This is the first official photo of the production Aston Martin Rapide. The Austrian-built four-seater will make its public debut in Autumn 2009, with customer deliveries commencing in 2010.
The elegant four-door was first revealed as the Aston Martin Rapide Concept at the Detroit Auto Show in 2006. It utilises the company’s adaptable VH (Vertical/Horizontal) extruded aluminium architecture that has served Aston Martin so well since the introduction of the DB9 in September 2003. The Rapide will be powered – at launch, at any rate – by the tried-and-tested 470bhp 6.0-litre V12, mated to the six-speed Touchtronic automatic gearbox.
The car is an elegant creation and features the company’s trademark ‘swan wing’ doors all round, a design solution that allows the low-slung coupé’s occupants better accessibility via doors that fully clear kerbs. Once aboard, rear passengers will enjoy two individually sculpted seats.
The car will be built to the company’s painstaking quality standards at a new Magna Steyr production facility in Graz, Austria.
Aston Martin’s Chief Executive, Dr. Ulrich Bez, was characteristically enthusiastic about the new car. “The Rapide will be the most elegant four-door sports car in the world. It completes the Aston Martin range conveying our established attributes of Power, Beauty and Soul.
“In 2010 there will be an Aston Martin for every type of sports car customer regardless of the demands of their lifestyle. The Rapide is the most versatile, bringing a new benchmark of luxury and refinement to both driver and passenger.”
Director of Design, Marek Reichman, referred to the Rapide as a ‘lithe long-distance runner', comparing its extended coupé styling with the ‘sprinter-like poise of the V8 Vantage and the muscularity of the DBS’.
With regard to the launch date, the opportunities for Aston Martin must include the Frankfurt Show in September. Prior to the Rapide’s debut, the company will be holding the worldwide press launches of the V12 Vantage in mid-May and the DBS Volante in June.
Busy times, indeed, for Gaydon.
Text: Steve Wakefield
Photos: Aston Martin
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