I know, I am getting repetitive with the Aston Martin cars here in India however since they are the hottest property around here as of now, it is but natural that more and more details about them be given out. The topic for the day is the Aston Martin Rapide in India. Now doesn’t the name itself suggest something? This car has got to be a rapid one as far as acceleration is concerned and stuff. But then I rarely discuss acceleration at the start of an article. Its always left to the last. Except for the badges, I am sure that a hell lot of people would be confused with Aston Martins and Maseratis. I wouldn’t blame them since both the cars have almost the same nose job thing and were introduced in India at around the same time. Aston Martin have tried to create something which Porsche have tried to do with their Panamera. Take an existing platform of the Porsche 911 and then lengthen it to create a 4 door car. Admiration clubs, these are.
The form of the Aston Martin Rapide in India would deceive one that it is as comfortable as the Porsche Panamera from inside however more on the interior details later. The exterior form is as similar or as different as the Maseratis and yet to come Renault cars. Comparison with the former is fine but then with the Renault would be a bit of a down market type. The LED stringed lights are now a common thing with most of the high end cars and even some lower down the crowd strutting their LED stuff. The wide half apple face of this car beckons one to have a close stare at its swooping lines. Actually there is not one surface in the Aston that would feel out of place or seem odd to feel. All those curves and swoops make the Aston one hell of a car. The outside rear view mirrors, I am sure would actually be hit more by careless bikers or if the chauffer is a bit negligent to check out its positioning. The reason being that it is mounted on the door and not on the frame a la Fiat Linea. If you notice or stare hard, then the 20 inch low-pro Bridgestone Potenzas would look like one of the best alloys right now in the market. While the Rapide may seem too long in the front and stubby in the rear, that is not the case. Infact Aston’s designers have ensured that equal mass is distributed in the front and rear. The rear profile shows up crystalline LED lamps arranged in a simple fashion. There is also a small integrated spoiler and no it doesn’t do any gimmicks like lifting up when the speed limit crosses 150 kmph and sort. Tail pipes near both the corners of the wheels mean that this car has one of the best rumps in the business.
Now to the interiors. This is unlike any Aston that has been previewed before on Indiandrives. All beige interiors help with the fact that this car looks spacious than it is. The typical Aston Martin dials with the needles having a resting position similar to sports bikes looks cool however the overall presentation could have improved a bit. The 3 spoked steering wheel with buttons on its sides wouldn’t interfere with the chores of driving for sure. Drilled aluminium pedals for the accelerator and brakes make no bones that this is a sports car first and then a family car. The latter part is amplified with the number of creature comforts present in this car. However this driver’s seat is not for those who are above 6 foot 2 inches. So, if and when I get my hands on this Aston Martin, I wouldn’t be able to drive it. Like in a Jaguar, there is the absence of the gear lever and instead the gear shifting mechanism has been moved to the dashboard. One has to select P, R, N and D from there. Lots of brushed aluminium has been used around the cabin though. However the controls on the dashboard are very confusing. What might seem like entertainment package controls would turn out to be the temperature adjuster or worst so, the seat adjuster. Though build quality cannot be doubted for such an expensive car, it is said that the feel of the materials makes it feel a bit fragile. The key insert slot is exactly near the gear shifting mechanism and is a weird piece. It is also said to be very expensive. Probably more expensive than a Rolls Royce Ghost one. Coming to the rear seats, this is called as a 4 seater but Aston’s booklets don’t say that the rear can seat only children aged below 10 or midgets. The access to the rear is also quite complicated. No, it doesn’t require one to slide the front seats or clamp it down but the rear access doors are small and don’t open wide enough. It’s a good thing that the windows slide down on their own once the rear doors are opened providing some sort of consolation while getting in however rear head room and leg room are no way comparable to the Panamera which is far superior in this aspect. However boot space is okay with regards to the rear room.
The Aston Martin Rapide in India would come with the same settings as it has for rest of the world and this would mean a very stiff ride. The steering wheel in the meanwhile is not that well weighted but gets the job of moving around the Bridgestone Potenzas around. The ride quality was on the stiffer side and is said to be only good when the car is on perfect tarmac. Little bit of aberrations on the road and the car would display its sports car like ride quality. All this means that this car handles well and exactly how a sports saloon should. It literally shrinks around the driver, much in the fashion of the BMW 3 series sedan.
Come to think of it. The engines in most of the Aston Martins are shared and the one in the Rapide is no different. The 12 cylinder, 48 valves 6 liter engine doesn’t have any turbocharging unit attached to it. It is naturally aspirated unit and puts out a cool 477 Ps of power and 600 Nm of torque. Aston Martin are very stubborn about bringing in lower capacity engines to the play or even using turbochargers. This Rapide, even without a ram air induction turbocharger breaches the 0-100 kmph mark in only 5 seconds. The top speed that it achieves is a shade under 300 kmph. No need to talk about the various driver aids that are present in this car as also the safety ones. It is said that the Rapide has a fuel efficiency of a combined 5.4 kmpl. But then, the one buying a Rapide wouldn’t care about it either.
The Aston Martin Rapide price in India is approximately Rs 2.15 crores and at this price you get a highly appointed but confusing cabin plus loads of performance. However essentially, you are buying a two seater car with space for some luggage, at the price of a 4 seater.