Just two years new, the 2012 Aston Martin Rapide is the first four-door sedan associated with the British luxury sports car maker since the Lagonda of the 1980s. Out to redefine what a four-door sports car can really be, the Rapide uses many parts from the family line of sports cars. The 470-horsepower V-12 comes straight out of the DB9, as does the six-speed automatic transmission. Also used are that car's front doors, engine hood, door handles and suspension.
As a true four-seater, the Rapide features two cocoon-like rear seats divided by a long center console that flows from the front to the rear of the car, integrating the front and rear seating areas. Outside, the central window pillar is blacked out and tucked underneath the side glass, making the entire space appear to be one piece.
The 2012 Aston Martin Rapide joins the growing four-door coupe market that includes the trend-setting Mercedes-Benz CLS and the newer Porsche Panamera, yet it is by far the most compromised for true four-seat use. Still, we doubt too many rear-seat Rapide occupants will be complaining. With near unparalleled sophistication, styling inside and out, and a practical sedan body style, the 2012 Aston Martin Rapide is a must-consider vehicle for those shopping this segment.
Body style: Sedan
Engine: 6.0-liter V-12
Transmission: six-speed automatic
Aston Martin's four-door brought back the Rapide name after nearly 50 years. The 6.0-liter V-12 with a six-speed automatic remains the only drivetrain choice. The new Luxe model includes glass control switches, a six-piece bespoke luggage set, and polished 20-inch wheels. The back seats are oriented to provide a clear view of the road ahead.
The 2012 Aston Martin Rapide looks lovely from a multitude of angles and its taut, swept-back lines give it a hint of motion even when stationary. With lines echoing the automaker's sports coupes, this is every inch a real Aston. Standard are 20-inch alloy wheels, which are also available in silver or graphite finish. Gray brake calipers are standard; black, red and silver are all optional colors.
Virtually every component inside the 2012 Aston Martin Rapide is simply beautiful to see and touch, with bespoke stitched leather lining nearly every surface, including the cupholders. The luxury sedan shares a similar interior with the Aston Martin DB9 coupe. The front seats offer ample room and comfort. The rear seats are a squeeze, but if you're in the backseat of the Rapide, you're probably willing to overlook that. Plus, all seats are heated, standard. A premium 15-speaker Bang and Olufsen stereo with CD and iPod input are standard equipment on the 2012 Rapide.
Performance & Handling
The Rapide is a wonderful compromise of sport and comfort, with rocket-like acceleration from the 6.0-liter V-12 (and soundtrack to match), the 2012 Aston Martin Rapide also displays utter composure on the road. A five-way adjustable Bilstein suspension allows the perfect damper setting for a multitude of conditions, while the silky-smooth ZF-built Touchtronic2 transmission is right at home in the Rapide.
The 2012 Rapide includes antilock brakes with brake assist, front side airbags, as well as side curtain airbags standard. Stability and traction control are also standard.
EPA Fuel Economy
Rapide 6.0-liter V-12: 13 mpg city/19 mpg highway
- Compliant ride despite sporty nature
- Exhaust notes
- Interior trim is top-notch
- Handling belies Rapide's size
You Won't Like
- Difficult entry/exit from every door
- Rear seats can be claustrophobic
How Aston does mass rapid transit.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Jaguar XJ Supersports
- Maserati Quattroporte
- Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG
- Porsche Panamera