Aston Martin is gearing up for the 24-hour Nurburgring endurance race in May 2010 – this Rapide is a test hack for the race car and our sources in Germany spied it testing at the Ring yesterday.
It’s an unusual choice for a race car: the Aston Martin Rapide is the longest, heaviest car in Aston’s range. You won’t find many ‘full’ four-seaters competing at the Nordschleife, certainly not 5019mm long sports limos.
So is this the Aston Martin Rapide race car?
Not quite, no. We happen to know that Aston is building a single race version of the Rapide for CEO Ulrich Bez to campaign at the Ring, and that car was testing at Silverstone in Northamptonshire, UK, yesterday.
This Rapide in our scoop shots above is in fact a test hack. The Rapide racer is remarkably stock, bar some decals, a cage, cut-outs and bespoke dampers and racing slicks, and this development car is testing the new dampers and tyres.
What, no uprated brakes or engine for the Rapide racer?
Nope. Aston is so confident of its anchors and the muscular 470bhp 6.0-litre V12 that the Nurburgring racer will compete with the stock items.
One of the big question marks is over the rear seats. We had thought that Aston was going to dump them in the quest to save weight (the road car weighs a portly 1950kg), but there is a will at Gaydon to campaign the car with all four seats in situ.
Imagine Bez barrelling around the ‘Ring four-up; now that would be a PR spectacle. However, the race authorities are undecided whether to allow this stunt.