Aston Martin Rapide Debuts This FallPosted on April 15th, 2009
Automaker plans to deliver first production models in early 2010
Aston Martin’s first production four-door sports car is in the last stages of development. The automaker will sign off on the final stages of climate, endurance and performance testing at Nurburgring, before introducing the production car in September.
Director of design, Marek Reichman, describes the Rapide’s styling as a ‘long distance runner,’ compared to the sprinter-like stance of the Aston Martin V8 Vantage and DBS.
Up front, two ‘swan wing’ doors rise up and out as they swing open. The Aston Martin side strake extends through the front doors into the rear doors, creating an illusion of motion. A character line sweeps up and around the rear wheel arches, enveloping the back two doors.
Power comes from a six-liter, V12 engine rated at 470-horsepower, produced at the company’s engine plant in Cologne, coupled with a Touchtronic gearbox. The automaker has yet to reveal acceleration figures: no doubt they’ll be impressive.
The interior follows in Aston Martin’s tradition of incorporating upscale materials, assembled by hand. Press materials describe the Rapide’s rear seats as being large enough for children or adults on short trips. If nothing else, the rear seats might lower what will likely be exorbitant insurance costs.
Production takes place at an all-new plant in Graz, Austria, managed by Magna Steyr, and coordinated by an Aston Martin team from the UK.
“In 2010, there will be an Aston Martin for every type of sports car customer regardless of the demands of their lifestyle, said chief executive, Dr. Ulrich Bez. “The Rapide is the most versatile, bringing a new benchmark of luxury and refinement to both driver and passenger.
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