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
A quick pre-arranged rendezvous and half an hour with an impact wrench later, and we've swapped all four points for snow tyres. Handy that. The difference is night and day. Turns out the summer tyres had the absorbency and grip characteristics of Bakelite up here, irritating the ride and leaving the Rapide skating and nervous. The winters transform the ride and generally make the Rapide S into the car you wish it to be. Confident, absorbent, full of clear messages. And, yes, those messages might be telling you that this is a big, heavy car with a tendency to pendulum if you push too hard, but these are not muddied or confused titbits of information: if you ignore them, you do so deliberately.
And so, within 24 hours, I find myself slowly drifting an Aston Martin Rapide not on sand, but on snow. With more practice and the confidence of over a thousand miles between us, the Aston starts to gel even more. It's better when treated with a firm hand, and Track mode handles pretty much anything. Press and hold the traction button for a second time, though, and you get the full Off position, which allows for some dignified on-demand showboating through gorgeous American back roads bracketed by pine forests. It looks and smells like an advertisement for fabric softener here, all clean and fresh, sunny and white.