Thursday, July 8, 2010

Rapide: One Too Many Sausages?

New Rapide 4 door family sport sedan-coupe. Not svelte. Press photos of the newest Aston Martin.

O P I N I O N — Looking at the new Aston Martin Rapide over at Autoblog this morning, it struck me that not only has AM well-and-truly fallen into that same sausage, different length design black hole, they're actually producing the sausage this time. 

I think this new cooking, sport sedan-coupe thing looks like a big less-than-brawny, Bratwurst. Since the concept's 'productionalization,' the roof has bloated, the body has bloated, and it has all the menacing 'tude of a garden-variety garden slug after it has feasted on the tender lobes of tomato leaves all day. I think when you've successfully pedaled the same design language, no, the same design, for several different cars over the span of close to ten years—the V8 Vantage, DB9, and DBS, today's lineup—well, perhaps you should stop while you're ahead. 

The lines and shapes that look so sexy on a tightly-focused and close-coupled 2 seat sportscar don't really work on a two foot longer saloon with four full-size doors, imo. I think Aston Martin was lazy when developing the Rapide. AM had a chance to add a second, fully contemporary, fully appropriate sport sedan design language into the family, and they squandered it.  A four door sedan's design brief is totally different than a sportscar's, or any coupe's, raison d'être. AM could very well have lead the field with an entirely new sedan language, after all they own the storied Lagonda marque as well, and have yet to effectively capitalize on it, but they chose to rest on their laurels with yet another iteration of their same old sausage.


(I totally admit that my opinions are based solely on images I've seen of it on the interwebz. Some cars just have to be seen in person, and perhaps this is one of them. I know that I'd never kick it out of the garage, as they say.)

Does my ass look fat? Errr, ummm, yes it does m'dear.


  1. The last Aston that truly turned me on was the Lagonda in the late 70's. Both Aston & Jaguar designs merged during Ford's ownership and I believe the Rapide is still a bi-product from that period. I agree with you, it breaks no new ground. But compared to the Pamerica from Porsche - well.......
    The latest rage are 4 door "coupes". Let's hope that this is one of the last renditions of that design language.

  2. you're absolutely right of course! From the time of Jaguar's XK series and the first DB7, we've had very much the same styling. I think it really works on the coupes but not the sedan.

    A far as the Panamera, I've done an alternate version, more tightly focused on Porsche's heritage, not for tall rear seat passengers. I don't see it in my newly-searchable Label list, lol. I"ll post it soon.

  3. The Honeymoon is over...

    Couldn't disagree with you more on this one Casey!

    I think the Rapide is the ONLY saloon which has come from GT coupe beginnings and pulled it off [or at least nothing else comes to mind at the moment]. And though your Panamera is a marked improvement over Zuffenhausen's folley, applying lipstick to a pig still doesn't make me wann kiss it. The Panamera will be a loser until they turn it into a Continental 4dr droptop knockoff.

    Gotta run up the blog and start talkin Lincoln... my favorite subject!

    RW - Scottsdale, AZ

  4. "The Honeymoon is over ..." lol!

    i might be totally wrong about it, I think that's why i 'covered my ass' with the last disclaimer. It hasn't seemed this odd to me until I saw this set of photos. Before this it seemed pretty well rendered. Maybe these are just bad pics. it's still hot, and I hadn't slept well when I wrote this 'opinion' piece!

  5. It looks nice but too expensive for it's price. I think if one were to customize a ZR1 as a 4 door it would sell for less and be a lot quicker.

  6. it's hard to justify a 6 figure price for any car really. still, if i could, i'd probably own a super expensive car. I have no idea which one.

  7. Casey,

    What the Rapide needs is your digital touch.

    1. Rearend needs the "Casey fixes 2011 Accord tail lights" treatment. Rear looks too monochromatic/MiamiVice/80's-Cheap me at least.

    2. Rear door glass obviously carries the corporate design over from the coupes but more glass like an A6 would open it up and have a better flow... The glass would extend into the C pillar... then you could apply the same treatment to the roofline as you did to your '11 Accord 4dr chop. A brushed alluminium flying buttress would have really set this car off and gave it an added touch of exclusivity, true oldschool coachwork.

    3. Speaking of the Flying Buttress. The rear window could then be set in a more vertical fashion, like a 75-77 Corvette or something along the lines of your awesome TBird chop.. Who cares if it cuts into storage space. I bet 95% of people who own a Rapide also own a Merc G-Wagon also.

    What are your thoughts O Master of the digital pencil & eraser?

    RW - Scottsdale, AZ