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Aston Martin is expanding its high-performance range of AMR models with the addition of this, the Rapide AMR. The four-door super-saloon will be brought to the Le Mans 24-hour race this weekend, to be shown off alongside the new Vantage GTE race cars. Only 210 Rapide AMRs will be built, and they follow the looks of the 2017 Geneva Motor Show car very closely.
There's a bigger, deeper grille with round daytime running lights designed to ape the look of Aston Martin's Zagato limited edition models. There are aero extensions to the door sills, front splitter, rear lip spoiler and rear diffuser, which Aston says reduce lift and give the car a neutral balance. They're all made from carbon fibre, as is the aggressively-vented new bonnet.
There are three different colour schemes for the Rapide AMR. Standard mixes Mariana Blue, Scintilla Silver, Lightning Silver and Onyx Black with Lime Green AMR racing stripes and accents, while the Silhouette scheme replaces the Lime Green with a choice of more subtle China Grey or Clubsport White. For those who really want to look like they're driving for the Aston Le Mans squad, there's a Signature scheme too, which mixes Stirling Green paint with the Lime Green AMR highlights and stripes.
Inside, there are Alcantara suede seats, with AMR Lime or Galena Silver contrast stitching, a full-length carbon-fibre centre console and a steering wheel inspired by the One-77 concept car, plus the expected smattering of AMR logos and numbered plaques.
Under the bonnet is the old naturally-aspirated Aston Martin 6.0-litre V12 petrol engine, which has had its maximum outputs tweaked up to 603hp and 630Nm of torque. There's a new quad exhaust system too, which Aston says is suitably loud. The 0-100km/h sprint is done and dusted in 4.4 seconds and top speed is 330km/h. To help keep that under control, the 21-inch alloy wheels (the first time any Aston has had such big rims) are wrapped in Michelin Super Sport tyres and the forged alloy spoke design helps to feed cooling air to the brakes.
Those brakes are carbon ceramic discs, measuring a huge 400mm at the front and 360mm at the rear. The front brakes get six-piston callipers, while the rears make do without four pistons. Aston says that the lower weight of these brakes helps the car's unsprung mass and contributes to sharper handling.
As well as the brakes, engine and aero kit, the Rapide gets a 10mm suspension drop, retuned three-stage adaptive dampers and a chassis that has been honed at Aston's performance development centre at the Nürburgring in Germany.
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 if you want to bring one into Ireland, you can probably pretty safely double the UK price of £194,950 and stick a Euro sign in front of it.