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It’s a little hard to explain a car that needs no explanation, but we’ll attempt to do just that.

Aston Martin has been a leader in the luxury car industry since the 1950’s, and taking a look at this year’s Rapide it’s no wonder why. Originally a concept car revealed in 2006, the Rapide is sleek and stylish and absolutely knows it. Enough features to have driver’s sitting in the parking lot pushing buttons like a child on Christmas morning; enough power to make even the most seasoned speed demons giggle. Let’s take a look at this month’s dream car.

Engine

The Aston Martin Rapide features an engine similar to one the company unveiled in their Vanquish last year. Add to that a new crank, cylinder heads, variable timing on the intake and exhaust cams, Aston’s new “big wing” intake manifold, and new combustion chambers with increased compression ratio, and what you get is 550 horsepower in a 5.9-liter V-12 engine.

Transmission

You have a choice here: put the car in drive and cruise along lazily while the transmission takes care of everything for you efficiently and with understandable inhibitions; or put your fingers against the gear shifts next to the steering wheel to take advantage of the six speed transmission and 4.7 seconds later your dash will read 60. Six seconds after that you’ll be at 100. No turbo, no supercharge, just raw power. We advise discretion from that point.

Body

An unparalleled effort in redesign. New front grille, new hood, LED lighting, 20-inch wheels sporting Bridgestone tires. And for the Aston purists, they held on to the aluminum space-frame architecture, along with the rear-mounted six-speed automatic transaxle. With a long body and a low roof, the Rapide keeps its driver close to the road its tearing.

Interior

Sections of the interior may seem a little awkward at first. The aforementioned low roof and tiny door openings might perturb some people, especially once you notice how difficult it is to see out the back window. But turn the car on and listen to that V-12 engine beneath the rumble of a Bang & Olufsen sound system and you’ll forget about any minor issues, especially once your foot touches that gas pedal.

For a luxury car in the typical six-figure price range that most of Aston Martin’s models fall under, the Rapide sports a huge bang for the buck. And by bang we mean neck-breaking speed coupled with unparalleled beauty.

Not for the faint of heart.

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