Aston Martin Rapide | Spotted
The cheap-to-buy Rapide has been with us for a while – but at £30k it's getting harder and harder to resist…
By PH Staff / Saturday, 21 October 2023 / Loading comments
Are you planning to see the new Ferrari movie? You should. Sure, the early word from the award circuit suggests it’s not that good, but on the basis of its constituent parts, it surely can’t be that bad either. Consider: it has Michael Mann at the helm, the man who directed Heat and Thief and Manhunter and who is among the style-Gods of modern filmmaking. And it has Adam Driver in full-on glower mode sporting a silly accent. And Penelope Cruz, who, on the strength of the latest trailer, has taken the personification of ‘embittered wife’ to a whole new pyrotechnic level. Oh and it’s based on the story of Enzo Ferrari’s life, which, as we know, has more twists and turns than the Mille Miglia.
Why mention it here? Well, because there’s a fair chance that the most rewarding thing about Ferrari will be the way it looks and sounds. (The director has considerable form in this regard: Ali isn’t a great film either, but the first five minutes of pre-Liston fight montage, set to Sam Cooke’s Bring it On Home to Me, is absolutely electric.) Now, there’s certainly more to the Aston Martin Rapide than the way it looks and sounds – but do you really need to be presented with more evidence in its favour? Maybe when the car was brand new and cost a fortune. But surely not when it’s up for £30k.
Yep, thirty moderately-sized ones. A decent saving even on the amount asked for the 92,000-mile example we featured as a Brave Pill back in 2020. And this example has endured 8,000 fewer miles since it arrived on its first owner’s doorstep back in 2011. Aside from the seller misidentifying it as a Rapide S (the updated model didn’t arrive till 2013) the car looks – from a considerable distance, we’ll grant you – like an absolute treat. Those back seats, for examplel, look like they’ve hardly been sat in.
Okay, yes (chortle) there’s a good reason for that. Despite being very much its raison d’être, the rear quarters of the Rapide are not what you’d call capacious. This was a problem for powerfully built company directors who were minded to let someone else do the driving a decade ago, but it feels like less of a concern now when you’re not far north of Hyundai i20N money. Certainly, anyone who fits in the back of a supermini will find no reason to complain in the Aston.
And save for running costs (which are huge) and the amount of dough you’ll need to fix any issues (huger) there will be little reason for you, the plucky owner, to complain either. Even in its earlier lower-powered format, the Rapide offers a handsome driving experience. Not only are you getting 5.9-litres of V12 finery for virtually no money, you’re also getting a to-die-for four-door car underpinned by the bonded-aluminium DB9 chassis. And while the gen-III VH platform needed an additional 250mm to create the model-specific wheelbase, it did not dispense with its handling talent in the process.
Far from it, in fact. Some commentators confessed to preferring the more languid approach of the larger car – and even if you prefer your Aston badge to come with a little more verve, you can always pull over and simply stare at the thing from a distance. Was there ever a better example of a cut-and-shut business case being so wonderfully reconciled with visual pleasure? Obviously there are more dependable, practical and cost-effective family cars – but there are also certainly better films coming out this year than Ferrari, too. In both cases, we’d heartily recommend paying your money and taking your chances…
SPECIFICATION | ASTON MARTIN RAPIDE
Engine: 5,935cc, V12
Transmission: 6-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 470@6,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 443@5,000rpm
First registered: 2011
Recorded mileage: 84,000
Price new: £139,950
Yours for: £30,000
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