It’s just another four-door, right? Wrong. Aston Martin’s ravishingly beautiful Rapide S is a 552-hp V12-powered DB9 exotic sports coupe with two extra doors, resulting in the coolest possible way…

2017 Aston Martin Rapide S Road Test

I'm going to miss the sound of internal combustion. Truly, as fascinating as the world's obsession with automotive electrification is, and as amazingly powerful as some EVs are, the Aston Martin sponsored Red Bull Racing F1 car and the two companies' forthcoming Valkyrie supercar even incorporating hybrid drivetrains, nothing gets a car enthusiast's adrenaline racing faster than a raspy V12 at peak revs.

The Rapide S' 6.0-litre V12 is especially sonorous, although its more Roger Taylor's I'm In Love With My Car than Freddie's Bicycle Race. The sound is exhilarating, but everything else about this four-door sport coupe is completely over the top, so having a soundtrack to match is only fitting.

Just look at it. From one end to the other the Rapide is as long, low and lean as four-doors get. The augmented grille came as part of its 2014 redesign. It's a bolder take on a classic Aston theme, with more luxury car presence than the narrower split design from the original, Read Full Story
There’s been a V8 in Aston Martin’s lineup since 1969, and while the latest version wasn’t designed in-house by famed engine-builder Tadek Marek or massaged from the Ford-sourced albeit hand-assembled…

Lighter, nimbler Aston Martin DB11 gets twin-turbo V8 power

2018 Aston Martin DB11 V8
Aston’s relationship with Mercedes-AMG bears fruit with this fabulous 503-hp V8-powered DB11. (Photo: Aston Martin)
There’s been a V8 in Aston Martin’s lineup since 1969, and while the latest version wasn’t designed in-house by famed engine-builder Tadek Marek or massaged from the Ford-sourced albeit hand-assembled AJ37, it’s very special just the same. This one hails from Mercedes’ AMG headquarters, unlike the in-house engineered and produced 600 horsepower twin-turbo 5.2-litre V12 that’s currently under the DB11’s long, elegant hood, but it nevertheless remains individually hand-built. The new 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 makes a considerable 503 horsepower and 498 lb-ft of torque, which is a major step up from the current A-M 4.7-litre naturally aspirated V8 that puts out 430 horsepower and 361 lb-ft of torque in top-line “S” guise. This allows for a near identical standstill to 100km/h sprint time of 4.0 seconds to the V12-powered DB11 that manages the feat in 3.9 seconds, whereas the V8’s top speed is rated at 301 km/h (187 mph) compared to the V12’s 322 km/h (201 mph).
2018 Aston Martin DB11 V8
A cleaner design sans twinned centre hood vents and smoked headlamp bezels help distinguish V8-powered DB11s. (Photo: Aston Martin)
Being that terminal velocity is more about bragging rights than anything useful, similar to the “need” for a 390 bar Rolex Deepsea or even a 120 bar Sea-Dweller when a regular 30 bar Sub will do just fine (serious divers use wrist computers anyway), most DB11 buyers should be more than satisfied with the V8’s everyday performance, while even more appealing is the smaller engine’s 115-kilo (254-pound) weight reduction, most of which is over the front wheels, as well as the car’s lighter 1,760-kg (3,880-lb) curb weight, plus the fact the V8 gets pushed rearward behind the front axle for better weight distribution. According to A-M’s press release, the new layout and reduced weight makes for “an increased sense of agility,” although such improvements also need to be attributed to “detailed revisions to the suspension bushing, geometry, anti-roll bars, springs, dampers and ESP software.” Therefore, “the V8 appeals to those customers drawn to a refined and comfortable GT with a more sporting bias,” continues Aston Martin. We’re certainly ok with that.
2018 Aston Martin DB11 V8
V8-powered DB11s get unique wheel designs as well. (Photo: Aston Martin)
While the engine comes completed from AMG, Aston adds its own air intake, exhaust system, and slimline wet sump lubrication design, the latter allowing a lower centre of gravity, before creating new ECU software and reprogramming the engine and throttle mapping, giving it performance characteristics and sound qualities more familiar to Aston Martin owners, and finally fastening it into the DB11’s engine bay via bespoke engine mounts. “As an engineer I find the DB11 a fascinating car,” said Max Szwaj, Aston Martin Chief Technical Officer. “One with great depth of character and ability. Of course the V12-engined variant is an icon – an ultimate, if you like, but the V8 is very much its own car. One with a distinct and carefully crafted character that’s truly seductive. It has been hugely rewarding to put our stamp on this new engine – both in the way it sounds and performs – and to use its impressive attributes as the impetus to reveal a little more of the DB11’s sporting character.”
2018 Aston Martin DB11 V8
Powertrain and few exterior trim items aside, the DB11 V8 gets the same standard and available features as the V12. (Photo: Aston Martin)
As for distinctive characteristics that set the V8-powered DB11 apart from the V12 model, A-M removes the two nostril-style engine vents from the hood’s centre panels for an arguably cleaner look, adds darkened headlamp bezels, and leaves all other differentiation up to unique wheels all-round. The two remaining engine vents are available in black or a titanium-finish mesh. There are no differences with either V8 or V12 cabins, as each car receives an identical list of standard features and the same extensive menu of available colours and optional trims. We’d like to think Aston Martin owners are environmentally conscious, although such issues probably don’t matter as much to the brand’s performance- and luxury-oriented clientele as to the automaker itself, which is forced to deal with a literal world of regulating bodies that are forever increasing their emissions restrictions. Therefore A-M is proud of the new V8 engine’s CO2 figure of 230g/km, which allows for lower taxation rates in key growth markets like China.
2018 Aston Martin DB11 V8
New AMG-built twin-turbo V8 gets plenty of Aston handiwork, plus a signature on top to verify that it’s handbuilt. (Photo: Aston Martin)
“The DB11 is the most complete and sophisticated car Aston Martin has ever made,” said Dr. Andy Palmer, Aston Martin President and CEO. “Now, with this new V8 engine option we have broadened its appeal by offering a car that will bring the DB11 to more customers around the world while still blessed with the exceptional performance and memorable character that sets Aston Martin apart from its rivals. Having driven the car during its development phase, it is not just the engine that has changed the character of the car, but also the resulting dynamic changes to create a remarkable GT car with its own distinct personality from the V12.” The new V8-powered DB11 will be available in the North American markets during Q4 of 2017, with pricing starting at $198,995 USD. Expect Canadian pricing and other details closer to availability.
Is there a more beautiful grand touring car on the planet? Certainly the all-new DB11 will be high on auto enthusiasts’ lists, but for many sports car aficionados the more classic GT lines of Aston…

Aston Martin Vanquish S makes a brilliant GT even better

Is there a more beautiful grand touring car on the planet? Certainly the all-new DB11 will be high on auto enthusiasts' lists, but for many sports car aficionados the more classic GT lines of Aston Martin's Vanquish still rule supreme.

The Vanquish might hail from Aston's earlier design language, but it hardly looks dated. Its second-generation redesign arrived on the scene in 2012 for the 2013 model year after all, so it's still fairly fresh as far as super GTs go, and now the new Vanquish S builds on appearances while upping performance for one of the most enticing new models to hit the road so far this year.

"From the moment the original Vanquish was launched it became a modern icon. It propelled Aston Martin from an era of hand-built cars to one where craftsmanship and technology combined to create a new kind of great British GT," said Dr. Andy Palmer, Aston Martin President & CEO.

"In its second generation the Vanquish maintained that momentum with huge Read Full Story
Witness the birth of an entirely new Aston Martin platform and design language; the 2017 DB11 a completely fresh creation from the ground up. Even the 600-hp 5.2L V12 is new, and developed in-house. It…

2017 Aston Martin DB11 Launch Edition Road Test Review

Chances are if you're an Aston Martin fan you tend to lean more toward classic styles than the latest trends, and I'm not just talking about your rolling stock. Your clothing is probably more along the lines of Brioni, Burberry or Ralph Lauren than Poyz & Pirlz, your feet are more likely covered by Florsheim or Franco Sarto than Asos Monk or Giuseppe Zanotti, you wear a Patek or Lange on your wrist rather than a Franck Muller or Harry Winston, your glass is filled with a 25 year old Bowmore single malt or Beefeater 24 and tonic rather than a Liquid Currency, Long Strange Trip, Winnie Cooper or Zombie. I respect your choices. Really, I love Don Draper and Joan Holloway too, but let's face the reality that the times they are a changin'.

If Aston Martin has a weakness, its various designs and the engineering behind them rely too heavily on past achievements. Others, however, will see adhering to tradition as the British brand's greatest strength. All I can say to those in the Read Full Story
Some will try to compare Aston’s Rapide S to lesser German four-door coupes, but the 552-hp V12-powered DB9-based four-seater is truly one of a kind as no rival is anywhere near as exotic. Starting…

2016 Aston Martin Rapide S Road Test Review

Aston Martin wasn't the first to arrive with a modern-day four-door coupe, but through its Lagonda division it could certainly be considered inspiration for Mercedes' CLS and others that would follow.

The ultimately angular, incredibly luxurious Lagonda sedan was produced from 1976 to 1990, long before the term four-door coupe was coined, but it certainly met all criteria. It was long, wide, low, powerful, and opulent, much like the original DB4-based Lagonda Rapide sold from 1961 to 1964, but of course neither can compare with today's Rapide.

Its forerunners were handsome in their own unorthodox ways, the original elegantly penned except for its controversial Ford Edsel-like horseshoe-shaped grille, and the second car's unique "folded paper" design outrageously exotic for the era and still a jaw-dropper today (I especially like the slightly rounded 1987–1990 Series 4), if you're fortunate enough to see one in the metal (aluminum to be precise), but the thoroughly Read Full Story