A new 205mph four-door Aston Martin with racing pedigree has been unleashed ahead of the legendary Le Mans 24 Hour endurance race where the marque took victory last year.
Aston Martin bosses described the new Rapide AMR as the company’s ‘most extreme four-door sports car’ with acceleration from 0-60mph in just 4.2 seconds.
Production will be limited to just 210 cars costing nearly £200,000 each.
Fastest Aston family car yet: This is the near-£200,000 Aston Martin Rapide AMR – the fastest four-seat car the British marque has ever produced for the road
The Rapide AMR is one of a trio of blistering new cars that Aston Martin is parading ahead of the 24-hour Le Mans epic this weekend.
As well as the Rapide AMR, designed to used everyday on the road but still driven to a circuit for a burn-up on high days and holidays, it is unveiling two additional powerful customer racing cars for ‘track-only’ driving – the Aston Martin Vantage GT3 and GT4.
It is a final ‘hurrrah’ for the four door V12 Rapide saloon before it is withdrawn from sale in 2020, to be replaced by the forthcoming DBX sports utility vehicle, set to be built at Aston Martin’s new factory at St Athan in South Wales for sale by the end of 2019 priced around £150,000.
An all-electric Rapide-E is also to go on sale in 2019 at around £250,000.
The new Rapide AMR is powered by a vast 6.0-litre V12 48-valve naturally-aspirated engine developing 603 horse-power – equivalent to six Ford Fiestas – linked to an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
Flat out it will be able to hit 205mph – potential for a warp-speed school run.
The AMR letters stand for Aston Martin Racing and signify a direct engineering and stylistic link between the company’s successful race team and a limited run of ballistic road cars.
The engine and drivetrain draw much of the technology and character from the Aston Martin Vantage GT12 race car, said the firm based at Gaydon in Warwickshire.
The Aston Martin Rapide AMR features a thumping 6.0-litre V12 naturally-aspirated engine developing 603 horse-power
These multi-spoke lightweight forged wheels are designed to improve brake cooling, the British brand claims
Flat out, the Aston Martin Rapide AMR will be able to hit 205mph – potential for a warp-speed school run
A spokesman said: ‘As Aston Martin returns to Le Mans to defend its 2017 victory at the iconic 24-hour race, so the latest car in the exciting new AMR stable has been unveiled.
‘The Rapide AMR is a sports car capable of comfortably transporting a team of race drivers to a circuit on the other side of a continent and then tackling the track when they get there.’
The Rapide AMR rides on 21-inch wheels – a first for any Aston Martin – paired with ultra-high performance Michelin Super Sport tyres.
The multi-spoke lightweight forged wheels make them stiff and also also helps brake cooling, the British brand claims.
High-performance carbon ceramic brakes with significant stopping power are fitted as standard to ensure it slows down as quickly as it accelerates.
The Rapide AMR features a large and aggressive front grille reminiscent of the extreme track-only Vantage AMR Pro.
Inside, the Alcantara-covered sport seats are finished in the same AMR racing colours as the exterior paint
Production will be limited to just 210 cars at the company’s new AMR Performance Centre at the high-speed Nürburgring circuit in Germany
The interior features plenty of carbon fibre, including an entire centre console covered in the lightweight material
Circular daytime running lights echo recent Zagato models.
Aerodynamics have been tuned to reduce lift while retaining a neutral balance with extensive use of lightweight but super-strong carbon fibre to minimise weight.
Suspension tweaks also mean the new Rapide AMR rides 10mm lower than a conventional Rapide S to make it more rigid and agile when driven close to the limit on track.
It also benefits from a new quad exhaust that lets the driver and passengers enjoy the booming note from that V12 powerplant.
The Rapide AMR features four exhaust outlets, two on each side flanking a massive rear diffuser
Aston Martin Rapide AMR: Will it fit in my garage?
Production: 210 cars
On sale: Available to order now, first deliveries from Autumn.
Doors: 4 plus tailgate
Width (including mirrors): 2140mm
Wheelbase: 298 mm
Weight Distribution: 51%/49% (Front/Rear)
Top speed: 205mph
Acceleration 0-60mph: 4.2 seconds
Engine: 6.0-litre V12 naturally-aspirated 48-valve
Power: 603 horse-power
Transmission: Touchtronic III eight-speed automatic gear-box with manual override
Wheels and tyres: 21” Multispoke matte black wheels Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres
Brakes: carbon ceramic brake discs
Fuel capacity: 90.5 litres
Much of the development work was been completed at the company’s new AMR Performance Centre at the high-speed Nürburgring circuit in Germany.
The company said: ’This draws the closest visual link to the Aston Martin Racing team and the liveries of its race cars.’
The driver looks over a full-length carbon fibre centre console and the seats are trimmed in Alcantara – both firsts for a Rapide.
Customers can also use the bespoke ‘Q by Aston Martin’ service to further personalise their car.
The Aston Martin Rapide AMR is available globally – with the exception of China and Russia – priced from £194,950 in the UK ($240,000 in the US and €229,950 in Germany) with first customer deliveries from Autumn this year.
It is the final production version of the prototype concept shown at last year’s Geneva Motor Show and follows hard on the heels of the DB11 AMR version launched last month.
Aston Martin president and chief executive officer Dr Andy Palmer said: ‘AMR takes technology and inspiration from our motorsport programme to amplify the sporting prowess in our road cars.
‘The Rapide AMR is Aston Martin’s most extreme, 4-door sports car. With enhanced performance, sharper dynamics and more powerful design language, Aston Martin has taken Rapide to new and exciting extremes.’
Aston Martin’s track-only GT3 and GT4 unveiled
In the run up to this week’s Le Mans race where it will be defending its title, Aston Martin also unveiled two new track-only cars.
The first is the Vantage GT4 at £175,000, while those with deeper pockets might be enticed by the 535bhp Vantage GT3 costing £400,000.
Both derive from the new Aston Martin Vantage GTE professional race car that will be competing at the Circuit de la Sarthe this coming weekend.
The Aston Martin Vantage GT3 packs a whopping 535bhp and costs £400,000. That’s almost half a million pounds for a car you can’t legally drive on the road
For those looking for slightly more affordable track thrills, this Vantage GT4 costs £175,000
The new models have been revealed on the eve of the 2018 Le Mans 24 Hour event. Aston Martin won the LMGTE Pro competition last year
All three are in turn based on the Aston Martin Vantage road car and powered by the same 4.0-litre turbocharged V8 engine linked to a six-speed sequential gearbox, optimised by Aston Martin Racing.
The new Vantage GT3 replaces Aston Martin’s most successful customer track car, the V12 Vantage GT3, and like the lower-priced GT4 is aimed at ‘gentlemen racers’.
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