4.2s, 203-MPH 2015 Aston Martin RAPIDE S Also Nabs New Dampers, Torque-Tube and 8-Speed ZF Transaxle

Even more thrilling news from Aston!

The technical upgrades to the Vanquish and Vanquish Volante also join the Rapide S saloon-car for 2015. This brings an enormous leap in agility and pace at all times thanks to the latest and greatest ZF Touchtronic III automatic transmission.

Mounted in back on the rear axle, this transaxle setup creates an exceptionally balanced sportscar with weight distribution balanced exquisitely. A transaxle layout is the best method for a supercar sedan – as shown by the previous Maserati Qauttroporte and other heroes with four doors over the years.

The Rapide S also brings new wheels, a few new colors, and a raft of other dynamic upgrades to go along with the swift-shifting new automatic. Sprint pace for the Rapide S. These bring along a half-second reduction in the car’s 0-60-mph time: down to just 4.2-seconds for 2015. Top speed is up as well: now cresting 200-mph for the first time.

In fact, at 203-mph — the Rapide S is 2-mph faster overall than the 2015 Vanquish, which tops out at 201-mph.

Finally, a new ECU frees up a few horses and MPG for the Rapide S, while the latest and greatest carbon-composite brakes bring things to a halt without any of the old carbon-brake traits of squeakiness or sloppiness when not at racetrack temps.

The new Rapide S and Vanquish are open for orders now, and will be shown in Pebble Beach alongside the DP-100 mid-engine exotic prototype next week in Pebble Beach.

The Rapide S for 2015 is distinct from the 2015 Aston Martin Lagonda – which will be a strictly limited-run restyle of the 2015 mechanicals.



2015 Aston Martin Lagonda

2014 Aston Martin DP-100 Prototype


2015 Aston Martin RAPIDE S







6 August 2014 – Aston Martin is today revealing details of a raft of important enhancements to two of the brand’s most popular and successful sports cars: the Vanquish ultimate GT and Rapide S four-door, four-seat, sports car.

With the arrival of 15 Model Year (15MY) cars in markets around the world over the next few months, the luxury British brand is offering not only considerably enhanced performance and much-improved fuel economy and emissions, but also an even more honed, precise and responsive driving experience.

With the debut of the new Touchtronic III eight-speed automatic gearbox in both Vanquish and Rapide S – the first time that this state-of-the-art gearbox has been incorporated into a transaxle layout – Aston Martin is improving every major area of the cars’ performance and fuel economy. The brand’s engineers have worked meticulously with technical partner, ZF, to develop the eight-speed technology and integrate it perfectly into the latest generation of the iconic and much-imitated Aston Martin VH architecture.

The 0-60 mph times for both the Vanquish and Rapide S are reduced in 15MY cars: The Vanquish drops from 4.1 seconds to just 3.6 seconds (3.8 seconds 0-100 km/h) and the Rapide S is capable of the same sprint in only 4.2 seconds (4.4 seconds 0-100 km/h) – also down by a full half second from its previous figure of 4.7 seconds. These impressive gains not only ensure the cars’ exceptional competitiveness in their respective sectors, but also confirm Vanquish as the quickest accelerating series production Aston Martin in the company’s 101-year history.

Changes to gear and final drive ratios allow the cars to be not only quicker but also more frugal, with reduced emissions too. In both sports cars the CO2 figure drops by an average of ten per cent – down to 298 g/km for Vanquish and 300 g/km for Rapide S. Economy is boosted by thirteen per cent (Rapide S) and seven per cent (Vanquish) with the new transmission (US Combined cycle).

Combined with a revised final drive, the ratio changes also mean both cars are, for the first time, now capable of top speeds of 200 mph or above.

A reduction in exhaust gas back pressure as a result of ratio adjustment and other changes also benefits peak power, which rises by up to three bhp to a peak of 568 bhp  in Vanquish, and two bhp, 552 bhp, in Rapide S. Peak torque is up too, to 465 lb ft at 5,500 rpm in all the cars.

The new eight-speed Touchtronic III automatic gearbox is not only three per cent  lighter than its predecessor, it is also packaged more efficiently occupying precisely the same space within the car yet adding two further ratios over the outgoing transmission.

Touchtronic III delivers exceptional shift speed and moves between ratios as quick as 130 milliseconds – far quicker than even the most accomplished racing driver is capable of – while better gearbox efficiency allows more power and torque to be transmitted to the road more of the time.

Ian Minards, Product Development Director at Aston Martin, explained: “We have a long and successful technical partnership with ZF and so it was a natural step for us to adapt and integrate their world class 8HP transmission in to our transaxle layout.”

“This has been a detailed piece of work involving careful consideration of many technical parameters including gear ratios, software integration and shifting strategies.  This has delivered a significant step change in both vehicle performance and economy whilst preserving the unique Aston Martin V12 driving experience.”

Gearbox software changes make for a truly comprehensive selection of available driving features such as ‘Drive’ and ‘Drive Sport’ modes along with ‘Paddle Shift’ and ‘Paddle Shift Sport’ options for more engaging, sporting, shift control.

Optimal, multi-ratio downshifts are available by pulling and holding the down shift paddle, allowing for the car to select the lowest available gear when under braking. Adaptive Drive Recognition (ADR), meanwhile, tailors shift points to the individual driver’s style. Thus a more spirited driver in standard ‘Drive’ mode will rapidly adapt to enjoy a shift map more akin to the settings found in ‘Drive Sport’. As the programming is reset during each key cycle – when the car is locked and unlocked – the perceived ‘changes’ to the car’s nature are similarly reset.

Engine management upgrade

Away from the gearbox, 15MY Aston Martin Vanquish and Rapide S models benefit from the addition of the latest Bosch Engine Management System. The new system, which delivers more precise engine control and seamlessly communicates with the new gearbox, receives its first application in an Aston Martin that combines the AM29 V12 engine and an automatic gearbox.

Meanwhile other electronic and engineering changes have taken place in 15MY cars to deliver a consistent GT character by perfectly aligning the chassis with improvements in powertrain performance and accessibility. For instance, a revised torque tube reduces transmission noise transfer into the passenger compartment while revised DSC sees the retuned stability system optimised for the new gearbox. A revised steering ECU delivers an even more crisp and precise steering response.

Uprated dampers on the new Vanquish – 15% stiffer at the front and a full 35% stiffer at the rear – improve the dynamic characteristic of the car in line with its significantly enhanced performance. Rapide S, meanwhile, gets uprated larger front brakes. Both cars also benefit from a retuned brake booster and amended rear suspension bushes that are now 20% stiffer than before.

There are also subtle but important styling enhancements, both inside and outside the cars, that add extra visual appeal for 15MY Vanquish and Rapide S.

Outside there’s the arrival of new ten-spoke forged alloy wheel designs, available in a variety of finishes, that not only enhance the cars’ looks but save almost seven kilos in weight versus the standard wheel. There are also new paint colour options including, for the first time on Vanquish and Rapide S, the availability of the special paint colour Diavalo Red, previously limited to the breath-taking V12 Zagato.

Inside, the cars get new leather trim colour options including the contemporary blue-black Dark Knight, and bold Fandango Pink. Rapide S also gains the exciting option of a new Duotone leather seat finish in Sahara Tan and Vibrant Red, as well as a range of new headlining options that mix quilting with the finest leathers or Alcantara.

Director of Design Marek Reichman explained: “More bold and dynamic interior and exterior treatments are the perfect offering for customers of the latest models.

“It is, of course, possible to add more colour to our cars while maintaining Aston Martin’s reputation for elegance and beauty, and I’m very happy to see this enhanced and extended colour palette offered to our loyal customers around the world.”

The global market introduction of 15MY sports cars begins in Q3 of 2014, with more details on market-specific pricing and options available in due course.


2015 Aston Martin RAPIDE S

by Q


2015 Aston Martin RAPIDE S

Full Specification



• Four-door body style with tailgate and four individual seats
• Extruded aluminium bonded VH body structure
• Aluminium and composite body panels
• Extruded aluminium door side-impact beams
• Single bi-xenon headlamps with integrated LED side lights and direction indicators
• LED rear lamps and side repeaters


• Rear mid-mounted, ‘Touchtronic III’, eight-speed gearbox with electronic shift-by-wire control system
• Alloy torque tube with Carbon Fibre propeller shaft
• Limited-slip differential
• Final-drive ratio 2.73:1

Fuel Consumption

Litres/100 km (mpg)

•Urban 19.5 (14.5)
•Extra urban 9.1 (31.0)
•Combined 12.9 (21.9)

North America Gas Mileage

• City 14 US mpg
• Highway 22 US mpg
• Combined 17 US mpg

CO2 emissions

• 300 g/km



• Front Dual-cast brake discs, 400 mm diameter with six-piston calipers
• Rear Dual-cast brake discs, 360 mm diameter with four-piston calipers
• 3-stage Dynamic Stability Control (DSC)
• Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
• Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD)
• Emergency Brake Assist (EBA)
• Traction Control (TC)
• Hydraulic Brake Assist (HBA)
• Positive Torque Control (PTC)
• Electronic Park Brake (EPB)

Wheels & Tyres

• 20” Multi-spoke alloy Silver painted wheels with diamond-turned finish
• Front Bridgestone Potenza 245/40 R20
• Rear Bridgestone Potenza 295/35 R20

Standard Equipment

• Full-grain Luxmill leather interior
• Walnut facia trim
• Iridium Silver centre console outer finish and Graphite inner finish
• Glass switches
• Auto-dimming interior rear-view mirror
• Auto-dimming interior rear-view mirror with garage door opener (USA and Canada)1
• Electrically operated front seats
• Memory front seats and exterior mirrors (three positions)
• Dual-stage driver and front passenger frontal airbags
• Front occupant side airbags
• Head protection airbags for front and rear occupants
• Heated front and rear seats
• Heated rear screen
• Automatic front and rear temperature control
• Organic Electroluminescent (OEL) displays
• LED map lamps and ambient lighting
• Trip computer
• Cruise control
• Powerfold exterior mirrors
• Front and rear parking sensors
• Tyre-pressure monitoring 1
• Alarm and immobiliser
• Remote-control central door locking and boot release
• Tracking device (UK only) 3
• Umbrella


• All-alloy, quad overhead camshaft, 48-valve, 5935 cc V12
• Front mid-mounted engine, rear-wheel drive
• Fully catalysed stainless steel exhaust system with active bypass valves
• Compression ratio 10:9:1
• Max power 411 kW (560 PS/552 bhp) at 6650 rpm
• Max torque 630 Nm (465 lb ft) at 5500 rpm
• Acceleration 0-60 mph in 4.2 sec; 0-100 km/h in 4.4 sec
• Max speed 327 km/h (203 mph)

Weight and Dimensions

• Length 5019 mm (197.6”)
• Width 1929 mm (75.9”) excluding mirrors; 2140 mm (84.3”) including mirrors
• Height 1360 mm (53.5”)
• Wheelbase 2989 mm (117.7”)
• Fuel capacity 90.5 litres
• Weight 1990 kg (4387 lb)
• Weight Distribution 51%/49% (Front/Rear)


• Front Independent double wishbones incorporating anti-dive geometry, coil springs, anti-roll bar and monotube adaptive dampers
• Rear Independent double wishbones with anti-squat and anti-lift geometry, coil springs, anti-roll bar and monotube adaptive dampers
• 3-stage Adaptive Damping System (ADS) with Normal, Sport and Track modes


• Rack and pinion, Servotronic speed-sensitive, power assisted steering
• 3.0 turns lock-to-lock
• Column tilt and reach adjustment

In-car Entertainment

• 1000-watt Bang & Olufsen BeoSound audio system with ICEpower® technology
• Hard Disk Drive (HDD) satellite navigation 1,2
• 6.5” LCD Screen
• DAB radio 1
• AM/FM radio 1
• Integrated Apple iPod® and iPhone® connector (requires Apple-supplied Lightning adaptor for iPhone 5 compatibility) 4
• USB connector with Waveform Audio Format (WAF), Windows Media Player (WMA) and MPEG (MP3) audio file compatibility
• A2DP Bluetooth® audio
• 3.5 mm auxiliary input socket

Optional Equipment

• Alternative brake caliper finish – black, red, silver or yellow
• Multi-spoke alloy wheels –
• Graphite painted with diamond-turned finish
• 10-spoke forged alloy wheels –
• Silver painted with diamond-turned finish
• Gloss Black painted with diamond-turned finish
• 10-spoke directional forged alloy wheels –
• Graphite painted with diamond-turned finish
• Satin Champagne painted with diamond-turned finish
• Carbon Exterior Pack
• Magnum Silver rear lamp infills
• Black textured tailpipe
• Delete protective film
• Alternative facia trim finishes: Mahogany, Walnut, Bamboo, Tamo Ash, Carbon Fibre
• Piano Black Pack
• Ice Mocha Pack
• Matching wood or carbon fibre door trim
• Perforated leather door inserts
• Headrest embroidery – Aston Martin Wings or Rapide S logo
• Ventilated front and rear seats
• Full Carbon Fibre gearshift paddles
• Personalised sill plaques
• Colour-keyed steering wheel
• Twin-screen rear-seat entertainment system with six-disc DVD player, auxiliary input, wireless headphones and remote control
• Auto-dimming interior rear-view mirror with garage door opener (Europe only) 1
• Alarm upgrade (volumetric and tilt sensor)
• Smokers’ pack (ashtray and cigar lighter)
• Second glass key
• Aston Martin tracking by Cobra 1,3,5
• First-aid kit


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Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.

He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.

Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.

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