Aston Martin Rapide
The Aston Martin Rapide is a 5-door, 4-seater, high-performance sports saloon, which the British luxury marque Aston Martin introduced in early 2010. It was first presented as a concept car at the North American International Auto Show in 2006 and the production version was shown at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show.
|Aston Martin Rapide|
Aston Martin Rapide S
|Manufacturer||Aston Martin Lagonda Limited|
|Production||May 2010 – 2020|
|Body and chassis|
|Class||Full-size luxury car (F)|
|Body style||5-door liftback|
|Layout||Front mid-engine, rear-wheel drive|
|Platform||VH Generation III|
|Engine||5.9 L AM28/AM29 V12|
|Electric motor||2 electric motors on each axle (Rapid E only)|
|Transmission||6-speed ZF 6HP26 (Touchtronic II) automatic (2010–2014)|
8-speed ZF 8HP70 (Touchtronic III) automatic (2015–present)
|Wheelbase||2,990 mm (117.7 in)|
|Length||5,019 mm (197.6 in)|
|Width||1,928 mm (75.9 in)|
|Height||1,359 mm (53.5 in)|
|Kerb weight||4,387 lb (1,990 kg)|
The Rapide name is a reference to the Lagonda Rapide, a five-door, four-seater saloon produced by Lagonda, now a part of Aston Martin. The new Rapide is the company's first 5-door fastback saloon since the Lagonda which was discontinued in 1990. The Rapide is based on the DB9 and is underpinned by the VH Generation III platform.
The first cars rolled off the production line in May 2010, initially built at a dedicated plant at the Magna Steyr facility in Graz, Austria. The factory initially planned to build 2,000 cars per year, but production was relocated to England in 2012 after sales did not meet production targets.
The Rapide is powered by a 5,935 cc (5.9 L; 362.2 cu in) V12 engine, generating a maximum power output 477 PS (351 kW; 470 hp) and torque of 600 N⋅m (443 lb⋅ft). The car is rear-wheel drive and has a 6-speed Touchtronic II automatic transmission.
The Rapide can attain a top speed of 303 km/h (188 mph), and can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.2 seconds.
The Rapide's standard features include a tilt-telescoping steering wheel, bi-xenon headlamps and LED taillamps. Leather and walnut wood trim with metallic accents; power front seats with memory, cooling and heating systems; Bluetooth; satellite radio (US version only); with USB and iPod connectivity. Other standard features include a Bang & Olufsen 16-speaker sound system with two tweeters that rise from the dashboard on activation of the system.
The Rapide was designed by stretching the design of the DB9 in order to accommodate an extra set of doors. Aston Martin design director, Marek Reichman has described a thoroughbred race horse as an inspiration, stating that he wanted muscles in the design to be visible through the skin.
The side windows of the car were made to appear like a single unit by using a black B pillar. The roof was designed to be as low as possible so it would mimic the design language of Aston Martin's model lineup. Due to the usage of swan doors and a low roof, the car is difficult for the accommodation of tall people. By comparison, the Porsche Panamera, a competitor of the Rapide, is 2.3 inches taller.
The rear flanks of the car are wider than those on the DB9, thus smoothening the extended roof design. The rear fenders and a curvaceous design language prevent the car as being perceived as stretched. The car makes use of rear lights and diffusers from the Vantage while the front headlamps are unique to the model. Although they would find use on the later Vanquish and the facelift DB9.
Rapide S (2013–2018)Edit
As part of the 2014 facelift and revisions to the Rapide, the V12 engine is upgraded and now has a power output of 558 PS (410 kW; 550 hp) and torque of 620 N⋅m (457 lb⋅ft). Performance improvements include a top speed of 306 km/h (190 mph) and acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) reduced to 4.9 seconds. Carbon dioxide emissions are reduced by 23g/km to 332g/km.
The Rapide S received further revisions in 2015, with a new 8-speed Touchtronic III automatic transmission and power increase to 560 PS (412 kW; 552 hp) and 630 N⋅m (465 lb⋅ft) of torque, resulting in an acceleration of 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.4 seconds and an increased top speed of 327 km/h (203 mph).
In 2015, Aston Martin was reported to be working on an all-electric version of the Rapide. The model named RapidE was confirmed for production at the 2018 Frankfurt Motor Show, the company revealed that the RapidE would go into production in the fourth quarter of 2019. The RapidE is expected to rival Porsche's upcoming Taycan electric saloon.
One hundred and fifty-five examples of the model would be produced at Aston Martin's dedicated production facility located in St Athan, Wales where future all-electric Lagonda models will also be produced. Williams Advanced Engineering would be providing R&D assist in the protype building and testing process with close involvement from interested customers.
The RapidE will be powered by a 65 kWh battery supplied by HyperBat Limited; a new joint venture between WAE and Unipart manufacturing group. The battery would be capable of 800-volt power transfers. Five thousand six hundred lithium-ion electric cells would be fitted in the engine bay along with two electric motors supplied by Integral Powertrain at the rear. Both of the motors will drive the car via an Xtrac transmission featuring a limited-slip differential. A new suspension system will be implemented to better cope with the changes in the drive train.
The two electric motors will have a combined power output of 610 PS (602 hp) and 949 N⋅m (700 lb⋅ft) of torque. The car will have claimed acceleration figures of 0–97 km/h (0–60 mph) in sub-4.0 seconds' time and 80–113 km/h (50–70 mph) in 1.5 seconds, along with a top speed of 249 km/h (155 mph). Maximum performance will be accessible regardless of battery charge. A prototype was tested at the Nurbürgring to ensure that the car delivers linear power despite hard usage.
The car will have a projected range of 322 km (200 mi) (WLTP) and will charge up to 185 miles of range an hour on a 400-volt, 50 kW charger. The car can also be charged on an 800-volt super charging station which increases the charging rate. The RapidE will be fitted with low-drag wheels and low-resistance Pirelli P Zero tyres for maximum efficiency.
In June 2018, Aston Martin unveiled the high-performance iteration of the Rapide called the Rapide AMR. The 6.0-litre naturally aspirated V12 engine has received a power increase to 603 PS (444 kW; 595 hp) and 630 N⋅m (465 lb⋅ft) of torque, courtesy of better air flow to the engine and new calibration software.
The 8-speed automatic transmission has also received recalibration for better shift timing. The car now comes standard with Michelin Pilot Supersport tyres and 21-inch alloy wheels, the biggest wheels ever fitted to an Aston Martin. The new model features carbon ceramic braking system with six piston calipers at the front and four piston calipers at the rear featuring 400 mm and 360 mm brake rotors front and aft. The car features a new front grille, "sprout" fog lamps and side sills, rear diffuser and bootlid made from carbon fibre.
The Rapide AMR can accelerate from 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph) in 4.4 seconds and can attain a claimed top speed of 330 km/h (205 mph).
Interior options include a One-77 steering wheel, a personalised plaque along with logos and a variety of colour schemes. Production will be limited to 210 examples only.
Aston Martin opted to end its production by sub-contractor Magna Steyr in the middle of 2012, six years earlier than expected. Production of the car was also halted temporarily in May 2011. In the face of a diminishing market for luxury saloons, and to match output to shrinking sales, Aston Martin had to cut annual production from 2,000 to 1,250 in June 2011 — and was prepared to go as low as 500 annually.
A Rapide S was entered in the 2010 24 Hours of Nürburgring. Drivers included then Aston Martin CEO Ulrich Bez. It finished second in the SP 8 class. This Rapide S was powered by a new technology introduced by Alset GmbH, a Hybrid Hydrogen system that enables the car to use hydrogen and petrol individually or at the same time in an internal combustion engine. The Rapide S was the first car to race the 24 Hours of Nürburgring with hydrogen fuel.
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