As Aston Martin returns to Le Mans to defend its 2017 victory at the famous 24-hour race, so the latest car in the brand’s new AMR stable has been unveiled.
Following hot on the heels of the DB11 AMR, the British manufacturer has revealed the limited edition Rapide AMR. The production version of the design study shown at Geneva last year will be limited to just 210 cars.
And the styling of the new 205 mph luxury sports saloon has changed little from the concept, with a large front grille that is reminiscent of the extreme track-only Vantage AMR Pro. Meanwhile the circular daytime running lights recall the recent Zagato models.
The Rapide AMR’s aerodynamics have been tuned to reduce lift and the extra aerodynamic bodywork such as the splitter, sills, rear diffuser and boot lid lip spoiler are all carbon-fibre. The new bonnet with large ventilation inserts is also made from carbon-fibre to minimise weight.
At the heart of the car is a naturally aspirated drivetrain that is said to draw much of its technology and character from the Aston Martin Vantage GT12. Larger inlet manifolds with tuned length dual inlet runners enhance the airflow into the 6.0-litre V12 engine and, combined with new engine and gearbox calibration, this results in an increase in power. The V12 now puts out 595 bhp and 465 lb-ft of torque, while a new quad exhaust also helps deliver a more sporty sound.
To help harness the increased power and to launch from 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds, the Rapide AMR has 21-inch wheels – a first for any Aston Martin – paired with high performance Michelin Super Sport tyres. And tucked behind the alloys are carbon ceramic brakes. Measuring 400 mm at the front with six piston calipers and 360 mm at the rear with four piston calipers, this is the first time that a Rapide has been fitted with such stopping power.
Alongside the new tyres, brakes and aerodynamics, the Rapide’s suspension has also been tweaked. The AMR version rides 10 mm lower than a Rapide S and although the three stage adaptive dampers remain, they have been reengineered, with much of the development work having been completed at the newly opened AMR Performance Centre at the Nürburgring.
The car’s interior, meanwhile, features a full-length carbon-fibre centre console and the seats are trimmed in Alcantara – both of which are firsts for a Rapide. Also available for the first time as an option is a One-77 style steering wheel. Additional details include silver AMR logos stitched into the seats and each car will also come with a limited-edition AMR inspection plaque as well as AMR branding on the carbon sill plaques.
“AMR takes technology and inspiration from our motorsport programme to amplify the sporting prowess in our road cars which is clear to see in the Rapide AMR, Aston Martin’s most extreme, 4-door sports car. With enhanced performance, sharper dynamics and more powerful design language, Aston Martin has taken Rapide to new and exciting extremes,” says company boss, Andy Palmer.