Aston Martin Rapide S: Four-door Aston gets 550 hp and a Hannibal Lecter grille

Aston Martin is rolling out its second special edition model in nearly as many weeks, and it should leave drivers with lead feet clamoring. Whereas the Vanquish Centenary Edition emphasized style, the Rapide S emphasizes performance.

The biggest change is a new version of Aston’s AM11 5.9-liter V12. In the Rapide S, it produces 550 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque, giving it 80 more horses and 37 more pound-feet than a standard Rapide.

The new engine may seem like a more powerful version of the V12 Aston uses in its other cars, but its character has changed along with its output. The Rapide S has more low-end torque than its predecessor; twisting force peaks at 2,500 rpm. That should make the updated car more tractable. The new engine is also mounted 19 mm lower in the chassis, lowering the center of gravity.

Aston says the Rapide S will do 0 to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds, an improvement of 0.4 second over the non-S Rapide.

To improve handling, Aston modified the standard Rapide’s dynamic stability control, and gave the Rapide S an upgraded Adaptive Damping System with an added “Track” setting. This luxurious four-door might not be our first choice for a track day, but at least Aston is giving owners the option to let it all hang out.

To keep the driver in passengers in place while all that is going on, Aston kept the standard Rapide’s four bucket seats. For the Rapide S, they’re trimmed in Duotone red and black perforated leather for a sportier look, although they also look like they were taken out of a 2002 Nissan Sentra SE-R.

The rear buckets also fold flat at the touch of a button, making the Rapide S into a somewhat practical family vehicle. Other upgrades include a rear seat entertainment system and a backup camera.

The Rapide’s styling did not need improvement, but Aston made a few changes to highlight the Rapide S’ upgraded hardware. The new front fascia looks like either a masked Hannibal Lecter or the face of a Ford Focus Electric. There’s also a bigger trunk spoiler and a new set of wheels.

The Rapide S is also available with an optional Carbon Exterior Pack. Not surprisingly, it includes some extra carbon fiber, including: a front splitter, rear diffuser, mirror caps, and taillight centers.

Aston will start taking orders for the Rapide S in February and, while the company isn’t discussing the price, expect it to cost a little more than the “base” Rapide, which already costs more than $200,000. Upgrading doesn’t come cheap.

Cars

The DBX SUV will go where no Aston Martin has gone before

When it launches in 2019, the Aston Martin DBX will be the British automaker's first SUV. In the meantime, camouflaged DBX prototypes will undergo strenuous testing around the world.
Cars

From Rolls-Royce to Lamborghini, these are the most expensive cars in the world

If you recently discovered an oil reserve in your backyard, you probably have some extra cash to spend. Look no further, because we’ve rounded up the most expensive cars in the world.
Cars

BMW’s 2020 M340i will show off mix of tech and luxury at the Los Angeles show

The 2020 3 Series represents the seventh generation of BMW's bread-and-butter luxury sedan. Where previous generations emphasized the driving experience, the 2020 3 Series focuses more on tech than ever before.
Cars

Jaguar’s rally-ready F-Type roadster is happiest off the pavement

Jaguar is celebrating the XK120's 70th birthday by turning the F-Type roadster into a rally warrior. Built to FIA specifications, the model receives suspension and braking upgrades plus a full roll cage to protect the occupants.
Cars

Land Rover shows its artsy side by previewing the 2020 Range Rover Evoque

Land Rover made life-sized wire sculptures to preview the 2020 Range Rover Evoque. The all-new SUV will make its debut during a private event held in London on November 22, and deliveries will begin in 2019.
Deals

These headlights have 4 color settings to help save lives under all conditions

Boslla headlights are an easy-to-install solution to achieve all-weather lighting for your vehicle. After a quick ten-minute install, these lights have up to four settings to get you through anything.
Cars

Car parts maker ZF is using drones to deliver components to its factories

ZF recently became the first entity in Germany to receive approval to use drones to deliver spare parts, and the company now uses them to deliver parts from its central warehouses to its workshops.
Cars

Ford teams up with Walmart to study consumer response to autonomous delivery

Last week it was Ford and VW, and this week Ford and Walmart are signaling a desire to work together on autonomous vehicles solutions. Ford and the giant retailer will study consumer reactions to self-driving delivery vehicles.
Cars

Our favorite fuel-efficient cars are as frugal as they are fun

You don't need to opt for a hybrid or an all-electric ride in order to achieve good fuel economy. These vehicles pack both performance and style, whether you're in the market for a luxury sedan or a game-changing pickup truck.
Cars

Out of juice? Learn how to jump-start a car with this quick guide

Jumping a car is a simple procedure, but not everyone knows how to properly do so. To make things easier, we've put together a quick-hit guide on how to fire up your vehicle using jumper cables and a second power source.
Cars

Born to run (forever): The most reliable cars you can buy right now

We all dread the thought of our car turning into a money pit, but choosing a dependable vehicle from the start can help us rack up countless care-free miles. Here, we've rounded up some of the most reliable cars available.
Cars

Prep your car for the coming snow and sleet with these cold weather tips

Driving in the winter, whether downtown or across the country, is rarely easy. Luckily, we've put together a quick rundown of a few things you should do to winterize your car before the snow officially hits.
DT Daily

DT Daily: Waymo’s driverless cars, ‘Fallout 76’ tips, and Racella

In today's episode of DT Daily, we discuss Waymo's foray into the ridesharing sector, along with various tips for making the most of the recently launched Fallout 76. We also sit down with singer Racella to chat about her new EP, Waves.
Cars

Want to keep connected on the road? Here are 5 ways to add Bluetooth to your car

The best way to make an old ride feel young again is to bring it up speed with the 21st century. Here's how to properly add Bluetooth to your vehicle, via independent kits, vehicle adapters, or aftermarket head units.