Developed as a spiritual successor to the iconic Lagonda, the Rapide was launched in 2010 and became the company’s first four-door in two decades. Updated to “S” specification in 2013, when it also received an upgraded V-12 engine, the Rapide soldiered on unchanged until 2017 and there weren’t many hints that Aston Martin is planning on doing something new anytime soon. However, the sedan was included in the new performance AMR program that the British firm launched at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show.
Essentially a high performance brand similar to Mercedes’ AMG and BMW’s M division, AMR is actually inspired by the Aston Martin Racing motorsport division and adds numerous bespoke features, as well as drivetrain upgrades. The AMR lineup will include two types of cars. There will be plain AMR models closely related to their road-going counterparts and AMR Pro cars with more extreme specs, including versions for track use only. The Rapide AMR concept is part of the former, being less aggressive than a track-prepped car but slotting above the regular model.
Aston Martin didn’t say how many of the features created for the show will make it to the production model, but it’s safe to assume that every single add-on will be made available to customers. Especially given the already high degree of customization you can get with standard models.
What Makes The Aston Martin Rapide AMR Concept Special?
The race-inspired livery and the carbon-fiber trim make the AMR stand out compared to the standard Rapide
A quick glance at the Rapide AMR is enough to notice that this is no regular model. Not only finished in an Aston Martin Racing-inspired livery metallic Stirling Green with yellowish, lime green stripes and accents, the Rapide AMR is also fitted with a range of bespoke exterior features that give it a more menacing stance.
The front fascia has “race car” written all over it thanks to the black, honeycomb grille instead of the usual horizontal slats and the heavily redesigned bumper. While the standard model has a clean apron section with a small opening under the grille, the AMR package adds a new, sportier element that includes the lower section and the foglamps. Made from carbon-fiber in a gloss finish, it also includes a splitter with lime green accents.
The lime green and carbon-fiber theme continues inside the cabin
Moving onto the sides, we can see carbon-fiber side skirts with the same lime green stripe, blacked-out front fender vents and door handles, carbon-fiber mirror caps, and 21-inch, matte black alloys wheels. The rear is just as menacing, featuring a new, carbon-fiber diffuser with line green detailing, revised exhaust pipes, and a new aero flip on the deck lid. Paired with the race-inspired livery, all these upgrades look gorgeous and give the Rapide the aggressive stance it deserves.
The interior also received a lot of attention. The center stack and console casings, and some door elements are made from carbon-fiber, while the steering wheel and much of the trim is wrapped in Dark Knight Alcantara. Lime green accents add a dash of color to the center stack and the carbon-fiber seats, which also feature green “AMR” lettering. And something tells me that Aston Martin can offer even more bespoke features.
The V-12 engine packs an extra 40 horsepower
Under the hood, the naturally aspirated, 6.0-liter V-12 engine was upgraded to generate 592 horsepower, a 40-horsepower increase over the regular sedan. Already pretty quick with a standard 0-to-62 mph time of 4.4 seconds, the Rapide should be able to hit the benchmark in 4.3 ticks in AMR spec. Also, top speed increased from 203 to a whopping 210 mph. The drivetrain package is rounded off by a new exhaust system that gives the Rapide AMR a unique growl.
Needless to say, Aston Martin finally has what it takes to compete with Mercedes-AMG and BMW M sedans.
Aston Martin has chosen the 2017 Geneva Motor Show to launch AMR – an exciting new brand that brings a new dimension of race inspired dynamism and performance.
Reflecting Aston Martin’s racing pedigree, AMR takes technology and inspiration from motorsport to amplify the sporting prowess present across the model range. With enhanced performance, sharper dynamics and more powerful design language, AMR takes Aston Martin’s road cars to new and exciting extremes.
The AMR brand follows in the wheeltracks of successive iconic Aston Martin road cars which boasted top-level racing pedigree. In the mid-1930s the success of Aston Martin’s Team Cars in the Ulster TT road race led the marque to build further examples of the lightweight two-seater for sale to the public. In 1951, Sir David Brown introduced uprated and highly desirable ‘Vantage’ specification models, and steered the marque to an historic outright win at Le Mans with the iconic DBR1 in 1959.
Since the formation of Aston Martin Racing (AMR) in 2004 Aston Martin has enjoyed success in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), winning the 2016 FIA WEC GT Drivers Championship, while also securing three class victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans over this period. Similarly, Aston Martin Racing’s GT3 and GT4 racers have secured countless victories and championship titles around the world.
Two AMR concepts have been unveiled in Geneva: The Rapide AMR and Vantage AMR Pro. The Rapide represents the first tier of AMR, enhancing the four-door sports car with a comprehensive suite of power, chassis and styling upgrades, plus a spectacular new interior treatment. The Vantage AMR Pro – heavily influenced by Aston Martin Racing’s WEC winning V8 Vantage GTE – is the pinnacle; an uncompromising demonstration of AMR’s ‘Track to Tarmac’ philosophy whereby race technology is transferred to road cars.
While future development of the core AMR models will be part of Aston Martin’s central vehicle engineering teams, development of all AMR Pro models will be led by Q by Aston Martin Advanced Operations. This highly-skilled department – managed by Aston Martin’s VP and Chief Special Operations Officer, David King – already has extensive experience of creating extreme Aston Martins, with recent projects including the Vantage GT12, Vantage GT8 and Aston Martin Vulcan.
Underlining Aston Martin’s commitment to its new high-performance brand, AMR’s European development and brand centre will be based at Aston Martin’s state-of-the-art Nürburgring Test Centre, which is situated within sight of the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife race track.
Marek Reichman, Aston Martin EVP and Chief Creative Officer, says that the AMR brand was a logical next step after the ’sold-out’ success of limited edition sporting versions like the Vantage GT8 and Vantage GT12: “Each time we have pushed the boundaries and done something extreme, the customers have loved the cars. AMR enables us to take Aston Martin into a new dimension. One where we can turn-up the sporting DNA present in all of our models and make a true statement. An AMR model will have an instantly recognisable design language. One that accentuates and amplifies, together with the latest GT race car technology for the road. They will be special and rare cars that are credible, thrilling to drive and hugely desirable to own.”
A striking presence on the Aston Martin stand, the Rapide AMR provides a dynamic and visual blueprint for future AMR models. Featuring a 600PS version of Aston Martin’s celebrated 6.0-litre naturally aspirated V12 breathing through a new quad exhaust system, it is the world’s fastest and most thrilling four-door, capable of 210MPH. Resplendent in AMR’s signature Stirling Green with vibrant lime green accents, riding on new 21in alloy wheels and featuring a dramatic new full height signature grille, front splitter, side sills, rear diffuser and aero flip on the rear decklid, the Rapide AMR makes a striking statement.
Extensive use of carbon fibre detailing on the exterior provide the perfect finishing touches. The interior is equally breathtaking. Lightweight carbon fibre front seats, trimmed throughout in Dark Knight Alcantara with Lime Green accents and carbon fibre waterfall, centre console and door casings, ensure the Rapide AMR is a fabulous fusion of race car attitude with a luxurious crafted twist.