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Luxury sports cars don’t get much classier than those built by Aston Martin. From driving performance and innovation to dazzling good looks, there’s a reason this British car manufacturer is synonymous with quality and style. Back in 2010, Aston Martin did something slightly out of the ordinary. They released a four-door, four-seat model; the Rapide. Being only their second attempt at doing so, the brand (who are normally known for coupes) did a pretty top-notch job. With a similar look to the DB9, the Rapide presented an alternative to those who wanted genuine sports car performance and aesthetics with extra room in the back. In 2013, the Rapide S was first released with a facelift and various revisions to the original. Now in 2016, we’ve had the pleasure of spending some time enjoying the latest iteration of Aston Martin’s four-door, four-seater Rapide S.

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The Car

With a perfectly proportioned and balanced body, there’s no doubt that the 2016 Aston Martin Rapide S is a beautiful car. It doesn’t deviate too much from the look of the older generation, but there are some notable new additions in the 2016 model. For one, the signature Aston Martin grille is substantially larger than it used to be. This leaves no chance of mistaking it for any other luxury car brand, and together with the angled headlights, it makes for one sleek and striking automobile.

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The Interior

Opening the door and peering inside, the Rapide S’ seating is striking. The recessed, low seats are more akin to what you’d find on a track car. The Chancellor Red trim of our model definitely adds to the race car feel. The front cabin of the Rapide S proves to be really comfortable, and though the car does boast four-seats, the back would be best suited to children or short trips for adults. In saying that, once you start driving, space will be the last thing on your passengers minds.

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The car’s interior looks as premium as the exterior. Its waterfall style fascia is really elegant, with all the buttons and dials being spaced out well so the instrument panel doesn’t look cluttered. Everything cascades down really nicely, making it easy to use the various controls even while you’re driving. You can tell a lot of thought and care went into the design because nothing looks over the top or out of place. The diamond quilted roof is a nice touch, as is the real glass button used to change driving modes. Details like these are reminders of the kind of luxury car you’re sitting in.

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The 2016 Aston Martin Rapide S comes equipped with brand’s AMi III infotainment system on a 6.5″ LCD screen. The system has built in sat nav and Bluetooth, allowing for easy hands-free operation of your phone. It can also display real time power and torque information, which makes for a more informed driving experience. Being completely hidden when off, the screen pops up when the engine is turned on, a feature that I really like as it adds to the thrill of the driving experience before you even put your foot down.

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The Drive

Aside from being handsome inside and out, the most exciting thing about having an Aston Martin is, of course, driving the thing. The biggest difference between the 2016 model of the Rapide S and older iterations is what’s under the bonnet. The car now boasts Aston Martin’s most advanced engine yet. Its 6.0L AM29 V12 engine delivers track-like performance, making for an ultra fast and highly spirited drive. The 2016 Rapide S has a top speed of 327km/h, a significant increase from the last model’s 306km/h. Its acceleration has also improved, reaching 100km/h in a mere 4.4 seconds.

From the second your foot presses down on the accelerator, the car is off. With a max power of 411kW at 6650 rpm and 630Nm of torque, it’s blazingly quick. The tone coming from the engine is exhilarating; an impressively deep and low rumble that never fails to drop the jaws of passengers and bystanders alike.

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The 2016 Rapide S also plays host to a brand new transmission system; Touchtronic III. The super quick eight-speed transmission is a noticeable addition to the car, as it allows for greater driver control. Though an Aston Martin is always a fun drive, the new system is palpable and makes a big difference in the handling.

With three different driving modes available, the 2016 Aston Martin Rapide S is a car for all occasions. Sticking it in Normal made for a smooth and comfortable drive, perfect for cruising around the city. Gunning it in Sport mode on some open road was where the car really showed us what it’s made for. Track mode is also an option and one which, as the name suggests, is best suited to a track. It allows more skilled drivers greater control and handling of the car with less intervention from features like ABS.

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The Wrap-Up

Aston Martin Rapide S Review

Aston Martin’s 2016 Rapide S is the kind of car you can take the kids to school in on weekdays and then take to the track on weekends. All while catching the envious eye of pretty much everyone you drive past. The British luxury car manufacturer’s foray into the four-door, four-seat sports car market is a successful one, delivering a stellar performance and stunning aesthetics. It’s almost impossible to not be impressed by the Aston Martin Rapide S. Even the starting price of AU$382,500 plus on road costs is bound to make you feel something.

For more info, visit Aston Martin