Sunday, December 27, 2009

Aston Martin One-77 Supercar Hits 220mph During Testing

Aston Martin One-77 Supercar

Aston Martin has always been known for its lightning pace, opulence, comfort and of course its sky-high price tags. Its latest supercar – the Aston Martin One-77 is already setting new standards in all the attributes of the British marque. With a price-tag round about the $2 million mark, it was already in the news. Now, the One-77 has surpassed all predictions and broken the 200 mph mark.

A prototype of the model doing the auto shows is already engaging people worldwide. The launch of the One-77 is planned in 2010, while now it is going through a stringent development process. In the mean time, high-speed testing of the car is done at Nurburgring Circuit in Germany, and other top secret locations in southern Europe. It was during this series of test runs that the One-77 recorded a 220.007mph (354.86kmh) top speed. With that, the super-car closes in on being fastest car in the British marque’s history.

The new Aston Martin has been engineered to deliver an incredible amount of power as well as performance. It is powered by a 7.3-litre V12 engine which produces a breathtaking 700 to 740 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque. These figures are well ahead of the McLaren F1’s 627 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque; though it edges the One-77 when it comes to speed.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Aston Martin One-77 breaks 200 mph in high speed testing

Aston Martin One-77


Aston Martin has taken their new One-77 , an ultra exclusive super car, to some high speed testing yielding results over 200 mph.

From Aston Martin:

"Aston Martin’s One-77 super car has moved closer to setting a new all-time record for the British marque in initial high speed testing after surpassing all predictions and comfortably breaking the 200 mph mark."

The testing took place at a super secret test area with James Bond at the wheel. Joking aside the Aston Martin recorded 220.007 mph in dry but windy conditions meaning this is one fast Aston.

More testing continues for the One-77 and you can be sure Aston's super car will be ready for prospective buyers whether they plan on taking it to the track or just showing it off in their collection.

The Aston Maritn One-77 is powered by a 7.3 liter V12 engine which made it quite easy for this car to travel speeds above 200 mph.

Aston Martin Rapide U.S. Pricing

Aston Martin Rapide 21 Aston Martin Rapide U.S. Pricing Ducks Under $200K

Last week, Aston Martin stuck a U.K price tag of 139, 950 pounds onto the Rapide sedan and now the company has released U.S. pricing. The Rapide will base at $199,950 in the States, perfect for those looking for a beautiful performance sedan that just can’t justify a full $200K. Those $199, 950 proud Washingtons will buy a 6.0-liter V12 luxury sedan stocking 470 horses and 443 lb-ft. Inside, drivers who opt for the simplest base model will still enjoy features like Bang & Olufsen audio and heated memory seats. The Rapide will go on sale in the spring, but is available for preorder now.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Aston Martin's One-77 fastest-ever car

Aston Martin One-77

Aston Martin One-77

Aston Martin's upcoming One-77 supercar is close to becoming the British marque’s fastest-ever motor, following successful high-speed testing held over the past few months.

According to Aston, the One-77 has already clocked an astounding top speed of 220.007mph (in dry and windy conditions), which is a significant improvement on the 200mph top speed originally predicted for the company's new two-seater. This would go some way towards justifying the £1.2m price tag that has been placed on this 7.3-litre V12-powered supercar.

While the Aston Martin speed record may be within sight – the Vanquish S V12 is purported to have a top speed of 200mph – the One-77 still has some way to go before it surpasses the McLaren F1's top speed of 242.9mph in order to become Britain’s fastest car. But with the One-77 not due out until mid-2010, there is still plenty of time for the Warwickshire-based marque to fine-tune the engine, enhance the aerodynamics and cut some weight in order to move closer to that mark.

Aston Martin One-77 gets close to speed record

Aston Martin’s One-77
Aston Martin’s One-77 closed in the all time speed mark for the British supercar company as it soared past the 200 mph mark.

The One-77 hasn’t yet been put on sale, as it's under development and will be launched in 2010. The high speed testing took place at a proving ground in Southern Europe and the location has not been released. The 7.3-liter V12 hit 220 mph on one of the test runs last week, above all speed expectations for the car.

Only 77 of these beauties will be made and each will combine modern technology and design with craftsmanship and bit of England in every car. If a car could be art, then the One-77 is a masterpiece. Expect this rare piece of motoring history to be above the $1.5 million mark.

One-77 closes on new Aston Martin record

One-77
WHAT A STUNNER! Aston Martin’s One-77 supercarAston Martin’s One-77 supercar has moved closer to setting a record for the British brand during high-speed testing by comfortably exceeding 320km/h.

We first told you about the car back in August, 2008.

The One-77 is undergoing stringent development ahead of its 2010 launch with high-speed testing at a secret proving ground in southern Europe. It recorded a best of 354.86km/h, in dry but windy conditions, during a series of test runs.
The car has a new 7.3-litre, V12 Aston Martin engine and, the automaker says, has been "engineered to deliver breathtaking levels of power and performance".

It's described as "a dramatically styled two-door, two-seat sports coupe," and Aston Martin says it has been based on an innovative carbon-fibre monococque body with new active aerodynamic technology.

The One-77 is, Aston Martin says, "the ultimate expression of what we stands for and will combine modern technology and design with craftsmanship and ultimate exclusivity".

It will, the company says, be "the world’s most desirable automotive art form".

As its name suggests, production will be limited to of 77 numbered units. Deliveries should start in mid-2010.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Carbon Aston Martin supercars

Aston Martin V12 Vantage

Aston Martin has picked a novel way to celebrate the sales success of its two V12 supercars – paint ‘em Carbon Black.

Both the V12 Vantage and DBS have surpassed Aston’s initial sales expectations, and this pair of special editions intends to crank up their appeal. Each one has 50 man-hours of painting lavished upon it, with a finished effect of carbon and metallic.

The V12 Vantage benefits from new diamond-turned, 10-spoke alloy wheels while the grille gets a new finish and front parking sensors come as standard. Both cars get lashings of Obsidian Black leather inside (with hand stitching from the people at Gaydon – lovely) plus a pair of carbonfibre and Kevlar seats, saving 17kg over standard. Pick the DBS and you’ll get a swish Bang & Olufsen stereo.

Carbon Black Aston Martins

Aston Martin has created Carbon Black special edition versions of the DBS and V12 Vantage. Both feature black metallic paintwork (applied over fifty man-hours) along with 10-spoke diamond turned alloy wheels and a bright front grille, while the interior is also mostly black with lightweight carbonfibre/Kevlar seats.

Aston Martin V12 Vantage 02 - Carbon Black Special Edition.

Final pricing will be confirmed early next year but is expected to be around 5% higher than that of the standard models - that would be around £142,000 for the Vantage and £175,000 for the DBS - with deliveries starting in March. The Vantage price will include a day's driver training at the Aston Martin Performance Driving Course, at least for UK and continental European customers.

Aston Martin Carbon Black Edition V12 Vantage And DBS Announced

Aston Martin Carbon Black Edition V12 Vantage

ASTON MARTIN HAS announced special versions of its DBS and V12 Vantage supercars, bearing the name Carbon Black Edition.

While specific numbers have yet to be revealed, Aston Martin has confirmed to TMR today that a total of four Carbon Black Edition models have been allocated for Australia.

aston-martin_v12-vantage_carbon-black-edition_02

“Of the Carbon Black Edition, three V12 Vantages and One DBS have been confirmed for Australia, if the orders are there,” Marcel Fabris, Operations Manager for Aston Martin in Australia told TMR.

The special edition Astons are finished in a ‘Carbon Black’ paint, which Aston says has been formulated with a subtle metallic twist for “a deep rich patina”. Applying the unique paint by hand takes 50 hours, and is a process that includes a number of stringent quality checks.

The V12 Vantage gets a genuine carbon fibre side strake, backed by a black mesh, while special gloss-black 10-spoke diamond-turned alloy wheels feature at each corner.

aston-martin_dbs_carbon-black-edition_03

A bright finished grille, along with parking sensors - an optional extra for the ‘regular’ model - completes the exterior treatment.

Obsidian black leather features inside, with contrasting silver coarse hand-stitching. A piano black finish is featured on the centre stack and centre console, along with anodised black tread plates and Carbon Edition sill plaques.

The standard seats of both cars are replaced with light-weight carbon fibre and Kevlar versions, saving 17kg over the regular items.

Local delivery dates and pricing have not been revealed, but more information is expected to be revealed early in the new year. UK and European deliveries commence from March 2010.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Aston Martin Cygnet is cute as a button

Aston Martin Cygnet

Aston Martin is swaddling a lowly Toyota iQ in leather and giving it a grin like the Cheshire Cat. Aston calls it the world’s first luxury urban commuter. We call it an idea so crazy it might just work.

The Cygnet is all grille and no go, given that it sports the same 1-liter three-cylinder engine as the 56-mpg Toyota iQ. And though the baby Aston is just a concept at this point, a company insider tells the Telegraph it could see production by the end of next year. Look for a production run of around 4,000 a year, with sales limited to existing Aston Martin owners. The idea is those well-heeled souls will drive the Cygnet around town and save the DB9 Volante or One-77 for the weekends.

The Cygnet could have its coming out party at the Geneva auto show in March. As is the case with all the coolest cars, we probably won’t see it here in America. We’ll be stuck with that ugly boy-racer version of the iQ sporting a Scion badge.

Photos: Aston Martin. More after the jump.

Aston Martin Cygnet

Aston Martin Cygnet

Cygnet Raises Aston Martin’s iQ

Aston Martin Cygnet

Just look at it. Don't you just want to pinch its little cheeks?

(Credit: Aston Martin)

Aston Martin has released photos of its upcoming Cygnet subcompact. We've seen this one before, but now it's completed and ready to roll. The Cygnet is based on the Toyota iQ city car, but with the face and accoutrement of a DB9. Unfortunately, I'm also fairly certain that there will be no power upgrades to go with the visual refresh.

Inside, the Cygnet retains, for the most part, the iQ's cabin layout, but with a slathering of Aston Martin leather and a few glossy black bits. One new feature is an iPod Touch cradle mounted in the center of the dashboard. It looks a bit precariously mounted, but with only a 97hp 1.3-liter engine turning the wheels, we don't think that excessive Gs are something a Cygnet driver will have to worry about.

Cygnet iPod cradle

Why go through the trouble of making something so absurd? Well, the Cygnet/iQ's low 120g/km of CO2 should pull Aston's fleet average emissions down to something more in line with the European standards.

Pricing hasn't been announced, but the general consensus points toward the $32,000 mark, which to be frank, is a bit much for a city car. But with Aston Martin levels of ultraluxury and Toyota-grade reliability, perhaps Aston Martin will sell its estimated 2,000 units per year.

The Aston Martin Cygnet goes on sale in late 2010 in Europe only.

Aston Martins get Carbon Black label

Aston Martin DBS Carbon Black



Aston Martin really has been dominating the headlines this week – first, by revealing official pictures of its Cygnet supermini, and now with the unveiling of special Carbon Black versions of its much-celebrated DBS and V12 Vantage grand tourers.

As both cars have "surpassed all sales expectations", Aston thought it would celebrate by giving them a lick of Carbon Black paint "especially formulated with a subtle metallic twist to create a deep rich patina". And we're not talking about some simple spray job here – each unit will receive 50 man-hours of hand painting, so owners can rest assured that their car is very special indeed.

Further highlights include the addition of lightweight carbon fibre and kevlar seats covered in hand-stitched Obsidian Black leather, piano black fascia trim, and gloss black 10-spoke diamond-turned alloy wheels.

Aston Martin announces Carbon Black Special Editions

Carbon Black Special Editions

Aston Martin is launching special edition versions of its range-topping DBS and V12 Vantage models called the Carbon Black.

Both cars get Carbon Black bodywork, which is hand painted and takes 50 hours to apply. They also receive diamond cut alloy wheels with gloss black detailing and a bright finished grille and parking sensors.

Inside, the Carbon Black theme continues with lightweight black leather seats with contrasting silver stitching – hand stitched – piano black trim throughout the cabin and black anodised pedals. The V12 Vantage Carbon Black also benefits from Aston's 700kw premium sound system whilst the DBS boasts the Band & Olufsen Beosound audio system as standard.

The Aston Martin Carbon Black DBS and V12 Vantage Special Editions

The Aston Martin V12 Vantage Carbon Black

The Aston Martin V12 Vantage Carbon Black


Aston Martin's two top-of-the-range sports cars; the Aston Martin DBS and Aston Martin V12 Vantage have undergone a unique Carbon Black makeover to create a highly desirable special edition.

Carbon Aston Martin supercars

Carbon Aston Martin V12 Vantage
Aston Martin V12 Vantage

Aston Martin has picked a novel way to celebrate the sales success of its two V12 supercars – paint ‘em Carbon Black.

Both the V12 Vantage and DBS have surpassed Aston’s initial sales expectations, and this pair of special editions intends to crank up their appeal. Each one has 50 man-hours of painting lavished upon it, with a finished effect of carbon and metallic.

The V12 Vantage benefits from new diamond-turned, 10-spoke alloy wheels while the grille gets a new finish and front parking sensors come as standard. Both cars get lashings of Obsidian Black leather inside (with hand stitching from the people at Gaydon – lovely) plus a pair of carbonfibre and Kevlar seats, saving 17kg over standard. Pick the DBS and you’ll get a swish Bang & Olufsen stereo.

If you’re wondering why we’ve not mentioned performance or mechanical upgrades yet, that’s because there aren’t any. Although we’d be surprised if you found the 510bhp 5.9-litre V12 that both cars share as standard too puny.

Both cars are set to get a five per cent price hike over normal, making the Carbon V12 Vantage £141,750 and the DBS £175,350. Opt for the Vantage and you’ll get a free performance driving course thrown in, too.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Aston Martin confirms production for Cygnet Concept

Couple of months ago Aston Martin revealed the Cygnet Concept project that will place the auto maker in the small car segment. The Cygnet looks familiar because it is actually based on the Toyota iQ, but treated to Aston’s design cues like the front grille, fender vents and so on. Aston Martin has now confirmed that the Cygnet will go into production and that development on the micro car will continue into 2010. It is expected to go on sale by the end of 2010 or beginning of 2011.

Along with the announcement, Aston Martin also released three images of a finished product. In the list is an image of the interior that is mostly finished in black and red leather. Although no information was revealed about its powerplant, expect Aston Martin to use Toyota’s 1.33 liter Dual VVT-i engine that is good for 99hp.

No V8’s here but it is likely that power will be increased to above 100hp. By the way, how long will it take for ‘modders’ to create aftermarket kits for the iQ so it can look like the Cygnet, without paying through the roof? Continue reading to view an image gallery.

The Cygnet from Aston Martin

Aston Martin Cygnet

Aston Martin is swaddling a lowly Toyota iQ in leather and giving it a grin like the Cheshire Cat. Aston calls it the world’s first luxury urban commuter. We call it an idea so crazy it might just work.

The Cygnet is all grille and no go, given that it sports the same 1-liter three-cylinder engine as the 56-mpg Toyota iQ. And though the baby Aston is just a concept at this point, a company insider tells the Telegraph it could see production by the end of next year. Look for a production run of around 4,000 a year, with sales limited to existing Aston Martin owners. The idea is those well-heeled souls will drive the Cygnet around town and save the DB9 Volante or One-77 for the weekends.

The Cygnet could have its coming out party at the Geneva auto show in March. As is the case with all the coolest cars, we probably won’t see it here in America. We’ll be stuck with that ugly boy-racer version of the iQ sporting a Scion badge.

Aston Martin.

Aston Martin Cygnet

Aston Martin Cygnet

Aston Martin Cygnet

Baby Aston Martin Cygnet

Dubbed the 'new luxury commuter concept car', and based on the Toyota iQ, the newcomer will lack the performance that Aston Martin customers have come to expect over the firm's 94-year history.

Baby Aston Martin Cygnet

But what it lacks in bare-chested machismo it will make up for with low emissions from its one-litre engine and with its high degree of suitability for urban motoring.

The new car will boast a five-star EuroNCAP safety rating and it is thought it will share the current iQ three-cylinder petrol engine.

As the pictures reveal, the Cygnet will be embellished with a sporty grille, bespoke alloy wheels and a luxury interior as well, of course, as the elegant Aston Martin badge.

The firm has said that it will be sold only to existing Aston Martin customers, who, it is envisaged, will use it as a 'green' run-around while reserving their supercars, such as the DB9 or Vantage, for longer journeys. The firm aims to sell around 4,000 a year.

An insider said: "We are relatively confident the concept will go into production". If it does, it will go on sale towards the end of 2010.

Baby Aston Martin Cygnet

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Aston tweaks the 2010 V8 Vantage

2010 Aston Martin V8 Vantage.
It was just over a year ago that Aston Martin released an updated version of their V8 Vantage, and yet it appears that they simply can't resist another round of updates for the 2010 model. There are no radical changes in store, but rather a number of tweaks to the existing model to keep it fresh.

Topping the list of new features is a new set of lightweight sport seats made from a combination of Kevlar and carbon fibre, which together weigh 17kg less than the prior model's seats. Rounding out the changes inside is a new 1000-watt Bang & Olufsen audio system with some slick new silver speaker grilles.

There are no significant changes to the powertrain other than a slight revamp to reduce CO2 emissions. Aston has pulled off a 4% decrease in CO2 for the V8 Vantage over last years model, as well as an almost 8% decrease for the Sportshift version. These gains come courtesy of a remapped ECU and revised gear ratios, but not to worry – it hasn't affected performance.

On the outside you'll find some optional 10-spoke, 19-inch diamond-finish alloy wheels, clear taillights (like those found on the V12 Vantage), some side sills borrowed from Aston Martin's N400 Roadster, and finally, a "magnum silver" mesh for the hood and side vents.

Aston special editions for GCC

V8 Vantage Elwood
V8 Vantage Elwood
Aston Martin will be launching seven special edition V8 Vantage models created specifically for the Middle East region, to commemorate racing success.

The collection includes the Elwood Blue edition based on the V12 Vantage race car which won its class at the 2009 Nϋrburgring 24-hour race in Germany earlier this year on its global debut (and which will be on display on Aston’s stand at the Dubai International Motor Show), as well as the Rose Yellow edition which celebrates the GT4 Nϋrburgring 24-hour successes.

The cars are based on the standard V8 Vantage and in addition to the race livery, various new styling options are included such as clear rear tail lamps and wider sills.
No more than seven of each edition will be produced, giving a total production of forty-nine cars. This limited production run is available to order now through the Aston Martin dealership network, priced from $157,880.

Priced: 2010 Aston Martin Rapide

2010 Aston Martin Rapide Picture
The pricing strategy for the 2010 Aston Martin Rapide became clearer on Friday with word that the four-door sedan will start at the U.S. equivalent of $232,137.

Aston Martin also said in a statement that it expects to build roughly 2,000 Rapides in the first year of production. Production kicks off early next year, with customer deliveries slated to begin in the second quarter. The automaker said it will take approximately 220 hours to build each car.

The U.K. pricing on the Rapide includes these standard features: a Bang & Olufsen Beosound audio system specifically tailored for the Rapide, heated memory seats, dual cast brakes and an adaptive damping system.


2010 Aston Martin Rapide Picture

The 2010 Aston Martin Rapide will cost more than $232,000. On the other hand, workers will spend some 220 hours building each car.

Aston Martin upgrades V8 Vantage for 2010

Aston Martin V8 Vantage 2010 fq

Reports from the UK and a new batch of images from Aston Martin has confirmed some minor revisions for its entry-level V8 Vantage for the 2010 model year.

Among those changes are clear tail lamps (similar to those on the V12 version), side sills borrowed from the N400 edition and silver mesh trim for the bonnet and side vents. There will also be some new optional equipment, including ten-spoke, 19-inch forged alloys, carbon-Kevlar seats that drop 17kg off the curb weight, and a 1000-watt Bang & Olufsen stereo.

Along with the new equipment, Aston has cut the V8 engine's carbon emissions. Orders for the updated V8 Vantage will be taken from now with deliveries beginning early in the new year.

Oddly-Styled Aston Martin Lagonda Concept

Aston Martin Lagonda Concept

Aston Martin is hard at work figuring out just what to do with its Lagonda brand revival plans. The company confirmed plans last year to revive the marque for a new range of bespoke models, the first of which is set to appear in 2012, but exactly what market segments to enter is shaping up to be a difficult question for executives.

While there are only a few years left for Aston Martin to come up with a plan for Lagonda, we've already seen the first concept, which was unveiled back at March's Geneva Motor Show. The polarizing concept vehicle was based on a Mercedes Benz GL-Class SUV platform but that doesn’t mean Lagonda will be an SUV/crossover brand.

This puts some confusion on the whole issue, as the Lagonda concept seemed to reveal that the brand would be leaning towards an SUV-type of vehicle, however, mixed reactions from the public may have had something to do with a change in tack.

Lightweight Seats Lead New 2010 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Options List

Aston Martin's splendid Rapide

Aston Martin Rapide


If you're a petrol head who enjoys the finer things in life, you're probably already a fan of Aston Martin's first-ever production four-door sports car - the rather splendid Rapide. We certainly are!

First revealed to the world at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, the Aston Martin Rapide's prices will start from £139,950 when it hits the UK market during the first quarter of 2010.

For those of you not already in the know, Aston's "most elegant four-door sports car in the world" will be powered by a hand-built 6.0-litre V12 engine capable of delivering 470bhp, propelling the car from 0-62mph in 5.1 seconds and a top speed of 188mph. What's more, all of this power is housed within one of the most stunning exterior’s we’ve seen in a long time. This is definitely the car to watch out for in 2010!

So because we're slightly obsessed with the Aston Martin Rapide - OK, that's a bit of an understatement - we thought we'd indulge ourselves by putting together a gallery of all the very latest images of this fabulous new grand tourer.

Aston Martin updates V8 Vantage for 2010

Aston Martin may have launched an updated version of its V8 Vantage just over a year ago, but the British sports car maker is planning another update for the 2010 model year. Although no radical changes are in store, the updates promise to make the V8 Vantage more up to date with the rest of Aston Martin’s lineup.

The V8 Vantage’s sheet metal will remain relatively unchanged for the 2010 model year, but a few trim pieces will be updated for the new decade. Outback the V8 Vantage now sports the same clear taillights first seen on the V12 Vantage. New side sills are borrowed from the N400 and a new mesh inserts are used on side and hood-mounted vents.

A few new items will be added to the V8 Vantage’s option list for the 2010 model year, including new-design 19-inch wheels, weight-saving carbon-Kevlar sport seats and a 1,000 watt Bang & Olufsen sound system.

There are now power updated to report for 2010, but Aston Martin did manage to reduce the V8 Vantage’s emissions. Manually-equipped V8 Vantage models now spew 315 g/km CO2, down from 328 g/km. Sportshift models see a further reduction in CO2 emission, dropping to 300 g/km CO2. Emissions reductions hold true for coupe and roadster models.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Aston Martin DB9 and DBS

An Aston Martin DB9 and DBS are on display at the New England Auto Show through Sunday at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center

2010 Aston Martin Rapide Price

2010 Aston Martin Rapide Picture

2010 Aston Martin Rapide Picture

The 2010 Aston Martin Rapide will cost more than $232,000. On the other hand, workers will spend some 220 hours building each car.
2010 Aston Martin Rapide Picture

2010 Aston Martin Rapide Picture

Production starts early in 2010 and about 2,000 will be built during the first year, Aston Martin says.

Aston Martin Rapide 4

Aston Martin Rapide 4

Aston Martin Rapide

The Aston Martin Rapide, which goes on sale next year for $200,000 in the United States. The Aston Martin Rapide, which goes on sale next year for around $230,000 in the United States.

Aston Martin brought the first (and only) production configuration version of its Rapide four-door sports car to Manhattan last night. The car was first shown at the the Frankfurt auto show and goes on sale next year.

The 470-horsepower car was displayed in a gray-blue metallic paint amid huge abstract paintings at the Chelsea Art Museum. It arrived in the company of Marek Reichman, Aston’s chief designer.

“I think of a racehorse,” he said discussing the car’s design. “You can sense the power of the horse even when it is still. But when it starts to move you see the play of highlights and muscles.”

Photographs do not do the Rapide justice. There are many subtle lines and planes to its body. A taut “bone” line runs from the side vent and a gentle curve rises over the front fenders. Gray is a traditional Aston color, and the bright blue added to it on this car brings out the subtlety of the body shape. Two lovely greens are among the choices of body colors; a light walnut covers the information processing center.

Aston Martin is taking orders for the $230,000-something car. The company said it planned to sell about 2,000 units in its first year, of which between 25 percent to 33 percent will come to North America. Few options are available. A 1,000-watt, 15-speaker Bang and Olafsen audio system is standard.

The rear seats are heated and cooled. Headroom is generous, but legroom more limited: the average man’s knees will necessarily be angled, not comfortably. And slipping in and out of the seats is not a smooth process despite the clever mechanics of what the company calls “swan doors.”

One option is a set of screens for the rear of the front seats; their side views constricted, the rear passengers will appreciate them. This is in contrast with Porsche’s design of the Panamera, whose rear-seating area is more generous.

“You seem to have chosen grace over space,” someone in the museum observed, and Mr. Reichman agreed. “Every millimeter was considered very carefully,” he said.

2010 Aston Martin Rapide Gets a U.K. Price of £139,950

Aston Martin has announced that the 6.0-liter V-12 Rapide will start at £139,950 in the U.K.–about $235K, in line with expectations when it hit the scene at the Frankfurt Motor Show. All things considered, it’s a pretty steep price for the premium sedan, but you didn’t expect to buy into an Aston cheaply, did you?

The Rapide is capable of 470 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque. It makes the leap to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds and tops out at 188 mph. The Rapide puts a premium on comfort and style as much, if not more, than performance.

As always, U.K. pricing isn’t that thrilling on its face, but it is a great excuse for a gallery of beautiful