Is this the new Rapide S?

Earlier this month, several car news sites published similar spy shots of what they claim is the upcoming Rapide S. This sportier version of the Rapide would get 40 extra horses (bringing it to 510 hp), a stiffer suspension, carbon ceramic brakes and of course a slightly altered look (confirmed by the camouflaged front and rear in these pics).

I have to wonder: Does the Rapide audience really want a sportier suspension? Better brakes, always a good thing. More power? Bring it on! But stiffer suspension?
Don’t get me wrong, I always prefer my rides as hard as possible. But is this the way to go for the 4-door Rapide and the typical Rapide buyer? We’ll see, the current model already has multiple suspension modes, so maybe they’ll make the stiffness a user selectable setting.

Is this the Rapide S or the 2013 Rapide?

Personally, I hope this is just the new upgraded MY2013 Rapide, replacing the current Rapide. You know, similar to what they did with the Vanquish S in 2004. I mean, what’s the point of the 470hp edition if there also is a 510 hp version that has been improved in all respects, and better looking too. Especially considering the expected small difference in price (relatively speaking).

But knowing Aston Martin’s more recent model history (the V8 Vantage S), I am afraid the publishers of the spy shots are right: this will probably become the new Rapide S, which will exist next to the plain old Rapide.

Here’s two extra pics from AutoBlog.com, showing the same car on public roads, but obviously still in the vicinity of the Nordschleiffe. Probably on its way between the track and Aston Martin’s test center at the N├╝rburgring.

Sources: Autoblog.com, AutoExpress.co.uk and MotorAuthority.com.

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