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XCAR: 2014 Aston Martin Rapide S: Do more doors make for more fun?
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XCAR: 2014 Aston Martin Rapide S: Do more doors make for more fun?

5:45 /

XCAR spent some time with the Aston Martin Rapide S, to find out whether adding more doors to an Aston ruined a good thing.

[MUSIC] This is the Aston Martin Rapide S. It's both beautiful and something to be feared. Not only does it have looks that kill but the power to scare the living hell out of anything it comes up against. And it seats four people, which leads us to ask, does having four doors and four proper seats make it any less a sports car? [MUSIC] The Rapide S is the second generation Rapide, which itself was an answer to a unique problem that many faced in the [INAUDIBLE]. You see, buyers wanted a high end car like an Aston or a Bentley or a Porsche, but they wanted to fit actual adults in the back. They wanted more space but they didn't want to buy the car du jour, a Range Rover. Aston released the Rapide at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show. And it was something of a looker, a DB-9 with a couple of extra doors and devastating Aston looks. A 470 horsepower V12 gave it the go it deserved as well. And all of a sudden, Aston had a solution for people that wanted something bigger, but didn't wanna buy a Range. Now Astin's added an s badge which is Astineese for made faster. It's got new traction control settings, a new face which aches a basking shot and a new power output. 550 brake horsepower. A new torque figure too, 427 pound foot. That's quite a bit and means north of 62 happens in 4.9 seconds and it'll hit 190 miles an hour if you're committed. Its engine now sits lower in the engine bay as well. Better center of gravity means better drive, so that's a good thing. After less form when it comes to four doors. Remember the Lagonda Saloon. Well the first generation came out in the mid seventies and you probably didn't know about that one. It was a stunning four door take on the V8 at the time. Sadly though only seven were ever made. The Lagonda you know about came out shortly afterwards. And that was a hugely ambitious car. It had an led dashboard and. Touchpads and what have you, it, it lost it all the way to 1919. Over it's time, a few special editions came about. Bickford did a few, a company called Rues Engineering in Switzerland made a shooting brake in 1998 and there's even a series four converted to a two door. Called, interestingly, repeat. However, it won't go down as well as the world's greats though. The electrics were incredibly complicated. The budget to make them, well, matched the budget to make the entire car. No mean feat. And, because they were made in England in the 70s. The constantly failed. They were awful. And then there's the look. it was stylistically interesting and often populates top 10, top 20, top 50 lists of the world's ugliest cars. Oh dear. The Rapide's name, Rapide, also comes from Aston's heritage, is named after 1961s Lagonda Rapide. Passed it's own live David Brown had bought Lagunda in the 40's and wanted to revive the brand. It had a engine that would later end up in the modern DB5. It was made to order to only 55 were ever produced. A shame because it was beautiful. So it's fairly modern Aston and it's got a decent heritage to boot. But, as I as earlier. Not only is beautiful. Other road users should fear it because with all that power and the Aston's know-how, it's gotta be pretty special, alright? Well, it is. This is a heavy car. It weighs just shy of two tons. And you do feel it when you drive it. But, the steering is just. Lovely. As is the throttle response it just goes. It takes off. It understands you want an angry shouty GT car. And then you can use the paddles to shift gears as when you please, and then, well, if you're in the right gear at the right time, the engine just sings. It makes a beautiful, beautiful noise. There is something about an Aston D-12, they just get it right, but it comes from not the very top of the rev range, but about in the middle, the inscrutable bit, so you can have your thrills, overtake and still stay within the legal speed limit if you want to, that is some clever thinking. Because it's quite big, quite heavy, but incredibly well planted, it's not one to really go for it. So you have to be really pushing it to exploit that. Or you could turn everything off. Yeah, they let you turn everything off. Because they want you to have fun, because they know that this car, isn't only up against things like X Classes or Range Rovers. This is up against 911, Bently continental GTs helped own cars. So is it the perfect car for the driver who doesn't want to lose a sports car if they have children? Is it the sports car solution crossover Astin Martin says it is? Yes, it is. Yeah, It's a bit tricky to get in the back if you're a grownup, but once you're in there, you get to experience full Astin Martin luxury, which is. No bad thing at all so other road users should fear it because not only is it beautiful but it's devastating in its execution.

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