Aston Martin Rapide: the world's most elegant four door sports car
The new Aston Martin Rapide will|
appear on local roads from 2010.
21st 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.
First revealed as the Aston Martin Rapide Concept at the Detroit Motor Show in 2006, the Rapide is one of the most
eagerly awaited cars of the year. As Aston Martin's four-door production sports car, the Rapide encapsulates the core
values of the brand within an elegant, high-powered sports grand tourer, with four full-sized seats, generous
accommodation and luggage space and trademark Aston Martin performance.
Aston Martin Chief Executive, Dr. Ulrich Bez said: “The Rapide will be the most elegant four-door sports car in the
world. It completes the Aston Martin range conveying our established attributes of Power, Beauty and Soul.”
“In 2010 there will be an Aston Martin for every type of sports car customer regardless of the demands of their
lifestyle. The Rapide is the most versatile, bringing a new benchmark of luxury and refinement to both driver and
The concept received worldwide acclaim for its design as well as strong expressions of interest from customers.
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.
The cohesive design language and elegant form of the Rapide ensure it is a perfect complement to the other cars in
Aston Martin's line-up. From the outset, the Rapide was designed with no aesthetic compromise. “We wanted to make the
most beautiful four-door sports car in the world,” Aston Martin's Director of Design Marek Reichman stated when the
concept was first shown.
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
beautifully trimmed 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 provide the classic Aston Martin silhouette, enveloping the
additional doors, seats for children or two adults on shorter journeys and functional luggage capacity.
Described by Reichman as a lithe 'long distance runner', compared to the sprinter-like poise of the V8 Vantage and
the 'muscularity' of the DBS, the Rapide's lines are a master class in maintaining purity of proportion and vision.
Detail design is crucial, with Aston Martin's iconic side strake extended to run through the front doors before blending
into the rear door, lending a sense of dynamic thrust to the Rapide's stance.
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.
The Next Car team expects the new|
Aston Martin Rapide will make its debut
at this year's Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA).
The Rapide will offer performance purity and the same level of sporting ability as all modern Aston Martins. Powered
by a version of Aston Martin's 6.0 litre V12 engine producing 470 bhp and 600 Nm of torque and, hand built at the
company's engine facility in Cologne (Germany), the Rapide's rear wheels are driven through a highly responsive
Touchtronic gearbox. Performance figures have yet to be revealed, although early indications are that the Rapide will
offer class-leading performance and dynamics, alongside new levels of refinement and luxury.
The Rapide will be built at a new production facility in Graz, Austria managed by the 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 sophisticated modern production line with the Aston Martin traditional
hand-finishing skills, a proud blend of craft processes and attention to detail. The interior will further develop Aston
Martin's skilful use of genuine high quality materials, applied appropriately and effectively to ensure that form always
“Rapide will exceed expectations to deliver elegance and practicality in a form that will allow driving enjoyment
and comfort beyond anything that exists today,” says Dr Ulrich Bez, “The Rapide will exist in a class all of its
own, a true Aston Martin with the high performance and dynamic excellence that defines the brand, and a luxurious
sporting grand tourer without equal.”