BEST of the BEST 2015: Aston Martin Rapide S

Few sedans are as alluring as the Aston Martin Rapide S (astonmartin.com), and considering the car’s looks, agility, and speed, it is no wonder that the Aston Martin’s designers insist on calling it a four-door sports car instead of a sedan. The Rapide S has received a significant performance boost over the original, which was launched in 2013. The new 8-​speed automatic transmission provides crisp, perfectly timed shifts and is paired with a retuned 5.9-liter V-12 that produces slightly more power than it did for the previous version of the Rapide S. Its 552 hp and 465 ft lbs of torque enable the car to accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds, which is a half second faster than the previous model’s time. A revised rear suspension and nearly 50/50 weight distribution allow the roughly 4,400-pound vehicle to handle demanding roads with a measure of grace that is unusual for a car of this size.

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The Aston Martin Rapide S, which has a starting price of just under $205,000, can be clad in a seemingly infinite number of colors, including Sea Storm (a smoky blue-gray) and Diavolo Red (a rich crimson). The interior and its cradling sport seats can be ordered in understated or eye-catching palettes, from black to Fandango Pink.

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