Leaving Las Vegas in an Aston Rapide S
Another classic feature from the last 20 years of TG mag: the ultimate test of Aston’s four-door...
Posted: 22 Oct 2013
We start to hunt out side roads, just for the hell of it. Out here, ‘side roads' generally mean unpaved desert sand roads. Roads referred to as ‘Indian Routes' on the slightly shonky map I'm working with, thanks to having developed a deep and unlikely hatred for the Aston's onboard satnav, which seems to think we're 150 yards to the left of wherever we actually are. Still, it's nice to be able to initiate the unexpected, and these are definitely not the kind of roads on which you tend to see £150k-ish British GTs. But the Rapide shimmies down the dusty roads as if born to them, sunlight glinting off the bodywork, fine sand rooster-tailing behind. It looks... utterly incredible.
Long corners on a loose surface make the Aston's rear-wheel drive a vigorous presence in the cabin, but it's all quite easily dealt with as long as you're ready for the car's general dimensions (it's as near-as-dammit a pair of metres wide, five-and-a-bit long and weighs 1,990kg without load). And running it down a sand road becomes slightly ludicrous, but informative fun. The Rapide is genuinely well balanced, with a 48:52 front-to-back weight distribution, more delicately poised from the wheel than you imagine, and as connected as
I remember. It doesn't feel cutting-edge, or surgical, but it does feel characterful and exciting. Big. Strong. Epic. What you might imagine an Aston to feel like if you haven't ever driven one.