Leaving Las Vegas in an Aston Rapide S

It’s Sunday morning, I’ve managed to get a brand-new Aston Martin Rapide S beached in a sand dune and am currently excavating underneath trying to affix a strap, so that a couple of passing Navajo Indians can rescue me. Really. There are a couple of issues, not least that the towing eye for the Rapide S is a couple of inches too short to actually screw into the thread mounted behind the new widescreen grille, and the bottom of the car is entirely encapsulated in aerodynamic plastic, meaning that an easy hook-up on a solid bit of chassis is frustratingly absent. After a bit of head-scratching, Melton, Kim (the Navajos in question) and I decide that we’ll just have to be very gentle with a suspension arm.

Justin the photographer is standing about taking pictures and laughing up his sleeve. Probably because my unfortunate ‘incident’ has occurred not in the hazy desert dirt roads around Oljato on the Utah/Arizona border we’ve just spent the afternoon traversing, but roughly three feet from perfectly good tarmac. I was turning around. Still, we hook up the Aston to the careworn and Appaloosa-spotted pickup of the local Samaritans and retrieve ourselves without damage. I blush a little, shake a few hands and we head out over to the precious, immense views of Tse’Bii’Ndzisgaii. Or Monument Valley, if you don’t speak fluent Navajo.

In 24 hours, we will be in a very different environment. Rewind the same in the other direction, and you wouldn’t have recognised it, either. Welcome to the ultimate test of an Aston Martin GT car.

Pictures: Justin Leighton

This feature first appeared in the May issue of Top Gear magazine

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