Talk about a last hurrah.
Aston Martin’s nascent skunkworks, AMR, are quite the busy bees. Just last month they presented the DB11 AMR to the world, essentially a more performance-focused, dialled-up variant of the new grand tourer, and now they’re pulling the wraps off a rejigged Rapide.
Dubbed the Rapide AMR, the big four-door saloon has not been shown any mercy in its transformation from luxury cruiser to track weapon. Costing a shade under £200,000 (or about $355k thereabouts), the Rapide AMR bears a lot of styling tweaks done in the name of aerodynamics, keeping very close to the concept car of similar nature that was shown at the Geneva show last year. The grille is a clear nod to the Vantage AMR Pro, though the Rapide AMR is road-legal. Interesting are the LED daytime running lights nestled in the corner of the front bumper, which are very reminiscent of Zagato models rather than anything else in the Aston lineup.
Under the bonnet, you’ll find the same naturally-aspirated 6.0-litre V12 mill as the Rapide S (which, incidentally, is more than $80k cheaper), with 444kW (up 37kW from the standard Rapide S), though the torque figure of 630Nm remains the same. However, top speed is up a staggering 3.212km/h over the standard car, topping out at 330km/h.
The uprated performance from the engine is attributed to the optimised airflow towards the engine, featuring things like engorged inlet manifolds, as well as a revised calibration of both the engine itself and the gearbox. Not to stop there, AMR also retuned the suspension to put the Rapide in maximum attack, so the car now sits 10mm lower than a Rapide S and features re-engineered adaptive dampers to provide greater driving focus, agility, and dynamism.
The cabin also hasn’t been spared from the AMR treatment. The centre console, full-length still, is now executed in carbon fibre and the seats are made of Alcantara. These are both firsts for the Rapide, and go a long way to underline the weight-conscious nature of the AMR. Naturally, all four pews get the ‘AMR’ badge stitched into the backrests, while there’s also a plaque on the side sills.
Three exterior design schemes will be offered for the Rapide AMR, namely ‘Standard,’ ‘Silhouette,’ and ‘Signature.’ The vehicle photographed here is the Signature variant, pairing a Stirling Green base colour with shockingly-bright borderline-luminescent lime accents throughout.
“AMR takes technology and inspiration from our motorsport programme to amplify the sporting prowess in our road cars which is clear to see in the Rapide AMR, Aston Martin’s most extreme, 4-door sports car. With enhanced performance, sharper dynamics and more powerful design language, Aston Martin has taken Rapide to new and exciting extremes.” – Dr. Andy Palmer, President & CEO, Aston Martin
Just 210 of these ultra-performance machines will be made, with deliveries set to begin later this year. With the Rapide S itself due for retirement in 2020, we must say that as far as goodbyes go, few will come close to what AMR has done with the Rapide.