Production-ready Aston Martin Rapide AMR to launch at Le Mans 2018

Aston Martin Rapide AMR

Each auto will come with a numbered inspection plaque (just 210 will be built) and AMR-branded carbon-fibre sill plates.

At a company with a century-old racing heritage such as Aston Martin, the competition division assumes a greater importance in the scheme of things than it would at, say, Leyland Truck & Bus.

As such the Rapide AMR is a sports vehicle capable of comfortably transporting a team of race drivers to a circuit on the other side of a continent and then tackling the track when they get there.

Aston Martin's local arm has confirmed the Rapide AMR will be priced from $459,950 plus on-road costs. The front grille is larger and more aggressive than that of the regular Rapide, while the lights stick with the Zagato-inspired circular DRLs.

The Rapide AMR's aerodynamics have been tuned to reduce lift while retaining a neutral balance and the extra aerodynamic bodywork such as the splitter, sills, rear diffuser and boot lid lip spoiler are all carbon fibre. A full-length carbon-fibre centre console and Alcantara-trimmed seats reinforce the car's sporty persona - both firsts for a Rapide.

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The continent is now melting so fast, scientists say, that it will contribute 6 inches (15 centimetres) to sea-level rise by 2100. Sea level rise is a threat to cities from NY to Shanghai as well as low-lying nations from the Pacific Ocean to the Netherlands.

Regardless of the region, however, all Rapide AMRs produce the same 630Nm of torque. As such the AMR is the fastest and most powerful Rapide to date, the 5.9-litre V12 now boosted to 603hp thanks to a revised intake system and ECU tweak; combined with revisions to the eight-speed automatic gearbox, 0-62mph is said to take just 4.4 seconds, and top speed is 205mph.

The large, forged wheels have a multi spoke design that is not only very stiff but also aids brake cooling. Carbon-ceramic brakes have also been fitted - a first for the Rapide - comprised of 400mm discs at the front gripped by six-pot calipers, and 360mm discs and four-pot calipers at the rear.

Power gains aside, the Rapide AMR has also been made to be a more dynamic and agile auto in the corners. In addition the adaptive dampers from the Rapide S have been reworked for the AMR, including a 10mm ride height drop, with extensive development work done on the Nordschleife.

There are three design schemes: Standard, Silhouette and Signature. Standard offers buyers the choice between four colours - Mariana Blue, Scintilla Silver, Lightning Silver and Onyx Black - with Lime accents, while Silhouette retains the same colour choice but swaps the Lime highlights for a full-length contrast stripe in either China Grey or Clubsport White. The latter gets Stirling Green paint with lime accents and stripe, drawing the closest visual link to the livery of Aston race cars. Q by Aston Martin, the automaker's bespoke team, is on hand to make any more custom changes. Each vehicle gets AMR logos stitched into the seats and a limited-edition AMR plaque on the carbon sills. The One-77 style steering wheel is an option, and there are plenty of AMR plaques, badges, and stitching.

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