Saturday, November 14, 2009

Aston Martin Rapide Makes U.S. Debut

2010 Aston Martin Rapide. Photos coutesy of Aston Martin

Aston Martin will debut it's new Rapide, the four-door sports sedan today at an exclusive party at the ultra-trendy SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills today.

At the debut, potential customers, media and Aston Martin fans will get a chance to view the Rapide up close and personal before it heads out on a seven-city tour of the United States. The Rapide concept was first shown at the 2006 Detroit Auto Show and in full production form earlier this year t the Frankfurt Auto Show. The Rapide and the Aston Martin "party machine" will travel this winter between Los Angles, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Charlotte, Palm Beach and Dallas before making the return trip to England.

"Rapide is the culmination of the Aston Martin range of sports cars, a car that seals the revival of a truly admired marquee," said Ulrich Bez, Aston Martin CEO. "There is now an Aston Martin for every taste and for every use."

The Rapide is powered by Aston Martin's tried and true 6.0 liter V12 engine. Producing 470 horsepower and 443 pound feet of torque, the car will be no slouch. When mated to the six-speed Touchtronic 2 automatic gearbox, expect a 0 to 60 mph time under 5 seconds and a top speed of 180+ mph.

The Rapide is constructed on Aston Martin's VH (Vertical/Horizontal) architecture and shares the same basic underpins as the DB9. The Rapide will be the first Aston Martin built outside of the United Kingdom thanks to a partnership with Magna Steyr.

It goes without saying that the Rapide will compete directly with Porsche's Panamera and Maserati's Quattroporte. But in my humble opinion, the Rapide is certainly the best looking of the bunch. Yes, the Panamera has much more usable and spacious back seat, but is, well... hideous.

Aston Martin design director, Marek Reichman, said this about the Rapide's styling, "There is a real sense of proportion with this car, akin to a tailored suit; the new double grill gives more presence on the road while the iconic signature side strake has been lengthened through to the rear doors to enhance its lateral proportions in a subtle, yet elegant way. The car's purity makes it look right from every angle."

The Rapide will be priced around the $200,000 mark, making it expensive as well as beautiful Aston Martin says it will build between 1000 and 2000 units per year with the first deliveries expected in the spring of 2010.

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