Click Thumbnails to Enlarge

Aston Martin Rapide S (2013) first official pictures

By Ollie Kew

First Official Pictures

23 January 2013 09:02

Aston Martin has turned the wick up on its Rapide super-saloon for 2013, turning it into the faster, restyled Rapide S. Power is up by a substantial 80bhp from the old Rapide, and there's also been a heftier facelift than we're used to from Aston.

The Aston Martin Rapide S has 80bhp more? That's quite a leap!

Whisper it, but Aston pitched the Rapide slightly wrongly when the slinky four-door saloon first appeared in 2010. Back then, Aston pushed the angle that this was a luxury limousine with sporting ability when needed. While the Rapide was, and is, a fine car to drive and typically attractive inside, the cramped rear quarters and small rear doors meant it could never challenge a Porsche Panamera or Maserati Quattroporte for cabin space.

By boosting the 5.9-litre V12 (mounted 19mm lower in the Rapide S) to 550bhp, Aston is hoping to shift it towards being a high-performance GT car with added practicality. The 80bhp jump is thanks to racing know-how from Aston's GT endurance exploits, like lighter, hollow camshafts and a stainless steel exhaust. The 0-62mph sprint has been cut by three-tenths (now at 4.9 seconds) and the top speed is 190mph, making the revised Rapide 2mph faster than the pre-facelift car, and 7mph up on than the more powerful Vanquish flagship...

Torque is also said to be much improved in the bottom half of the rev range, while the peak is up from 442lb ft to 457lb ft. And despite this, Aston claims CO2 emissions are down by 7% – from 355 g/km to 332 g/km – and fuel economy is now 19.9mpg (up from 18mpg). Guilt-free extra poke, then!

Talk me through the Aston Martin Rapide S facelift

One-77 supercar design traits are trickling down the range: the Vanquish got the wide hips and slim tail lights, and the Rapide S has switched to a gaping one-piece grille up front. Like a Vantage S, a taller bootlid lip betrays the faster model. New alloy wheel designs and a carbon detailing pack complete the body modifications.

There's also new trim, improved soundproofing and flat-folding rear seats which triple the potential load space of the Rapide S.

When does the Aston Martin Rapide S go on sale?

The Rapide S replaces the existing Rapide from February 2013, and will cost from around £150,000.

>> Do you approve of the Aston Martin Rapide's facelift? Click 'Add your comment' below to sound off