Aston Martin Rapide S: The confluence of centuries

It was strange to see Amrish Puri’s over-the-top chest piece quiver. This over-the-top chest piece is part of Indian cinema’s most famous over-the-top costume adorned by the most memorable over-the-top villain in Indian pop culture – Mogambo from Mr India.

I am inside the all-new Aston Martin Rapide S in Mumbai’s Film City. It’s a place that churns out the yarn that forms a good share of India’s dream factory. Everybody at TopGear gave up a month’s salary and made three massive flexes with a collage of Indian cinema. And the quivering Mogambo was only because I was seeing him on the flex through the heat coming out of the vents on top of the Aston’s bonnet.

The hot vapour was from the 6.0-litre naturally-aspirated V12 under the bonnet. In the old Rapide, the engine made 470bhp. In the Rapide S, power has shot up to 550bhp. I will get back to that in a bit and come back to movies. There is little point romanticising movies in India. They are all over the country. In every conceivable language. Of course, just as a lot of Americans think the world begins at their Pacific coast and ends at their Atlantic coast, a lot of us think Indian cinema is Hindi cinema. But let me not get into that.