15 April 2009
 

Aston Martin Rapide

Aston Martin unveils four-door Rapide

Autozine
15 April 2009 | The Aston Martin Rapide has moved into the final stages of its development programme, on course for a public debut in late 2009, with the first customer cars due to be delivered in early 2010. The car was first revealed as the Aston Martin Rapide Concept at the Detroit Auto Show in 2006. As Aston Martin's first true four-door production sports car, the Rapide promises to be a high-powered sports grand tourer, with four full-sized seats, generous accommodation and luggage space and trademark Aston Martin performance.
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Following the purchase of Aston Martin in June 2007, the production version of the Rapide was approved and development began in earnest. Underpinned by Aston Martin's VH (Vertical/Horizontal) extruded aluminium architecture, the Rapide retains the elegant, flowing proportions that are integral to every Aston Martin and remains remarkably faithful to the original design study.

Aston Martin

The signature elements of Aston Martin's design language translate seamlessly to the four-door format, with key features such as the 'swan wing' doors – rising upwards and outwards as they swing open – facilitating access to the two individual rear seats. The bodywork flows effortlessly from front to rear, where a kicked up tail and strong rear shoulders wrap around the wheel arches to create the classic Aston Martin silhouette, enveloping the additional doors, seats for children or two adults on shorter journeys and functional luggage capacity.

The Rapide has been subjected to Aston Martin's rigorous testing programme including extreme climate testing and dynamic performance trials at the company's new Nürburgring Test Centre to ensure it will display the brand's integral high speed abilities. The last stages of endurance testing are now underway with final sign-off expected later this year before a production car is debuted in September.

Powered by a version of Aston Martin's 6.0 litre V12 engine producing 470bhp and 600Nm of torque and, hand built at the company's engine facility in Cologne, the Rapide's rear wheels are driven through a Touchtronic gearbox.

The Rapide will be built at a new production facility in Graz, Austria managed by the acclaimed vehicle manufacturer Magna Steyr and co-ordinated by a fully integrated Aston Martin team from the UK. The new production facility is closely modelled on the Gaydon factory and will combine a modern production line with the Aston Martin traditional hand-finishing skills, a proud blend of craft processes and attention to detail

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