The new Aston is beautiful. Chest-squeezing, arrythmia-inducing, stunningly gorgeous. I had occasion to park our willow-green-metallic test car next to a Porsche Panamera Turbo—one of the Aston’s direct rivals—and the Porsche looked like Harold Bloom in a thong… .

But in terms of industrial design, the Rapide’s beauty is illicit because it fails to account for the inconvenient bits of protoplasm that will occupy it. Design, after all, is applied aesthetics. If you’ve ever had occasion to think to yourself, ‘People are stupid,’ well, Aston’s chief of design, Marek Reichman, seems to agree… .

But, seriously, acceleration, tight rear seats, outward visibility, Pep Boys-quality navi system, Austrian papers? None of it matters. The way this car looks people would buy it if it smelled like a rotting corpse.