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MOTORING

2019 Aston Martin Rapide AMR Review

Words by Nathan Irvine

Low-tech thrills.

At a cost price within touching distance of AED 1M, you’d expect the rear-view parking camera in the 2019 Aston Martin Rapide AMR to be in HD. It is not.

Instead, you get something akin to grainy CCTV footage – complete with parking line assists that are equally difficult to make out. In fact, the whole tech package feels dated right down to the phone icon on the in-car screen that depicts a retro mobile phone with an aerial.

Compared to the bleeding edge tech of, say, the Bentley Continental GT, it’s a huge disappointment. But then, this car isn’t about lounging around and admiring the dials -it’s about going fast. Really fast. And feeling amazing as you do.

What the 2019 Aston Martin Rapide AMR lacks in gizmos, it more than makes up for in pure driving joy.

Dean Smith The Rapide AMR feeling reflective.

Specifications

Engine

6.0l V12

Power

580bhp at 7000rpm

Torque

630Nm at 465lb-ft

Transmission

Eight-speed automatic

0-100 kmh

4.4 seconds

Top Speed

330kmh

Price (RRP)

AED 999,563

Apex predator

The Rapide AMR is a throwback to the days that cars were built for loud, unabashed speed. It’s the last of Aston Martin’s naturally aspirated (read: non-turbocharged) V12 engines, thus the last time you’ll hear that distinctive spine-tingling roar rip through the exhausts. Firing up the engine will never fail to set your heart racing.

That “AMR” stands for “Aston Martin Racing”, which should give you an idea of what to expect when behind the wheel. It’s the closest you’ll get to a road legal race car from the British manufacturer and handles straights and corners with ease.

It’ll fire you from 0-100kmh in an eye-watering 4.4 seconds. The Rapide AMR will also fly round corners at the same speed while gripping the tarmac for dear life.

Unusual for a rear-wheeled drive, pseudo-race car, but the only twitchy back end you’ll experience while hurtling round bends is the one firmly planted in the driving seat. Even with an elongated body to house four doors, the Rapide AMR still handles like a go-kart.

In Pictures. 2019 Aston Martin Rapide AMR

Photos. Dean Smith for Aston Martin

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Taking corners with ease.

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Taking corners with ease.

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Tech fans won't love the limited gadgets.

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What most of the other drivers on the road will see.

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What most of the other drivers on the road will see.

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The yellow piping is just on the right side of "tasteful".

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That huge grille is ready to gobble up the road.

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That huge grille is ready to gobble up the road.

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It really is a sight to behold.

Hey, good looking

As is standard with Aston Martin vehicles, the exterior oozes an effortless cool. The curves and swerves of the chassis delivers a classy look that is, of course, fit for James Bond. That gaping grille at the front and piercing head and fog lamps really does look impressive when it’s dark.

Inside things are a little different. There are four seats for a start, which, I can attest, ferry two other passengers around in relative comfort. There isn’t a ton of space, but my in-laws certainly didn’t grumble. And if they did, their voices were lost over the sound of the V12.

The Rapide AMR is also the first to be fitted with carbon ceramic brakes. They’ll pull you back down to zero on the speedometer quickly and smoothly – which is a must when weaving through traffic across the emirates.

Licks of Aston Martin Racing’s iconic luminous yellow can be found throughout. Tiptronic paddle shifters are coated in it. So too is the piping around the sports seats, and the ICE display is flush with the colour as well.

Even the interior’s low roof has an incredibly brash leather streak racing from front to back. There’s also lightweight carbon fibre fused all around to really apply that race car feel.

Memory lanes

One slight problem with the otherwise outstanding driving position, is the blind spot over your left shoulder.

It was disarming at first – having to second guess my mirror and instincts after a speeding Subaru Impreza (it’s always an Impreza, isn’t it?) appeared from nowhere. I quickly learned to wait an extra split-second before making a move to the outer lanes.

So the swansong for the iconic V12 engine is fitting. The Aston Martin Rapide AMR serves up a truly memorable driving experience and is easily best in class.

The lack of hi-tech gubbins might be hard to swallow at the price this car will set you back. But rest assured, you’ll be beaming with pride every time you take it out for a spin, and that’s the whole point of owning one of these beasts.

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