Nothing stays still for long in Second Century Aston Martin. Following the recently revealed (and very well received) DB11 AMR, the sporty side of Aston is being further extended with this, the Rapide AMR.
Previewed in a concept last year, the production version is described by Andy Palmer as taking the model "to new and exciting extremes." As such the AMR is the fastest and most powerful Rapide to date, the 5.9-litre V12 now boosted to 603hp thanks to a revised intake system and ECU tweak; combined with revisions to the eight-speed automatic gearbox, 0-62mph is said to take just 4.4 seconds, and top speed is 205mph.
As proven by the DB11 however, the AMR overhaul is about far more than just straight-line speed. To lend credence to the talk of motorsport influence and create what should be the most dynamic Rapide yet, the AMR receives new and more aero-efficient bodywork (splitter, sills, rear diffuser), carbon ceramic brakes (400mm front discs, 360mm rear) and Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres. In addition the adaptive dampers from the Rapide S have been reworked for the AMR, including a 10mm ride height drop, with extensive development work done on the Nordschleife. Aston says the resulting car, with the significant changes to the aerodynamics, brakes and suspension, is "more focused, agile and dynamic."
The AMR isn't shy in advertising its newfound athleticism either. 21-inch wheels - standard or optionally forged - are the first ever fitted to an Aston Martin, the circular DRLs evoke the recent Zagato cars and the front grille is large than ever. Even the colour schemes available ensure that the AMR won't go unnoticed. They are split into Standard, Silhouette and Signature; the latter is what you see here, with Stirling Green paint, Lime accents and a Lime stripe for the look most similar to the Aston racers. Standard offers buyers the choice between four colours - Mariana Blue, Scintilla Silver, Lightning Silver and Onyx Black - with Lime accents, while Silhouette retains the same colour choice but swaps the Lime highlights for a full-length contrast stripe in either China Grey or Clubsport White. As mentioned, it won't go unnoticed, though it would surely take a brave buyer to go for the full Signature look...
Inside both carbon and Alcantara feature in a Rapide for the first time, with more flashes of Lime too (or Galena Silver for those feeling more reserved). Optionally available for the full race car experience are carbon paddle shifters, a One-77 steering wheel and, er, an umbrella. And split-fold seats.
Price and Release Date
Aston will build 210 Rapide AMRs (originally a nod to a 210mph top speed) at a cost of £194,950 - £45k more than the £149,500 Rapide S. A big premium, yes, but the DB11 has at least proved that the AMR rework can justify the outlay. UK buyers will find out when the first cars are delivered in Q4 this year; for those with more modest Rapide budgets, early cars are now comfortably less than £50k. With not a trace of Lime in sight.