Of all the marques associated with James Bond, Aston Martin is the one that most people link to the famous fictional spy, appearing in many of the films, from the DB5 in Thunderball right through to a DBS V12 in the more recent Quantum of Solace (check the exhaustive list here).
Now Aston Martin has released the vehicle of choice for the new age spy, with space for the family: the new four door Aston Martin Rapide.
This is not the first four door vehicle for Aston, although it’s the first in a very long time – the last one was the Lagonda which stopped production in 1989. Interestingly the new Rapide, which you may have thought of as a very British car, is actually manufactured in a purpose-built factory in Graz in Austria.
Luxury car manufacturers are busy adding four door versions to their stables – Ferrari have their FF and Lamborghini its Estoque model. They join others who have been producing luxury four door models for a while, such as Bentley, Maserati and Porsche. The new Rapide, starting at AU$371,300, is pitched against rivals Audi (A7 Sportback), Bentley (Continental Flying Spur), BMW (650i), Maserati (Quattroporte – which simply means ‘four door’), a few Mercedes models and Porsche (Panamera).
The Rapide has a hand built 6.0 V12 generating 350kW and the car is made with ‘bonded’ – as opposed to welded – aluminium. Although no machine guns or rocket launchers are included, it does come with a 15 speaker sound system (and the tweeters rise Bond-like from the dashboard), and with a feature drivers of other cars would love to have – doors that stop at any point and any angle – avoiding the inevitable ‘clunk’ of the door as it comes into contact with a hard object you’ve parked near.
It manages 15l/100km fuel consumption which isn’t too bad considering it’s a 6.0 litre and even comes with an Aston Martin umbrella, disappointingly not equipped with an in-built sword or gun.
Our verdict: ideal for the retiring spy.