This definitely isn’t your grandma’s old Vista Cruiser, your eclectic uncle’s Saab 9-5 Aero wagon, or even that sublime Audi RS4 Avant you’ve been hoping would finally be sold stateside. No, in the world of station wagons, the Aston Martin Rapide Bertone pretty much stands alone in terms of looks and outright desirability. It also helps that, as of this moment, there happens to be exactly one these wonder wagons in existence.
Set to be revealed next month at the 2013 Geneva Auto Show, the Rapide Bertone wagon – or shooting-brake, if you’re feeling fancy when it comes to nomenclature – was “commissioned by an Aston Martin collector who took part in person in the whole development of the project,” according to Bertone’s press release. The famed Italian design house, which is celebrating 60 years of collaboration with Aston Martin, then brought the idea to life.
The result is stunning, especially when you consider that the four-passenger Rapide sedan is already one of the best looking luxury cars out there — albeit not the easiest one to get in and out of, if you happen to be seated in the cozy rear. Bertone opted not to mess with the mechanicals, which is fine by us. The 476-horsepower 6.0-liter V-12 is a gem that’s happy to purr along in traffic, or snarl like a dive-bombing Spitfire when you mash the gas pedal. Power is routed to the rear wheels via Aston’s 6-speed “Touchtronic” automatic gearbox, with shift paddles mounted on the steering column.
Aston Martin quotes a 0-to-60 mph time of 5.0 seconds flat for the Rapide, along with an ultimate top speed of 183 mph. Bertone hasn’t released all the specifications, though it’s likely the added sheet-metal needed to transform the Rapide sedan into a wagon has added a few pounds to the curb-weight. That might add a couple tenths of a second to the acceleration times but, let’s be honest, would you really care? This Aston wagon is so sexy; it would be a shame to quickly zoom past all of those envious onlookers.
Aston Martin has been mulling over the introduction of a sport-utility in its range, though the tepid (read: terrible) reception given to its 2009 Lagonda SUV concept hardly inspired confidence. Blocky and ill-proportioned, the Lagonda concept looked as rushed and unfinished as the Rapide Bertone wagon looks refined and purposeful. Here’s hoping Aston takes note and considers extending the Rapide Bertone’s production run beyond this lone example.