Aston Martin are having a press launch of the Rapide this month in Valencia, giving the first opportunities to road test the new AM and offer up an Aston Martin Rapide Review.
This month Aston Martin are partying in Spain. Valencia, to be exact. They’ve moved a whole platoon of Aston Martin employees to Spain for the duration of the press launch of the newest AM – the Aston Martin Rapide – and are flying in journalists and guests from the four corners of the globe to see, drive and party with the Rapide.
Sadly, Cars UK didn’t get an invite. We’re not on Aston Martin’s ‘Party’ list. But no worries. As soon as there are any cars on the road in the UK we’ll get to play. And you know what? We’ll be able to judge it much better than a relatively brief blat in Spanish winter sunshine. Which sounds like sour grapes, but it really isn’t.
Would we have gone if invited? Maybe. If we could spare anyone. It’s a good freebie for whoever goes and you get to play with a beautiful new toy ahead of the pack. And we’d have told you how the Aston Martin Rapide is still beautiful, despite being a foot longer. We’d have said the Rapide drives as well as the DB9, just slightly less responsive in the bends – but you’d have to be pushing really hard to notice.
We’d have gone on to tell you that the space in the back isn’t as commodious as an S Class or a 7 Series. But we’d have told you that doesn’t matter. You can get passengers in the back – and proper-sized ones at that – they just can’t get up and party. But we’d say that doesn’t matter, because anyone buying a Rapide wants it for an occasional need for passenger room when he/she wants to drive. The Rapide isn’t a chauffeur car; it’s a car for two couples to enjoy a drive; for a wealthy family with children; a car to be driven, not driven in.
And we’d have gone on to say we didn’t care a jot about any of what we’ve said before anyway, because the Rapide is still beautiful. And that’s enough. Certainly enough to make us question the eyesight of anyone considering a Panamera.
And how do we manage to say all this without going to the Spanish jolly? It’s our job. We know what AM set out to achieve. We’ve seen the car. And because we all have preconceptions before we drive anything a short drive – particularly in attractive surroundings – tends to reinforce preconceptions. So we’d be surprised if any of the reviews coming out of the Valencia jolly are any different to our brief – and completely concocted – Aston Martin Rapide Review here.
And just to set the record straight, we do get offers to jet off and test cars from other car makers. Do we go? Not really. As we said, it takes up lots of time and what we really want from a car maker is to bring us their new toy and leave it for a week – preferably longer. Otherwise all you get is our preconceptions – unless there is something unexpectedly outstanding or awful. You need to live with a car to know what it’s like.
Of course, if Aston Martin want to give us a Rapide for a week or two in Spain we would probably take them up on it. Especially if they want to throw in a nice villa in Javea (we know one or two that would suit) – just down the coast from Valencia. We wouldn’t even mind cattle-class Ryanair from Stansted – if we have to. June would be nice. For two.
We don’t ask much