We’ve been talking about the Aston Martin Rapide for a long time now, and Aston Martin has finally decided to officially unveil the car at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. Most of what we said was negative, exclaiming about how we don’t think the car should be made, but they’re doing it nonetheless. Just like the Porsche Panamera and Lamborghini Estoque four-doors, these companies are about sports cars – not luxury sedans – and these four doors dilute the brand image.
The Aston Martin Rapide will feature a 6.0-liter V12 engine producing 470 hp, just like the DB9 coupe. A paddle-shifting six-speed “Touchtronic” automatic gearbox is standard. Almost like it’s a sports car or something…
As the press release says, “With Rapide, the entire family can enjoy their Aston Martin together in unison, in an invigorating yet comfortable environment, sitting low, with plenty of visibility from every seat and with new levels of comfort, refinement, and entertainment.” NO! That’s not what Aston Martins are about. They aren’t supposed to be comfortable for the whole family, and they’re supposed to be a driver’s car, an enthusiast’s sports coupe. Alright, calm down, Chris.
The V12 engine propels the Rapide from 0 to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds, which is quick for a big ol’ family sedan. Aston says they took the “ethos” from the DB9 and packaged it into a four-door so four people can enjoy it comfortably. I disagree. If four people are comfortable in a car, it’s not a proper sports car. In fact, I don’t even like that the DB9 has four seats; that’s one reason I’d take the V8 Vantage over the DB9 any day.
I don’t doubt that the Aston Martin Rapide is immensely capable. I trust the AM guys did a fantastic job engineering the thing, as they do all their cars. My problem with it, other than trying to pass it off as a sports car, is that in my eyes, it’s not a true Aston Martin. Leave the sedans to Mercedes, Jag, and Audi.
Due out early Q2 2010, the Rapide sedan will start at $199,950 in the States. A six-speed Touchtronic gearbox will be standard; not sure if a manual will even be available.