At a time when every vehicle manufacturer appears to be completely obsessed with electric motors and autonomous driving technology, purists may be relieved to hear that Aston Martin is still producing big, powerful, naturally aspirated V-12 petrol engines. And now, with the reveal of the production version of the limited edition Rapide AMR, that big V-12 is getting even more powerful.
This is the second Aston Martin product highlighting the company's race-to-road harmony after the DB11 AMR, and this production version pretty closely follows the concept previously displayed at last year's Geneva Motor Show. Unless the global market suddenly falls back in love with sedan cars, this "hardcore" Rapide AMR is likely to be one of Aston's last examples of a four-door fastback until the Rapide retires in 2020 to be replaced by the DBX crossover.
AMR stands for Aston Martin Racing, and the idea behind it is to exemplify the synergy between the British manufacturer's motorsport and production road cars. Basically, it means customers can actually buy road-going models with some of the special powers that are normally the preserve of the hardcore race cars they can't buy.
Perhaps a little unusually, this is a car where European buyers get more powerful cars than their American counterparts. The version of the Rapide AMR that will be sold in the UK and the EU will have a 6.0-liter V-12 under the hood producing 595 horsepower, while the US variants will have to make do with 'just' 580 horsepower. However, both versions will offer the same 465 lb.-ft. of torque to help deliver a relatively modest 0-60 mph time of 4.2 seconds and a top speed 205 mph.
Only a limited number set at 210 units will be built, with prices before options starting at £195,950 ($240,000). The AMR could never be confused with the standard Rapide S as the AMR has a vented carbon fiber hood, front splitter, sills, decklid, decklid spoiler, and rear diffuser wrapped around a new quad exhaust system.