02 February 2009

Rapide arrival

Aston warms things up by showing off the production version of its four-door supercar

Aston Martin Rapide

Just the thing for a frozen, snowy Monday morning: Aston has shown off the definitive, definite production version of the Rapide, its four-door supercar set to launch in 2010.

Looks good, eh? In fact, we reckon the production Rapide looks even better than the concept we saw a few years ago – no mean feat, that.

Aston design director Marek Reichman tells us that the Rapide is ’98 per cent different’ from the concept – take a look at the more muscular lines and cleaner front end.

The Rapide should be truly practical, too – well, practical by the standards of four-door supercars, at least. Sharing a structure and mechanical package with the DB9, but stretched some 30cm, the Rapide measures just over five metres long and features a proper pair of folding rear seats. For transporting your flat-pack wardrobes and all, we guess.

The Rapide will feature an uprated version of the DB9’s 6.0-litre V12: expect a power output of around 490bhp to cope with the Rapide’s extra weight. Though Aston hasn’t released any performance figures, expect a 0-60 time in the 4-and-a-half second region, and a top speed around 180mph. Yes, that’s a whole lot quicker than yer run-of-the-mill Quattroporte S.

It’ll be a whole lot more expensive than yer run-of-the-mill QP S, too – the Rapide is expected to cost around £140,000 when it goes on sale next year.
 
Pricey, yes, but cheaper than a DBS… and with enough passenger seats for three-fifths of Girls Aloud. Or two Cheeky Girls and the telly weathergirl of your choice. The possibilities are endless…

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