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Aston Martin has sprinkled a little of its AMR racing-division magic on its elegant Rapide four-door coupe, as evidenced by the recent unveiling of its new, special-edition 2019 Rapide AMR. Developed with the help of Aston Martin Racing, the car sticks closely to the Rapide AMR Concept showcased at last year’s Geneva Motor Show, which may be why Aston labels this new production version its “most extreme four-door” ever.
Whereas the standard Rapide S is a masterpiece of refined elegance, this AMR version throws subtlety out the window with its track-focused persona. Bold exterior changes include a new vented carbon-fibre bonnet, carbon-fibre splitter, wide side sills, rear diffuser, and carbon-edged boot-lid spoiler. The dynamic front design is also distinguished by the addition of a glossy black mesh grille insert and bold circular daytime running lights borrowed from the Vanquish Zagato.
Thankfully, there is considerable substance to complement this racy style. Under that carbon bonnet, the Rapide’s 5.9-litre naturally aspirated V-12 gets upgraded to Vantage GT12 specification. That means an additional 35bhp, raising the output to 590bhp which, according to Aston, results in a 0-to-100kph in 4.2 seconds and a 329kph top speed.
To ensure the Rapide AMR stops as effectively as it goes, it’s fitted with huge new carbon-ceramic rotors - a first for the Rapide - clamped by six-piston calipers up front and four at the rear. Another first for the Rapide is the addition of standard 53cm forged alloy wheels at each corner, wrapped in ultra-high-performance Michelin Pilot Super Sport rubber.
The interior also gets a race-inspired treatment, with heavily bolstered sports seats trimmed in leather with grippy micro suede inserts and a new carbon-fibre centre console. Included in the options list is the same steering wheel design featured in Aston’s One-77 supercar. The car was offered in five colour schemes; Mariana Blue, Scintilla Silver, Lightning Silver, Onyx Black, or Stirling Green, with a choice of Lime Green, China Grey, or Club Sport White for stripes and accents. However, this 2019 AMR Rapide has been uniquely finished in Aston Martin Topaz Chrome 2 with a black leather, Alcantara and carbon interior amongst a number of other bespoke options.
This is one of only 210 examples of the Rapide AMR and, although only a few months old, this is a well-travelled Aston having been assembled in Warwickshire, shipped to the United States and then Canada before heading to Saudi Arabia. Despite this globe-trotting, the odometer (which was converted in Canada to kilometres from miles) only reads 288km from new.
The Rapide AMR is the last hurrah for Aston's 6.0-litre, naturally aspirated V12 engine and for the petrol-powered Rapide, however, with the legendary VH platform, smoothly weighted steering, extra body control and 590bhp, it looks like they saved the best till last.