A decade later, the V12 saloon remains as gorgeous as ever.
Aston Martin’s attempt to take on the Porsche Panamera never lived up to the expectations the high-ranked officials from Gaydon had from the V12 luxobarge. The fullsize five-door model also had to face the Mercedes CLS 63 before the boys and girls from Affalterbach replaced it with the more intense AMG GT 63 4-Door Coupe.
Bad fuel economy, cramped seats, extremely high sticker price, poor ergonomics, and other issues plagued the Rapide. The combustion-engined model was supposed to be replaced by a fully electric version before Aston Martin pulled the plug on the Rapide E. This new video shot on an unrestricted section of the Autobahn in Germany reminds us of the flawed beauty the DB9-based Rapide was, and it’s a rare opportunity to see it at full tilt.
Gallery: Aston Martin Rapide AMR
We’re dealing with an original Rapide rather than the hotter S and AMR derivatives that arrived later in the model’s unusually long life cycle. Packing a 5.9-litre V12 linked to a six-speed automatic and rear-wheel drive, the large-and-in-charge Rapide was among the fastest cars in the world to have four doors when it came out in 2010.
It had a quoted top speed of 188 mph (303 km/h), which although this relatively high-mileage example failed to reach, 173 mph (278 km/h) is nothing to sneeze at given the car’s size and weight. It’s not every day we get to check out a four-door Aston Martin with more than 112,000 kilometres (nearly 70,000 miles) on the clock going flat out on a public road without breaking any laws. Seeing an analogue speedometer’s needle climbing from 0 all the way up to almost 280 km/h is becoming increasingly rare with fully digital instrument clusters taking over across nearly all segments of the market.
The much-awaited DBX now takes the role of Aston Martin’s family-oriented model in an SUV-hungry market that has negatively impacted sales of saloons. Despite its flaws, the Rapide remains a sinfully gorgeous and properly quick car, not to mention somewhat of a bargain on the used car market compared to its original price tag.