Aston Martin's fast family-hauler has a new flagship, with the debut this week of the powerful new Rapide S.
The new model's Mazda-like smile hides a heavy punch, with a massaged version of Aston's trusty V12 engine offering more power and swifter acceleration.
Under the bonnet you'll find 410kW and 618Nm of torque, making for a significant boost over the regular model's 350kW/600Nm heart.
Aston says that while the torque boost is not massive and hits at the same 5000rpm mark, improvements to the curve below 4000rpm make for a noticeable off-the-line kick.
The extra power also gives the Rapide S a new sub-5.0 second sprint time, hitting 96km/h (60mph) in 4.7 seconds - down from 5.1 in the S-less Rapide.
The Rapide S isn't just about extra power, of course, and these special models never are. Here, Aston has mounted the engine 19mm lower for improved turn-in behaviour.
Similiarly, the dynamic stability control system has been improved, and the Adaptive Damping System now offers three modes: Normal, Sport and Track.
"Growing the power in a luxury sports car is all very well, but maximizing control and ‘usability’ of that increased power is, just as much, the engineers’ challenge," Aston Martin's Ian Minards said.
"Balance, poise and control are the keys to a successful sports car and the dynamic improvements we have made with Rapide S showcase our efforts to make this not just the most beautiful, but also the most beautifully balanced, car in its class."
Styling changes beyond the large new grille include a more pronounced boot-. lip spoiler, and an optional Carbon Exterior pack adds carbon fibre to the front splitter, rear diffuser, mirror caps and elsewhere.
In the cabin, you'll find piano-black highlights with grey or tan headliner; an optional Duotone perforated red-on-black leather trim is also available.
The Rapide S will hit showrooms globally in the coming weeks, with pricing to be revealed closer to launch.
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