- Quiet ride
- Loud V-12
- Still a rare sight
- Devistatingly gorgeous shape
- Not fuel efficient...
- ...at all
- Cramped back seat
Stunningly styled, breathtakingly fast, and oozing British refinement, the 2015 Aston Martin Rapide S is a truly remarkable sedan.
The 2015 Aston Martin Rapide S is a beautiful design wrapped in stunning materials, but doesn't shirk its duty of being a supreme speed machine on the road.
Now four years old, the Rapide S continues on with upgrades to many of its key features for the 2015 model year.
The exterior hasn't changed since its debut, it's still automotive art to our eyes. The low-slung sedan is curvy and unique with a sloping roofline that reads more coupe than the four doors would lead our eyes to believe. The cockpit is a dead-ringer for the Aston Martin Vantage, but shod with even better materials. Last year's changes to bring the S to the Rapide's name saw a more open grille, lower aerodynamic elements, a raised and recontoured hood line, and a trunk lid lip spoiler among the many updates.
The 6.0-liter AM29 V-12 engine under the long hood now rates 552 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque. That powerplant launches the Rapide S up to 60 mph in just 4.2 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 203 mph. A ZF automatic gearbox delivers eight speeds for the 2015 model, helping to enhance gas mileage by about 13-16 percent, for ratings of 14 mpg city, 22 highway, 17 combined, according to the EPA.
The roofline of the Rapide S has its drawbacks, notably the narrow backseat. While the Porsche Panamera doesn't sacrifice rear head room or leg room at the expense of aesthetics, the Rapide S sports narrow doors and a rear seat more suitable for children. In that way, we'd consider the Rapide S to be a 2+2 with an extra set of doors instead of a full-on four-seater.
Despite the snug space, however, the Rapide S doesn’t compromise on ride quality or comfort. Adjustable dampers can be set to Normal, Sport, or Track modes, with increasing levels of firmness, and the final two modes toggle traction and stability control systems (for more fun, we say) and can open the active exhausts on the Rapide S to let more of the glorious V-12 sounds to come through.
The mission for the Rapide S is clearly performance, but its long body is amenable to long road trips. It's fun to drive at a fraction of its top speed, but it's even more enjoyable once the taps are open and the driver's senses are fully engaged.
Predictably, rear visibility isn't its strong suit and the rearview camera is a necessity to negotiate backing up the beautiful Aston Martin. Visibility otherwise is very good forward and to the sides.
The Rapide S may have a premium price tag, but it's not because it's loaded to the brim with the latest tech. Taking a page from the Aston Martin playbook, the Rapide S eschews the technology of today for the looks of yesterday. The navigation and infotainment systems will appease luxury car buyers, but not necessarily thrill them. Unlike competitors from Bentley or Rolls-Royce, the Aston Martin doesn't offer audiophile-grade sound systems, although it can be fitted with plenty of bespoke luxury options including unique interior and exterior hues, carbon fiber touches, or Duotone perforated red and black leather hides.