Aston's venerable 6.0-litre V12 has been given extra low-down torque in the S, but despite the broader spread of energy, you still have to wind the motor to well past 3000rpm before you achieve the urgency you’d expect, given the peak output figures of 550bhp and 557lb ft. Still, it’s hardly a chore, and the laid-back delivery suits the Rapide’s GT remit. The six-speed automatic shifts smoothly enough but with a distinct lack of urgency by modern standards.
Aston Martin Rapide Saloon ride & handling
For a 5m-long car, the Rapide handles with ample finesse. However, whilst the adaptive dampers lend a sense of nimbleness and keep the body in check, slightly dull steering and pedal response, and a near two-tonne mass, mean that it always feels like a cruiser first and a sports car second. The ride is fine at low speeds, but sharper intrusions cause it to thunk harshly, and when cornering this can cause the car to shimmy across the road.
Aston Martin Rapide Saloon refinement
The V12 is impressively quiet at low speeds and then bursts into a joyously rebellious wail at higher revs - so all good there, then. Less impressive is the tyre noise, which resonates around the cabin over grainy surfaces, and wind flutter also creeps in at motorway speeds despite the laminated windows. It’s just not as hushed as a prestige, six-figure GT car should be.