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Le Mans launch for Aston Rapide AMR. Image by Aston Martin.

Le Mans launch for Aston Rapide AMR
Extra hot Aston Martin executive gets 205mph top speed.
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What's that?

This is an Aston Martin Rapide AMR.

Wow, it looks a little... lurid?

Yes, well this one wears the 'Signature' colour scheme of Stirling Green with the violent AMR Lime Green stripe and highlights. The idea is, basically, that you can drive around looking like a member of the Aston Martin Le Mans team. That's why the Rapide AMR will be launched this weekend, as the new Vantage GTE race cars take part in the 2018 Le Mans 24-hour race.

Does it come in any quieter colours?

Oh yes. If you don't fancy the full-on signature, then you can have Standard or Silhouette finishes. Those use either Mariana Blue, Scintilla Silver, Lightning Silver, or Onyx Black. Standard adds Lime Green highlights, while Silhouette gives you a full-length contrasting stripe in China Grey or Clubsport White.

Is this just a paint and logos job, then?

Oh no. Far from it. The Rapide AMR is based on the concept car version shown in Geneva last year, and actually incorporates new bodywork and engineering. Only 210 will be built. You'll tell it apart from a humbler Rapide by the new front end, which features a deeper grille and front bumper with round daytime running lights, which are meant to evoke Zagato-styled Astons. There are bigger side sills, a bigger rear lip spoiler, a new front splitter and a new rear diffuser - an aero pack that Aston says reduces lift and lends the Rapide better dynamic balance. There's also a new carbon fibre bonnet with extra cooling vents.

Underneath, the naturally-aspirated 6.0-litre V12 petrol engine now makes 603hp and 630Nm of torque, which is good enough for a 4.4-second 0-62mph sprint and a top speed of 205mph. Keeping all that under control are new brakes. The carbon ceramic discs measure 400mm at the front and 360mm at the back, with six- and four-piston callipers, respectively. The suspension has been dropped by 10mm as well, and the three-stage adaptive dampers have been tweaked at Aston's performance workshop at the Nrburgring. Meanwhile, those 21-inch wheels (the first time any Aston has worn rims that big) aren't just for show - the forged spoke design has been calculated to feed cooling air to the brakes.

Aston Martin President & Chief Executive Officer, Dr Andy Palmer, commented: "AMR takes technology and inspiration from our motorsport programme to amplify the sporting prowess in our road cars which is clear to see in the Rapide AMR, Aston Martin's most extreme, four-door sports car. With enhanced performance, sharper dynamics and more powerful design language, Aston Martin has taken Rapide to new and exciting extremes."

Sales will start towards the end of this year, and that'll be 194,950 if you fancy one, squire.

Neil Briscoe - 13 Jun 2018

Earlier articles featuring 2018 Aston Martin Rapide

2016-02-17: Aston Martin to build electric cars with LeEco

2018 Aston Martin Rapide AMR. Image by Aston Martin.2018 Aston Martin Rapide AMR. Image by Aston Martin.2018 Aston Martin Rapide AMR. Image by Aston Martin.2018 Aston Martin Rapide AMR. Image by Aston Martin.2018 Aston Martin Rapide AMR. Image by Aston Martin.

2018 Aston Martin Rapide AMR. Image by Aston Martin.2018 Aston Martin Rapide AMR. Image by Aston Martin.2018 Aston Martin Rapide AMR. Image by Aston Martin.2018 Aston Martin Rapide AMR. Image by Aston Martin.    - Aston Martin road tests
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