Aston Martin's Rapide has been around for awhile. The first model, revealed in 2009, was basically a stretched DB9 with two more doors. Nearly a decade later, the formula hasn't changed much. The new Rapide AMR is a production version of the concept first shown at Geneva, and the good news is, it's still packing a naturally aspirated V12.
Similar to the recently-launched DB11 AMR, the AMR trim for the Rapide has a host of performance-minded upgrades. There are standard carbon ceramic brakes, a bunch of aero upgrades, and a retuned three-mode adaptive suspension with a 10-millimeter drop in ride height from the Rapide S. Of course, the most important part about the Rapide AMR is the engine—not because it's new, but because it's old.
The Rapide has always had a 5.9-liter V12 resting under its long hood, and that hasn't changed for the AMR. This particular trim of Aston V12 has been taken straight out of the hardcore Vantage GT12, which means 595 horsepower and 416 lb.-ft. of torque going to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic and a limited-slip differential. Thanks to all that extra shove, the Rapide AMR can get from 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds, and reach a top speed of 205 mph.
While the DB11 and the upcoming DBS have gone turbocharged, the Rapide is staying naturally aspirated for the time being. That means this could be the last Aston Martin production car with a naturally aspirated V12. (We're not counting the upcoming Valkyrie hypercar with its high-revving V12 and the Vulcan track car as "production" models.)
As far as cosmetics go, the AMR hasn't changed much from the concept. It gets a massive open front grille reminiscent of a catfish, some AMR-specific colored stripes (which can be optioned away), and circular daytime-running lights borrowed from the Vanquish Zagato. The splitter, doorsills, diffuser, and spoiler are all made of carbon fiber, and the wheels are 21 inches in diameter—the biggest wheels ever fitted to an Aston Martin production car.
Limited to just 210 examples worldwide, the Rapide AMR will start at $240,000 in the US before options, with deliveries starting in Q4 of 2018.
Though it may be resting on a 15-year old underpinnings, Aston Martin updated the Rapide because it still needs the lightweight chassis from which to base its upcoming all-electric RapidE, which we drove last year. Seems like a win-win to us.