Saturday, October 24, 2009

Aston Martin Rapide

The Aston Martin Rapide is a four-door, high-performance sport saloon, which British luxury marque Aston Martin plans to introduce in early 2010 to compete with the Maserati Quattroporte and Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class, along with the upcoming Audi A7, Porsche Panamera, and Lamborghini Estoque. It was first presented as a concept car at the North American International Auto Show in 2006.

The Rapide name is a reference to the Lagonda Rapide, a saloon car produced by Lagonda, now part of Aston Martin. The car is based on an Aston Martin DB9. The estimated price for the Rapide is around $260,000 US Dollars, although it is too soon to predict its price on the US market, the Rapide should be in full production in the US by Late 2010-early 2011.

Aston Martin has announced that the Rapide will be built at a dedicated plant at the Magna Steyr facility in Graz, Austria. Production will start in 2010 and the factory plans to build 2,000 per year. The production version will feature a full-length glass roof and LED light bars on the rear end, two firsts for Aston Martin.

The production version of the Rapide was shown at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show.

A production version of the Rapide has been spotted on several occasions in Kuwait in July and August 2009, where it is undergoing weather and performance testing.