Posted: 20 May 2010
This new Rapide is a four-door version of Aston's DB9 V12 coupe, built on the same chassis but extended by nearly a foot in the wheelbase and just over a foot overall. That's a lot. Although, obviously, calling it a DB9 LWB wouldn't have the same poetic ring as the Rapide. Now, clearly, it could be seen as a cynical exploitation of a gap in the market. Was Dr Bez's DB9/Vantage modular chassis envisaged as a four-door saloon from the outset? I think not. Not when it had to be extended by a foot to turn it into one.
So first up, does it drive well? Yes. It's not greatly compromised over a DB9, and the big V12 makes a nice noise for a four-door saloon. Better than a Ford Mondeo's noise. Although let's not forget, the V12 is, essentially, two Mondeo V6s bolted together, with the Duratec stickers carefully picked off. I wouldn't want to bolt them together myself, but you know what I mean.