The reinvigorated grand tourer presents subtly but pleasingly revised front- and rear-end styling, handsome 20in wheels and a package of carbon-fibre exterior pieces. And the aesthetic enhancements extend to the interior, with piano black trim and two-tone red and black seats.
The big news, however, lies under the skin. The Rapide’s 6-litre V12 receives a power bump of 17% for “S” duty; an extra 80 horsepower and 14 pound-feet of torque bring peak numbers to 550hp and 457lb-ft, sufficient to enable a 4.7-second sprint to 60mph and a 190mph top speed. Despite the additional power, Aston claims the engine achieves lower emissions and improved fuel economy. The revised engine sits a not-insignificant 19mm lower, dropping the four-seater’s centre of gravity and improving its already keen agility. Tweaks to the car’s adaptive damping suspension system allow the driver to choose between three driving modes: relaxed Normal, edgier Sport and race-ready Track.
Not merely a new top model, the Rapide S supplants the standard Rapide in the Aston Martin lineup. The marque’s 146 worldwide dealers will begin taking orders in April, and although pricing has not yet been announced, it is safe to expect a modest nudge on the outgoing model’s $208,000 starting figure.