Aston Martin Rapide (2009): first official image

Published: 26 November 2008

London motor show video

This is the first official image of the new Aston Martin Rapide four-door super-saloon. Obtained exclusively by CAR Magazine, this computer-generated rendering from Aston shows the final production form of its new Rapide saloon. You can see a second image, and read about CAR’s exclusive ride in the development V12 Vantage, in the January 2009 issue of CAR Magazine, out now.

How has the Aston Martin Rapide changed from prototype concept to production car reality?

There have been a few minor tweaks here and there, but nothing major. At the front, the production car has lost the concept’s quad air intakes, instead making do with a double-decker grille.

Down the sides, there’s now a strong crease that runs from the front wing vent through both doors, while the fuel filler cap is now body-coloured rather than chrome.

The rear features a redesigned bumper and bootlid, with a chrome strip running between the rear lights to split up the mass of bodywork on the rump.

We’ve yet to see inside the Rapide, but from our image you can see the cabin is lifted from the DB9, will be bathed in light from the full-length glass sunroof, while the rear passengers will be kept entertained by televisions in the front headrests.

Won’t a big 6.0-litre V12 keep occupants happy?

It will do, and we expect around 500bhp and 420lb ft to move this two-tonne aluminium Aston saloon along. Expect the six-speed ZF auto to be standard and a high-power Rapide to follow later.

The Rapide will be the first Aston Martin to be built outside of Britain, with production being carried out by Magna Steyr at its plant in Graz, Austria. We’ll see the Rapide early in 2009, drive it next autumn and the first customer cars should be delivered in 12 months’ time. Expect the Rapide to be priced between £130,000-£150,000.

Porsche Panamera, Lamborghini Estoque, Bentley Flying Spur, Rolls-Royce RR4 or the Aston Martin Rapide – which would you buy? Click ‘Add your comment’ below and have your say  

By Ben Pulman

CAR's editor-at-large, co-ordinator, tallboy