The most interesting changes take place under the Rapide’s new skin, centred on the same naturally aspirated 5.9-litre V12 engine as was first developed for the Vantage GT12. As a result, power is quoted at 595bhp – 53bhp up on the normal Rapide S – produced at a tingly 7000rpm. To go with the extra power, the Rapide’s eight-speed ZF automatic transmission has been recalibrated, and allows the large saloon to hit 100kph in an impressive 4.4sec.
To keep the Rapide’s mass under control, Aston Martin Racing has lowered the ride height by 10mm, and recalibrated adaptive dampers to reduce roll and pitch. Carbon-ceramic brakes have also been fitted – a first for the Rapide – comprised of 400mm discs at the front gripped by six-pot calipers, and 360mm discs and four-pot calipers at the rear.