Aston Martin Rapide: another first official photograph

Published: 15 April 2009

Aston Martin is clearly wringing the launch of the new Rapide saloon for all its worth. This is the second batch of ‘first official photos’ of the new four-door from Gaydon – and it’s still only a tease of new information with a single image and a handful of nuggets of information.

Today’s announcement does confirm a few new details about the Rapide, which was first shown in concept guise at the 2006 Detroit auto show. Highlights include:

• Rapide showroom launch confirmed for September 2009
• First customer deliveries in early 2010
• Swan wing doors rise upwards and outwards
• 6.0-litre V12 power, 470bhp and 443lb ft
• Touchtronic gearbox will be standard

As previously reported, the Rapide will be underpinned by the existing VH aluminium structure, which also stars on the Vantage and DB9 families, so it should be an agile, lightweight saloon with genuine sporting credentials. It will be built in Graz, Austria, by Magna Steyr – making the Rapide the first Aston Martin not to be built in the UK.

Aston Rapide: is it a real saloon?

Rather more worryingly, today’s statement reveals that the pair of rear seats are for ‘children or two adults on shorter journeys.’ Don’t go expecting the Rapide to be a proper alternative to full four-seaters such as the Porsche Panamera, then.

You may forgive the packaging when you see this new photograph, however. Today's latest teaser image reveals a low-set four-door with a great stance, a beautiful silhouette and enough athletic details to get the CAR office salivating…

>> Should the new Aston Rapide have a long drawn-out, drip-fed genesis like the Nissan GT-R? Click ‘Add your comment’ and let us know

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet