There was sadness in the air at Le Mans this weekend, which no doubt contributed to the overall ‘Le Mans Lag’ that was trending on Twitter today (drivers Allan McNish, Anthony Davidson and Karun Chandhok all noting how their body clocks were still on La Sarthe’s racing time zone). Allan Simonsen’s untimely and tragic passing following his accident after three laps remains a sad reminder that, as we wrote yesterday, racing carries with it a constant, mortal threat.
But the race went on at the wishes of Allan’s family, and Le Mans became united under the #WinItForAllan banner, everyone donating their personal stories to the storybook of the fallen Aston driver whose bio simply read, ‘living the dream’….
It’s Aston Martin’s 100th anniversary this year, and clearly, this new Rapide is very excited about the prospect. Just look at that face.
Actually, really look at that face, because it’s a new one, sitting on an updated version of Aston’s rather delectable four door Rapide. It’s now called the Rapide S, and features a host of improvements.
The most important of which is underneath the bonnet. Aston has revised its fabulous 6.0-litre V12 (dubbed the AM11) engine to the tune of 555bhp - some 17 per cent more than before.
Torque jumps to 457 lb ft too, up from 442, and as such, the new Rapide S will accelerate from 0-62mph in 4.9 seconds, 0.3 seconds quicker than before. Remember, the battle for car park superiority is won or lost in tenths. Top speed rises to 190mph.
Details at TopGear.com
The latest Bond film, Skyfall, opens next week, and the word is that it’s right up there in the Bond movie pantheon. An all-time classic, in fact. It also features a lustrously shot, Scottish highlands-set climax in which the Aston Martin DB5 features prominently. It’s the Bond car to end all Bond cars.
I loved, and still love, the original Vanquish, flawed as it was. The DBS that Daniel Craig debuted in Casino Royale was a bit quixotic too, and needed to be manhandled down the road in a way that was more of an extraordinary rendition than a drive in a car. But what both cars had was incredible, almost tangible charisma. You would congratulate yourself on your excellent good fortune every time you stepped out of the house and into either one….
This is only five of the eleven wallpapers available. Click through for the rest.
There’s a gallery of wallpapers at TopGear.com
It’s gorgeous. And it’s being revealed next week:
It first made waves at the Villa d’Este last May; from there it raced as a prototype in June at the gruelling Nürbürgring 24hrs, and last September made an appearance at the Frankfurt motor show. All as a full-blooded, big-winged cabin-less racecar.
Next week, in Kuwait, Aston Martin will finally reveal the road-going production version of its lightly expensive and gently unique Aston Martin V12 Zagato. And it will look like this.
Each Zagato takes around 2,000 man hours to complete, and is constructed from hand-crafted aluminium and carbon fibre, just like the One-77. The car sits on a V12 Vantage platform with that body, complete with ‘double-bubble’ roof, bonded to the aluminium structure of the base car, designed by Aston Martin design chief Marek Reichmann’s team in Britain. In fact, the Aston designer insists the new Zagato takes cues from the past, but forges a new design language for future Astons.
For more details, visit TopGear.com
13 more after the click.
From last night’s episode of Top Gear. James May may have not liked the new “mid-range” Aston but it’s still a gorgeous sight.
Designed to celebrate the golden anniversary of the similarly handsome DB4 GT Zagato, the hand-built body - an aluminium and carbonfibre mélange - was penned by the Italian firm (Zagato) and sits on relatively untouched Vantage underwear.
But who cares that it’s the same car because it is beautiful.
Visit TopGear.com for all of the technical details anyway.