Aston Martin Cranks Up Creature Comforts in 2011 Rapide Luxe

What L-word is typically affixed to ultra-luxurious Aston Martin sedans? We'd forgive you for suggesting Lagonda as an answer, but it seems the company's ultra-premium take on the new 2011 Rapide sedan is known simply as the Rapide Luxe.

Although we can't fault a base Rapide for being anything close to Spartan, the Rapide Luxe, much like Bentley's Series 51 packages, attempt to add an extra dash of style, refinement, and comfort to the vehicle. Predictably, the majority of those changes occur within the Rapide's four-place cabin.

Customers can choose from a wider range of leather hues, while all four seats are equipped with heaters and ventilation as standard equipment (the latter is optional on base Rapides). Also tossed into the package is a six-piece set of matching leather luggage, gear select buttons fashioned from glass (in lieu of the standard black plastic), standard 6.5-inch LCD screens mounted into the back of the front headrests, and a set of engraved door sills.

Exterior refinements aren't as extensive. In fact, the largest difference we see between a Luxe and a normal Rapide are the wheels. These 20-inch, 20-spoke wheels are standard on Rapide Luxe models, although they are optional on base cars. The car shown here is shown in Aston's new Quantum Silver hue (which has its roots in James Bond history), but the Rapide Luxe can be painted in virtually any color, including special paints previously restricted to the DBS range or prior Aston Martin Lagonda models.

Power comes from the same 5.9-liter V-12 engine with 470 horsepower and 443 pound feet of torque routed to the rear wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. We expect the car to continue to sprint from 0-60 mph in 5 seconds and reach a top end of 184, although those figures could vary depending on how heavily owners pack the matching luggage...

According to Aston Martin, a Rapide Luxe will run U.S. buyers $218,895, roughly $17,595 more than a standard Rapide. Although the automaker touts the model as an exclusive derivative, the company tells us it will build as many examples as it can sell.

Source: Aston Martin

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