Geneva Motor Show 2013: Aston Martin Rapide S and Centenary Editions

Keith Adams

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Aston Martin is celebrating its 100th birthday at Geneva with the first public showing of its facelifted, 550bhp Rapide S and Centenary Edition Vanquish, Vantage and DB9 models.

The redesigned Rapide, which is identified by its bold new grille, has been fully re-engineered. It’s powered by the new AM11 naturally-aspirated 6.0-litre V12 power plant delivering unprecedented power and improved in-gear acceleration. Maximum power jumps by 17% from 470bhp at 6000rpm, and torque increases from 442lb ft to 457lb ft at 5500rpm.

Aston Martin claims the Rapide S can accelerate from 0-60mph in 4.9 seconds (down from 5.2), and its maximum speed rises to more than 190mph. The uprated V12 features fully CNC machined combustion chambers; lighter, hollow, cam shafts; dual variable camshaft timing; knock sensing – all of which help keep the V12 engine on the pace. CO2 emissions are improved – dropping from 355g/km to 332g/km, while fuel economy is 19.9mpg on the official EU combined cycle.

Dynamically, the Rapide S should improve as much as its recent Vanquish has – new dynamic stability control (DSC) and the latest Gen4 iteration of Aston Martin’s hi-tech Adaptive Damping System (ADS) – all seen in that car – are said to sharpen its dynamic package.

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Centenary Editions of the Vantage, DB9, Vanquish (above) and Rapide S will be shown for the first time. They feature graduated paint finish, solid sterling silver Aston Martin wings badges with tailored ‘trans flux’ enamel inlay and a special Aston Martin hallmark, the show car’s exterior represents an exclusive celebration of the company’s 100-year history. They also include elements taken from the One-77 hypercar inside.

They can be further personalised by Aston Martin’s new bespoke personalisation service, known – fittingly – as ‘Q by Aston Martin’. Beyond the usual paint finishing and interior services, Q Branch will even help to design and procure almost any manner of luxury item. Colour-matching a Brompton bicycle to an Aston Martin, supporting a customer’s architect to design their house or creating colour themes and materials for the interior specification of a yacht – these bespoke services are all within the gift of this remarkable department.

Keith Adams
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