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For Mr Bond and family

Introduction

 

If Bond had a family then this would have been the car that he would have used to drop the kids off to school before racing off to fight the forces of evil. We get behind the wheel of the Aston Marting Rapide 

It's a difficult scene to watch without your heart going out to 007 as he cradles his bullet riddled wife in the movie 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service'. But have you ever wondered, what if his wife had lived? Would they grow old together and had children? While the avid romantic would stop right there, the auto enthusiast in me has one more question that he would want answered. What would the Bond family be driving around the world's exotic destinations in? 

The answer to that, I believe, would be the Aston Martin Rapide. It's got the style and the presence worthy of 007. It's got the power for quick getaways. Now, the party pieces. It has got four doors and a boot! And I'm sure Q would have kitted it out enough to protect the kids while killing the goons. While Bond's altered life path and his choice of transport is the subject of a whole new story, in the real world the Rapide will have to take on the very accomplished Porsche Panamera. 

 

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Looks and interiors

On the styling front, the Rapide, crafted by Aston's chief designer Marek Reichmann, is a stunner as only an Aston can be. Other than the extra doors, the obvious differentiator from the rest of the Aston Martin range are the distinctive headlamps with boomerang daytime running LEDs. 

In profile, the Rapide's snout reminds one of a shark about to assault its prey.  The large side air intakes extending upto the front door, 20in wheels with low profile tyres, the haunch at the rear wheel,  the low slung roofline and the long bonnet combine to give it the classic GT car aura.

Inside, there's loads of head and leg room up front, despite a low roofline. The front seats  are comfortable too while offering good thigh support. The rear space is a tad tight but it'd still be enough for the junior Bonds. But every parent knows that travelling with kids is never luggage-free. So the Rapide's  boot is good enough to keep a couple of designer travel bags.

 

The drive

 

With the extra occupants and their bags to lug, Aston has given the Rapide the 6-litre V12 petrol engine from the DBS Coupe, mated to a 6-speed Touchtronic 2 transmission. However, in keeping with the family theme the Rapide gets a detuned version with 40 fewer horses. So peak output stands at 477bhp and max torque at 600Nm. Insert the sapphire-capped key into the slot and the engine growls to life. For some family fun James can shift to Sport mode, step on the gas and watch the grin on the kids' faces grow wide as they are pressed back into the seat from the sheer force of acceleration.  

The Rapide is meant to be a daily usage car, so the ride isn’t stiff and the suspension irons out most of the road shocks. Also, with a 170mm ground clearance, its underbelly doesn’t get scraped. For quick getaways 007 can switch to active damping mode, wherein the suspension varies the stiffness according to speed, traction and drift to give the best road holding, even in the worst situation. But should he still lose it, ESP will happily play godfather.

 

Verdict

The Rapide then is the ideal Aston Martin for the Bond family. So what, if Aston’s first attempt at a four-door sportscar since the Lagonda 1974 is not as quick as its competition? The Rapide still ticks all the right boxes when it comes to grand touring in comfort and with a dose of practicality. Not to forget it promises unmatched style and probably a touch more exclusivity than its rivals from mainland Europe. Just what 007 would want in his family car.

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Aston Martin Rapide Price in India

CityOn-Road Prices
New Delhi₹ 4.47 Crores onwards
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