)...

Those changes drop the engine about 0.75 inch lower—improving its center of mass. And three modes for the Bilstein adaptive damping system now allow a separate Track mode, along with normal and Sport modes—in addition to the Track mode (or full off) for the stability control. And a Sport mode for the powertrain allows a stronger tip in and delayed shift points, and enables an exhaust bypass valve so that the V-12 sings its song a little earlier and more audibly...

Compared to the CLS63 AMG, or the Porsche Panamera Turbo S, there’s less of an edge to the Aston’s powertrain itself, yet the handling and steering is sharper and more communicative and the car feels smaller, leaner, lighter. The Rapide S is wide—really so, at 84 inches—and that tightness may be nervous-making on narrow country lanes or when you need to park this precious beast in a standard-size parking space...

Focusing back in on the packaging: The Rapide is essentially a 2+2, but with four doors; if you plan to have the front seats positioned rearward for a taller driver, don't expect more than a child to be able to fit behind. Entry and exit through the rear doors is far from ideal, and some may need a helping hand. Although rear-seat passengers get their own center-console, and a rear entertainment system is available. The ride is on the firm side, but refinement is excellent, with road noise well damped out; and reasonably good comfort, even on jittery backroad surfaces—a surprise, given the very low-profile tires...

You’ll need to follow the rearview camera when parking—if you don’t always have valets for that sort of thing. Although you have a good view in front and to the side, rearward visibility is restricted through the narrow rear window...

Otherwise, there’s no mother lode of advanced tech features; only enough to enforce that athleticism with a sheen of sophistication. And there are plenty of 'bespoke' opportunities for he or she who orders the car to enhance that any way they want—with special materials, like a Carbon Exterior Pack, available piano black interior trim, or Duotone perforated red-and-black leather, among many, many options...


Our time with the Rapid S has so far been quite limited—with far more time clocked over a couple of drives on European mountain roads than on actual U.S. streets and highways. We plan to update our impressions as soon as we can get a longer drive Stateside. In the meantime, see our First Drive of the 2014 Aston Martin Rapide S...



EXTERIOR




















The Rapide remains the most classically exciting-looking four-door car in the world, and may even be the best-resolved, visually, of all the current Aston Martin sexpots. Its proportions are roughly perfect – perhaps the least compromised of all modern car designs – and there are hundreds of pleasing angles and convergences on which to look, misty eyed...


That grille? It’s not bad, though it does tend to minimize the effect of some of the more subtle lines surrounding it. But it may, one day, save your life. For that it probably deserves the Red Cross award for public service. Also, there's a more pronounced rear deck-lid spoiler, better to keep the Rapide S stable at its new, 190 mph top speed, as well as attractive new optional 10-spoke wheels and carbon-fiber package. Otherwise, the looks carry over..


INTERIOR




















While the Rapide S generally provides a glorious experience inside, with supple materials and stunning, glass switchgear, its rear space remains hampered by an intrusive transaxle and driveline tunnel shrouded by a massive rear console...

That means, sitting in a rear seat is probably a lot like what the first class cabin in NASA’s lunar module might be like, if there was one. You’re surrounded by beautiful, fragrant leather and good design, but it’s a snug fit, and certainly not for the claustrophobic...

The situation is better for cargo, which benefits from the Rapide S’s hatchback and fold-down rear seats, making this the most utility-minded Aston Martin you can buy... 


SPECIFICATION


► Year:2014
► Make:Aston-Martin
► Model:Rapide S
► Engine:V12
► Horsepower @ RPM:558 @ 6750
► Torque @ RPM:457 @ 50000-60
► Time:4.9 sec.
► Top Speed:190 mph



ACCELERATION SOUND



►  The sound : Oh, the sound. Plant your foot, and the 48-valve V-12 howls like God's own dog; slap a well-timed downshift via the ZF six-speed's flappy aluminum paddles, and it wails and crackles like you lit the dog's tail on fire.



FIRST CLASS CABIN


As luxurious as it is thrilling, the new car now boasts a host of new luxury- or sports-orientated options, allowing buyers to more precisely tailor the car to their specific style...

The new optional Carbon Exterior Pack, for instance, immediately dials up the Rapide's sporting attitude. Front splitter, rear diffuser, mirror caps and rear lamp infills all fashioned from carbon fibre clearly signal the sporting nature of this 558 PS four-seater...

More pronounced luxury, on the other hand, comes from the new piano black interior pack that adds a deep, rich, mirror-like shine to the facia, transmission tunnel centre plate and door handles of the Aston Martin Rapide S. A darker surround in the instrument binnacle and steering wheel with black horn-push surround round off the pack's sumptuous additions. Luxurious blend headlinings in either tan or grey emphasise the luxury still further inside...

As would be expected of a modern Aston Martin, handcrafting is the order of the day in the Aston Martin Rapide S with the standard-fit pure glass transmission selector switches in the centre console one small yet important example of the truly authentic, bespoke, nature of the car's cabin...

However those with a desire for a more sporting ambience in their sports car will not be disappointed. Optional duotone perforated red and black leather makes its Aston Martin debut here - delivering a captivating visual combination that's unique to the new Aston Martin Rapide S...

Luxury is enhanced by the removal of extraneous 'noise' and the enhancement of desirable 'sound' - a fine distinction but one that helps the new car deliver an aural experience like no other. Improved NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) characteristics are derived from the likes of the new bonnet lining and revised windscreen cowl...

Flexibility comes in the form of four seats - the rearmost two capable of accommodating adults in a uniquely sporting setting - while at the touch of a button the individual back seats fold down to almost triple the Aston Martin's load space...

Options to further enhance the luxurious look and feel of the Aston Martin Rapide S include, subject to market, a reversing camera and twin screen rear seat entertainment system with wireless headphones, remote control and six-disc DVD changer...

Those seeking the ultimate in luxury and personalisation can also consider the 'Q by Aston Martin' service which offers uniquely-tailored options for individualisation. The Q service focuses on fashioning colour and materials with limitless boundaries precisely to customer choice and specification, enabling owners to give free rein to the creativity and indulge their desire for bespoke luxury...

The new Aston Martin Rapide S will be available to order through the brand's 146 dealers worldwide in February 2013...



AUDIO


The latest Bang & Olufsen Beosound is an excellent system. A more intuitive iPhone interface would go a long way toward delivering a more exclusive experience. Luckily, the sound of the AW11 V12 can be dialed higher in the mix by way of the bypass valve that activates in sport mode. A luxury car that'll let you blow your neighbor's ear drums out? That's a win.



ENGINE & PERFORMANCE




On the exterior and the interior changes are quite limited, but there are tons of updates under the hood. In here, Aston Martin placed a new version of the new AM11 naturally-aspirated 6.0-liter V-12 engine that delivers 17 percent more horsepower and 3 percent more torque than the previous version...

As a result, customers will now enjoy a total of 558 horsepower at 6,750 rpm and a peak torque of 457 pound-feet delivered at 5,000 rpm. Thanks to the extra 81 horsepower, the new Rapide S will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.9 seconds (down from 5.2 seconds) and will go up to a top speed of 190 mph...

The improved V-12 engine received CNC-machined combustion chambers and dual variable camshaft timing, knock sensing, and a fully catalyzed stainless steel exhaust system...

The model has also received an improved dynamic stability control (DSC), which now offers three distinct settings: “Normal,” “Sport” and “Track.” These three settings are determined by an electronic control unit which takes sensor readings from the car’s systems, including throttle position, brake position, steering wheel rotation and vehicle speed...



TRANSMISSION


The ZF six-speed automatic may seem dated for a top-end luxury entry, but the controlling software does make the most of the gearing. Normal mode makes the most of the V12’s torque curve for smoothness, sport explores the rev range a bit more (while sharpening the throttle response and employing the exhaust bypass valve). In manual mode, shifts click off very quickly among torque-converter boxes...

► Rear Mid-Mounted "Touchtronic2" six speed Transmission with electronic shift-by-wire control system
► Alloy torque tube with carbon fibre prop shaft
► Limited-slip differential
► Final drive ratio 3.46:1



ACCELERATION


Horsepower of the traditional Aston V12 – now in its "AM11" build, shared with the latest Vanquish – increases to 550 hp, and torque to 457 lb-ft, correcting earlier criticisms that the Rapide was under endowed. Tweaks to the intake manifold, a more robust fuel pump, throttle bodies with greater throughput, dual variable valve timing, CNC-machined combustion chambers and hollow cams comprise the updates...

The most notable result is an earlier torque peak – 29.5 lb-ft more torque between idle and 4,000 rpm and 36.9 lb-ft more at 2,500 rpm – which gives the Rapide S plenty of extra crackle to go with the snap and pop of its accurate, hydraulically-assisted steering and tight chassis setup...


TECHNOLOGY













► An engineering Bench mark :

Rapide S features an all new design and an all new AM11 engine. That's not all, the most powerful and luxurious Rapide in history has seen us develop our world-renonwed VH architecture even further...

Constructed from lightweight aluminium and bonded with sophisticated epoxy resin, Rapide S utilises the latest iteration of Aston Martin's unique engineering philosophy. Adapted and improved for the original Rapide, Rapide S sees a further evolution. By combining many of the technical innovations developed in our Ultimate GT, Vanquish, we've delivered a sports car architecture of unrivalled stability and rigidity...

Our exterior design always works in tandem with our structural engineering. Aerodynamic improvements produced by an all-new carbon fibre splitter and rear diffuser combine with the lighter structure of Rapide S. From a sophisticated core to a beautiful skin, Rapide S is seamless in design and structure...

► Increased power delivered with agility :

With an increase in power and peak torque, we also improved the weight distribution of Rapide S to make this the most agile four-door car we’ve ever made. Innovative solutions were designed from scratch...

 The engine placement is lowered by 19mm, as is the under body structure and cross brace assembly. Both factors in creating a centre of gravity closer to the road, improving handling. With a kerb weight of just 1990kg and a weight distribution of 48:52, Rapide S handles the increased power of the new AM11 engine with world-class dynamics...


HANDLING


Maybe the most alluring thing about the Rapide, other than its design is its handling dynamics. It starts with accurate, feedback-rich hydraulically-assisted steering, and continues through a handling profile in which the Rapide S feels smaller the more aggressively you push it. The length, width and prodigious weight fall away, leaving a big car you’d actually want to flog, if just because it reacts so well to it. It's a very agile, entertaining big car...


SAFETY


The Rapide S comes standard with dual front, front side and full-length side curtain airbags in addition to traction and stability control systems, electronic brakeforce distribution and a tire pressure monitoring system.


VIDEO ( 2014 ASTON MARTIN RAPIDE S )



FOR FULL IMAGES...CLICK HERE >>> View Photo Gallery


By : Automotive News & Super Modified Sports Cars


= Shahen Tharammal


No comments:

Post a Comment