Aston Martin is no stranger to the Nürburgring 24 Hours endurance race, but instead of entering the usual V12 Vantage or Vantage N24, the automaker revealed it will field its new sedan — the 2011 Rapide — in the event, scheduled for May 15.
“This race represents the ultimate final engineering durability test for any sports car,” said Aston Martin CEO Ulrich Bez. “The Rapide has the capability to carry four people in comfort, but first and foremost it is a sports car, and we will subject it to the same tests we would our other sports cars.”
According to Aston Martin, the race-spec Rapide will closely mirror a production vehicle. Although the interior will be gutted, the suspension revised, and a number of safety devices installed, the car will largely be stock. Power will still come from the same 5.9-liter V-12 as the production car, which sends as much as 470 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels.
In addition to the Rapide, Aston will again enter a mildly tweaked V12 Vantage in the race. In 2009, a similar car snagged a class victory on its debut run, and managed to finish in 21st place overall.
Aston Martin has yet to announce the final driver lineups for either car, but we wouldn’t be surprised if Bez himself gains some seat time — as he is known to do — during the event.
Source: Aston Martin