When you’re a high profile person, you get the privilege to choose between flying private or commercial, you get to choose from where to buy the fanciest of suits. You also get to choose all sort of things, like buying a four-door luxury sedan. It’s a statement to a lifestyle a few can afford and a lot covet. Sure, a lot of brands have been offering the luxury sedan for years, but it doesn’t change the fact that Aston Martin hasn’t drawn attention to its 4 door supreme sports car, the Rapide.
The Shadow Edition, not the title of next bond movie, is a new special edition variant of the Rapide S, with unique and more dynamic specs, that I got to drive in Dubai. Available in four tailored colors and trim combinations, it offers more grandeur to the elegant Rapide S. Even in silver which is usually a dull color for any car, this Aston Martin insolent shade draws envious looks in parts of the world where supercars are almost common.
The exterior is a work of art, from the traditional English styling to the trademark Aston Martin door handles, while the interior isn’t a slump either. I felt underdressed compared to how glamorous the interior mix is. From the wood to leather, exclusively authentic materials are used. The result is a beautiful aromatic & exceptional interior that delights the senses and immerses you in a world of refined quality & grace. The crafted roofline is mesmerizing.
What really impressed me was the seating position in a supercar with a glorious V12 engine delivering 550 hp. It is way too comfortable to make you forget that the Rapide is in supercar territory. It is literally handcrafted first-class travel. What lacks sophistication, in my opinion, was the outdated steering wheel, a bit too minimalistic for a luxury class vehicle.
The Rapide S is exclusively a four-seater because the transaxle runs through the center tunnel between the seats. No room for an additional passenger. Legroom is tight, more for kids, and not for 6ft tall adults, but still roomier than a coupe. This “sedan” serves its purpose, somehow.
The Rapide S benefits from Aston Martin’s hi-tech Adaptive Damping System (ADS), which offers three distinct settings: ‘Normal’, ‘Sport’ and ‘Track’, each specifically tuned for the Rapide S. ADS automatically alters the suspension settings to ensure the driver has the highest levels of control at all times, with the ability to respond quickly to different driving conditions.
Thus, it can be a luxurious GT car in Normal mode with the capacity to morph into a more assertive sports car in Sport and Track modes.
All in all, the Aston Martin Rapide S Shadow edition is for purists. Like 007, it is a prime English figure, representing elegance & exclusivity. Its legacy is a proper jewel from Britain’s automotive past. And like James Bond, Aston Martin never retires; it only gets better with age.