As Aston Martin returns this weekend to Le Mans to defend its 2017 victory at the classic 24-hour endurance race, the latest car in the exciting new AMR stable has also been unveiled. Following hot on the heels of the DB11 AMR comes the limited edition Rapide AMR, the production version of the concept shown at Geneva last year which is limited to just 210 cars.
‘AMR’, which stands for Aston Martin Racing, draws a direct engineering and aesthetic link between the company’s successful racing team and its roadgoing cars. As such the Rapide AMR is a sportscar capable of comfortably transporting a team of race drivers to a circuit on the other side of a continent and also tackling the track when they get there.
“AMR takes technology and inspiration from our motorsport programme to amplify the sporting prowess in our road cars which is clear to see in the Rapide AMR, Aston Martin’s most extreme, 4-door sportscar. With enhanced performance, sharper dynamics and more powerful design language, Aston Martin has taken Rapide to new and exciting extremes,” said Aston Martin President & CEO, Dr. Andy Palmer.
The design of the new 330 km/h Rapide AMR has changed little from the concept that was shown at the Geneva motorshow, with a large and aggressive front grille that is reminiscent of the extreme track-only Vantage AMR Pro. Noticeably, the circular daytime running lights recall the recent Zagato models.
The Rapide AMR’s aerodynamics have been tuned to reduce lift while retaining a neutral balance and the extra aerodynamic bodywork such as the splitter, sills, rear diffuser and bootlid spoiler are all carbonfibre. The new bonnet with large ventilation inserts is also made from carbonfibre to minimise weight.
At the heart of the Rapide AMR is a naturally aspirated drivetrain that draws much of its technology and character from the potent Vantage GT12. Larger inlet manifolds with tuned length dual inlet runners enhance the airflow into the 6-litre V12 engine and, combined with new engine and gearbox calibration, this results in an increase in power. The legendary V12 now puts out 603 ps/620 Nm, while a new quad exhaust ensures a raucous sound befitting of the AMR badge. This give a capability to take the car from 0 – 100km/h in a claimed 4.4 seconds.
The Rapide AMR has 21-inch wheels – a first for any Aston Martin – paired with ultra-high-performance tyres. The large, forged wheels have a multi-spoke design that is not only very stiff but also aids brake cooling. To further aid thermal management of the brakes, there is an evolution of the cooling system on the Vanquish S, with modified brake ducts and dust shields.
As standard, the Rapide AMR comes fitted with carbon ceramic brakes. The front brakes have 400-mm discs and 6-piston calipers, with 360 mm at the rear with 4-piston calipers.
This is the first time that a Rapide has been fitted with strong stopping power. The carbon ceramic discs are also part of AMR’s ethos to use lightweight components; whilst reducing unsprung mass, they have a noticeably beneficial effect on the driving experience.
Additionally, the Rapide’s suspension has also received considerable attention. The new Rapide AMR rides 10 mm lower than a Rapide S and although the 3-stage adaptive dampers remain, they have been thoroughly reengineered to create a car that is more focused, agile and dynamic. Much of this development work has been completed at the new AMR Performance Centre at the Nurburgring in Germany.
The interior of each Rapide AMR reflects the design scheme chosen for the exterior, with either AMR Lime or Galena Silver welting and stitching. There is a full-length carbonfibre centre console and the seats are trimmed in Alcantara – both firsts for a Rapide. Also available for the first time as an option is a One-77 style steering wheel. Every car has discrete AMR logos stitched into the seats in Galena Silver and each car will come with a limited-edition AMR inspection plaque as well as AMR branding on the carbon sill plaques.
The Rapide AMR will be available globally (with the exception of China and Russia) towards the end of this year with prices starting from £194,950 in the UK (equivalent to about RM1.04 million).