It has been over three years since Aston Martin first previewed its Rapide, ultra-luxury sedan in concept form. And last month, at the Frankfurt auto show, the British automaker finally revealed the production version of the car.
The Aston Martin Rapide concept is a four-door, high performance coupe of remarkable grace and poise. Based on Aston Martin’s unique VH (Vertical/Horizontal) architecture, the Rapide combines the company’s commitment to power, beauty and soul with space and practicality for every eventuality.
The high-strength, low-mass architecture is implemented in all Aston Martins of the current generation, beginning with the DB9 Coupe and flanked by the DB9 Volante and the Vantage.
The Rapide features a hand-built 6.0-litre V12 engine producing 470 horsepower with peak power being delivered at 6,000 rpm and 443 pound-feet of peak torque at 5,000 rpm. A specifically tuned six-speed Touchtronic 2 automatic transmission allows the driver to change gear automatically or manually via the steering column-mounted magnesium paddles.
Aston Martin’s Rapide sedan will be the first ever Aston Martin built outside of the United Kingdom, thanks to a partnership up with Magna Steyr. The four-door will be built in Magna Steyr’s plant located in Graz, Austria.
Given a strong interest in the Rapide, Aston Martin says it will build between 1.000 and 2.000 units per year, up from an original estimate of 500 or less.
The first cars will not be delivered to customers until early 2010, with a price tag in the $200,000 range.