The first sighting of Aston Martin’s hotly anticipated Rapide—the company’s first four-door since the quirky, boxy Lagonda—was on neither public roads nor an auto-show stand but rather sliding around on a frozen lake somewhere in Scandinavia. Our hardy and presumably well-insulated spy photographers somehow found it and its creators having a pretty dandy time testing its capabilities in slippery conditions.
Virtually undisguised save for some tape around the head- and taillamps, this prototype appears to be little changed from the saucy Rapide concept that took our breath away at the 2006 New York auto show (the prototype is practically the same color, even).
That car was essentially a DB9 with an extra foot between the axles to make room for the additional doors and more capacious rear-seating area, along with some special show-car touches such as a glass roof and glitzy lights that don’t appear to be making it to production.
What we do see, however, are what appear to be the same gorgeous 20-inch wheels found on the new DBS, a hatch-style tailgate, and some absolutely flawless proportions bound to make the upcoming Porsche Panamera look like a rolling cucumber by comparison.
The Rapide concept was powered by the same 480-hp V-12 found under the hood of the DB9, but we expect the production Rapide to have upward of 500 ponies. We also expect the price to be astronomical when it bows next year as a 2010 model